Making a great first impression when you’re attending a job interview is incredibly important. A good first impression can come from anything from your handshake to the way you walk into a room and DOES NOT solely depend on the way you look. However, dressing the part can be an important part of your job search and interview prep and there are several reasons why this is important.

·     It shows the interviewer that you actually care.

Dressing up a little proves to the interviewer that you actually care about this interview and that you want them to see you in a certain light. It shows effort and initiative and in many interviews, this is exactly what they will be looking for.

·     It helps them to imagine you actually working there with them.

If you walk into an office or work environment and you’re dressed like you already work there then it helps the interviewer to see you in this position and feel like you would fit in with the rest of the workforce. Obviously, this isn’t always the situation. We wouldn’t suggest dressing up as a chef to interview for a job in a restaurant. But you get what we’re saying.

·     It invites trust from your interviewer.

What we mean by this is that dressing appropriately for the job that you’re interviewing for shows that the interviewer can trust that you “get it”. You wouldn’t wear a formal suit to interview for an incredibly informal position and you wouldn’t wear ripped jeans to apply to work at a law firm. Or at least we hope not! And this shows that the interviewer can trust you to understand and be on the same page as them when it comes to the job and acting and dressing appropriately.

Dressing for an interview can be one of the sources of stress and anxiety as you prepare to be questioned by a potential new employer. But does it really have to be all that complex?

Here, we have to take a general look at things. Clearly, our blog can’t apply to every single person and every single job position. But in general, these suggestions should work for most.

If you’ve got a particularly tricky job interview on the horizon and you’re really struggling with what to wear (and this blog hasn’t done the trick!) then get in touch with us in the comments and let’s see if we can work it out together!!

How to Work Out What to Wear

If you do a little extra research before your interview, you might just be able to get some extra insight into the office dress code in advance.

Look at The Company Website

When you’re prepping for a job interview, you’ll be doing research about the brand as a whole and getting ready to answer questions about what you know. When you’re doing this, remember to check out the company culture on their website. This will almost certainly give you hints as to how dressy or casual their office day to day is and give you an idea of how you can put together your interview outfit that fits their regular dress code.

Head to The Company’s Social Media Channels

Dig a little deeper and have a look into the business’ social media pages. Whether it’s through backstage snippets on Twitter or out-of-office hours highlights on Instagram, the social media posts could be very insightful into the office culture and the types of things people wear at work day to day, helping you to decide.

Top Tips on What to Wear for A Job Interview

So now we know why it’s so important to dress well and appropriately for an interview and how to work out the vibe of the office you’re about to head into, let’s take a look at some simple style tips on what to wear on the day.

Every pick in our interview essentials list has been chosen with the help of Shop It To Me. This means the pieces are from the biggest and best retailers in the industry but they come with a slashed price tag that makes shopping online so much sweeter.

If you’ve not signed up to Shop It To Me yet, it’s a quick and easy process. Just add your favorite brands and your sizes in dresses, jackets and shoes etc. and you’re good to go with automated and customized searches and personalized emails, sending you ONLY the products you’re interested in. What a change, right!?

Let’s get back to it!

A White Shirt Is a Great Interview Essential

A white button-down might seem like a basic suggestion but don’t think about this in a basic or average kind of way. A white button-down shirt has always been and continues to be a perfect choice for a smart situation in or outside of work. But now, white shirts are serious fashion too.

Don’t think boring, plain, ultra-fitted and paired with a tweed pencil skirt when you think about a dress shirt. Think elegant, unexpected and added creative details. And then pair with sharply tailored trousers or dress pants and sky-high patent pointed pumps for a look that screams #boss.

Knee-Length Is Your Friend

If you’re thinking drab, boring and bland, please – stop there. Knee-length is no longer the knee-length of librarians and stuffy two-piece skirt suits. Now, knee-length (or longer mid length) is edgy, on-trend and elegant.

Think pleated maxis, wrap midi’s, and asymmetric silhouettes that prove that although you’ve dressed totally office-friendly, you’re not about to lose your unique sense of style. If they don’t like that about you, do you really want to spend 40 hours a week around these people?

Shirt Dresses Make Life Easy

If you don’t want to spend the day before your interview mixing and matching, make life simple for yourself and opt for a long sleeve shirt dress. Just add shoes and a bag and job done.

A mid-length shirt dress works for pretty much any job interview imaginable because it’s so easy to dress up and down and always looks smart and polished. It’s also a contemporary way to do a shirt and SO comfortable for all-day comfort, especially if you’re having to travel to the interview a little further than you’d like.

Closed Toe Dress Shoes Are a Must

For pretty much any job, even the most business casual (but mostly casual) offices, closed toe shoes are the way to go. Firstly, do you really want the first thing about you that your new boss gets to see to be your toes? And secondly, they are just a touch too casual or night-out-ish.

Whether you opt for flats or heels is totally up to you, but opt for closed toe and keep them sleek and chic without too much bulk or platform.

Also - Test drive them first and make sure they don’t rub or make weird noises when you walk!

Choose a Chic but Practical Bag

When it comes to job interviews, it’s better to be prepared for every eventuality. That’s why you need a tote bag to make sure you’ve prepared yourself with all the tools you might need during your chat with the boss. Will you need your laptop or might they want to see something on a tablet? Have you brought your portfolio or at least some visuals of previous work and accomplishments?

Whatever you’ve got with you, choose a chic and stylish tote bag that looks perfect next to your outfit but also comes packed with all the bits and bobs you might need along the way.

What Not to Wear for an Interview-Appropriate Look

Just a few basics!

·     Ill-fitting clothing.

·     Low-cut tops and dresses.

·     T-shirts & polo shirts.

·     Flip flops – EVER.

Whether you’re applying for an entry-level position or promotion to the top of the ladder, in a business casual environment or ultra-trendy environment, to dress for success already puts you in a better, more positive state of mind. You can create a stylish casual look any time of the week but for your job interview, put a little extra effort into your interview clothes, dress up, and create a look that really lets your boss-to-be learn something about you and what you’re all about.

Lastly, when you’re sitting in front of the hiring manager on interview day, remember, you’re already there, you’ve already got dressed into your interview attire and done the research and arrived on time.  All you need to do now is to show them who’s boss and prove to them that you would be a great team member. Good luck!

And remember – Sign up to Shop It To Me to make sure you grab all your interview clothing essentials with a slashed price tag. What’s the point in blowing all your cash on your outfit? You’ll need a little something left over to celebrate getting the job!