We’re all about individual style freedom, but when it comes to job interviews, employers aren’t as liberal and may unfairly judge you based on your appearance. Depending on what type of job you’re interviewing for, you’ll want to stay in alignment with the office dress code. Here are few tips for remaining stylish yet professional.
Know Your Industry
Often when you work in a creative, art-driven environment, the office dress code will be more lax. For fashion-related careers, you’ll want to let your style shine with something chic, yet representative of your individual fashion sense. If you’re interviewing for a job in a creative field, a stuffy pantsuit might not be your best bet. Instead, try a fashionable blouse and skirt or even a jumpsuit. For jobs at more political, news-driven media companies like MSNBC, more traditional office attire may be your best bet.
For more conservative corporate environments such as finance, law, and consulting, standard office attire like closed toe shoes, blazers, suits, and longer hemlines are appropriate. Conservative work environments can sometimes also have restrictions on hair length (for men), tattoos, makeup and jewelry, so it’s best to keep your look as clean and simple as possible.
Do Your Research
Preparing for a job interview doesn’t only involve having all the right answers or knowing your data from front to back; it’s also important to understand the company culture. If you happen to know someone who works for the same company you’re interviewing for, ask them what their company attire is. Do some research. It’s always better to go in feeling confident about your style choices than to feel nervous that you’re under or over-dressed.
A few do’s and don’ts that all interviewees should keep in mind are the following:
- Don’t chew gum
- Don’t over-accessorize. Big dangling bracelets can be distracting.
- Light, natural makeup is best.
- Keep nails clean and manicured (no chipped nail polish, ragged cuticles etc.)
- Good oral hygiene: make sure your breath is fresh. Eat a mint/gargle with Listerine beforehand.
- Make sure clothes are clean and unwrinkled.
- Wear clean, undamaged shoes.
- Never use your cell phone during an interview.
- Do not wear heavy cologne/perfume.
- Cover tattoos (if in a conservative environment).
- Remove excessive piercings.
- Make sure your hair is clean and styled.
- Make sure you have nothing in your teeth.
- Get enough sleep the night before so you look and sound rested.
- Make sure your eyes look healthy, clear, and goober-free. If they’re red, use Visine.
- Do not wear hats or distracting accessories that obstruct your face.
- Always accept a glass of water or bring your own bottle of water. Sometimes if you get nervous during interviews, your mouth will dry out, so you’ll want to have water nearby to keep you hydrated.
- Last but not least, smile, be confident and blow them away!