Job Interview Attire - How to Choose the Right Career Clothes For Your Job Interview

Part of preparing for a job interview lies in choosing appropriate job interview attire. This decision can seem quite tricky, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you'll get it right every time.

1. Never underestimate the importance of choosing appropriate job interview attire.

The clothes you wear to a job interview form a big part of the first impression you make on the employer. People make judgments about your suitability for a job within the first few seconds of meeting you, so it's important to use everything available, including your attire, to ensure that initial impression is positive.

2. Different job interview attire will be appropriate for different companies and different types of jobs.

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all interview outfit. What might be perfectly appropriate at one company would be considered under-dressed in another situation, or over-dressed in a third company. It will be important for you to gauge the situation, and the nature of the company and the job when choosing your clothes for a job interview.

3. Dress one level above the way you would dress if you were going to work at that company.

Dressing in this way is always the best strategy for choosing job interview clothing. Dressing a little better than you would on a typical work day at that company shows the employer that you've made an effort to show yourself in your best light, and taking care to avoid over-dressing shows that you understand the nature of the job and helps the employer to see that you would fit in at the company and in the job that is available.

4. It's fine to ask receptionist about typical dress when you are invited to the interview, but this information is often limited.

If, for example you are interviewing for an office job, there is a very good chance the receptionist will tell you that their office is fairly casual. Everyone has a different idea about what constitutes office casual. To one person, office casual may mean a skirt and blouse for women but nylons are not necessary. Another person may feel that is quite formal and may feel that office casual includes jeans and t-shirts. So, while you can ask the question, the answer you get may be limited in terms of helping you choose your job interview clothing.

5. Go to the place of business a few days before your interview to see how people are dressed.

Go early in the day when people are arriving for work. Watch staff enter the building and get a sense of what they are wearing. This strategy will give you get a sense of what is considered appropriate attire at that place of business. Of course, you should avoid doing this on a casual Friday!

6. Casual Fridays do not apply when interviewing for a job.

If your job interview falls on a Friday, dress the way you would for a job interview on any other day. Most employers will avoid wearing their casual Friday clothes if they are conducting interviews on that day. If you go in to a job interview on a Friday, and everyone is dressed in jeans and you are wearing a dress or a shirt and tie, don't worry, you have done the right thing.

7. Try on all of your clothes at least the day before the interview, or sooner if possible.

Ensure that everything fits well and is in good condition. You don't want to discover that your best pair of pants or the skirt that you haven't worn in months doesn't quite fit properly, or that your best shirt has a strange stain on it on the day of the interview. Try everything on well before your job interview so you'll discover and be able to deal with any problems.

Lisa McGrimmon is a career writer who publishes Career Choice Guide, job search and career management information. Please visit her site for more tips on preparing for a job interview.

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