Article Job interviews are stressful. One thing that can help is choosing the right outfit. 3 2022 Life coaching https://www.lifecoachhub.com/img/uploads/articles/thumbs/44_1664892491.jpg Career coaching life coaching Lifecoachhub Pty Ltd LifeCoachHub

What to Wear to an Interview 2022 (Tips from a Career Coach)

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TAGS: coaching, life coaching, business coaching, coach, life coach, self help, personal development interviewing, career advancement, getting a job, image, fashion

Updated Oct 4, 2022

Job interviews are stressful. Even when you know you are a great candidate and are very confident in your ability to do the job, nerves set in.

One of your entry points to the company you are applying for is facing certain people—the Human Resources department head, your potential immediate supervisor and the top management—for interviews. But the interview process should not scare you to death. If you are prepared, chances are you will end up with flying colors.

There are a lot of things you can do to help you prepare for an interview. One of these things is choosing the right outfit, a task that might not be as easy as you think. Follow the tips from our career coaches below as a starting point for picking out your winning interview outfit. Once you are dressed for success, your winning personality and intellect can take over and a new job will be yours before you know it.

General Guidelines for What to Wear To an Interview

Fit

Wear clothes that fit well. Make sure that your clothing is the proper size—not too snug or too loose. Pick items that are figure flattering. Select articles that emphasize your best features and downplay your less than stellar spots.

If you have any questions about what cuts of clothing are best for you, do a quick search for articles about dressing for your body-type. There are tons of articles out there that let you know what looks best for someone built like you.

Style

Some career coaches are mortified at the idea that anyone would ever go to an interview in anything but a suit. There are others that balk at the idea of a candidate donning a three piece to interview for a gig stocking shelves. If the experts can’t agree, it’s understandable that it’s tough for you to decide.

Here’s what you do—think to yourself, “If I got this job, what would I wear to work every day?” For the interview, you should dress like that at minimum, but probably even better. If you are interviewing for a position where you would be dressed super casually, opt to dress better than you would on the job. A prospective cook will have a better chance if he or she wears nice pants and button-down to an interview instead of stained chef’s pants and an old t-shirt.

Accessories

Accessories are nice. They show that you are fun and fashionable. Accessories let other see a little splash of your personality. I would say accessories are a must, but please, don’t overdo it.

You should make sure your accessories aren’t distracting. You want the interviewer looking at your face, not looking at your big dangly earrings. Keep accessories small and to a minimum for your interview.

Be Conservative

Job interviews are not the place for low-cut shirts or skin-tight pants with very few exceptions. Unless you are interviewing for a position that requires you showing a little skin, dress conservatively.

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WHAT TO WEAR FOR AN INTERVIEW DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU DO

The job you are seeking does dictate the clothing you should wear. From lawyers to artists, there is a business friendly attire that will help you in a job interview.

Who cares if they tell you that they all wear jeans? You should always be dressed for an interview nicer than you would be for an actual work day.

And when you are getting yourself prepped and ready for the appointment looking over your resume, researching the company, thinking up the questions you will ask, it is just as important to plan that outfit!

Dress to impress—it really does help you get the job!

WHAT IS BUSINESS CASUAL?

Business casual career coaching tip

If they tell you to come in a business casual outfit you are most likely in a tech related field. You should set the jeans aside and get the khakis and polo's ready.

If you're already yawning learn how to jazz up a business casual outfit with a great leather jacket, and printed scarf, twill, classic oxfords and more. Keep it clean and keep it neat.

WHAT IS BUSINESS FORMAL?

Women's business casual and formal range coaching tip

It is probably exactly what you think. Suits, ties, blazers, jackets, and trousers. If you think you should put these threads on for your interview you are probably a lawyer, a banker, a sales person or in another role where your appearance can be used to help inspire tradition. The old saying "business suits are for doing business in" isn't a bad one!

IS THERE A MIDDLE GROUND?

There sure is! Business Creative - whatever you decide to call the threads you have on, you are someone with a more liberal policy than that stuffy law office. You're a writer, in advertising, maybe you work in design, or maybe you just don't like suits.

Business Creative is keeping the jacket (but not having to), losing the tie, and wearing fabrics that aren't made of the same thing.

Men's business casual and formal interview clothing what to wear

There are so many factors that go into an employer’s decision as to whether or not they will hire you. By dressing appropriately and well for your interview, you are ensuring that you will be considered based on your merits, experience and personality.

You want to get a job based on your skills and potential, and it would be a shame not to get that position because you wore a big, distracting necklace or didn’t think you needed to bother with jacket and tie.

Always have some tailored (not tight) clothing on hand, and if it makes too much noise, makes you fidget, or makes you uncomfortable, for the love of God don't wear it.

Have nice shoes (clean ones), a classic watch, easy on the eyes - not gaudy jewelry, and lay that entire outfit out the night before the big day.

Tips to acing your interview

You may feel like you are waiting to get cracked like an egg before breakfast before your interview, but these situations are not as bad as they seem.

Now that you have your outfit picked out, here are some tips from our career coaches on how to impress your interviewer.

An interviewer must assess your qualifications compared to the other candidates interviewed. Asking you questions is their way of accomplishing that mission. Preparing meaningful responses in advance is your way of impressing the interviewer.

Be prepared to talk about your skills, competencies, qualifications and accomplishments especially as they pertain to the specific opening. Know how to state your likes and dislikes, your strengths, weaknesses and goals succinctly and fluently.

  1. Research the company you are applying for. This should the first step. You might be asked what you know about the company or why you want to work there. If you don’t know anything about the company, you will be caught off guard. Do some research beforehand and take note of important details. In case you will be asked, you can confidently answer.
  2. Practice with a family member or a friend. As clichéd as it may sound, practice really does make perfect. If you are a technical person, you can even take a video of the mock interview which you can replay over and over to study which parts you did well and which areas you didn’t. Research often-asked interview questions and think of how you would answer them.
  3. Prepare for the behavioral questions. Nowadays, the recruitment team of a company often opts for behavioral questions. You might be asked on how you handled situations specific to your job or how you managed to get through a difficulty. This allows them to gauge if you can work well with the company or if you are apt for the post.
  4. Be punctual. Never arrive late. It shows a lack of respect and interest in the job—something you certainly don’t want to convey. Plan ahead and give yourself a “margin for error” in case something goes wrong on the way (your car breaks down, there is a lot of traffic, you can’t find the right office, or other unforeseen events.)
  5. Watch your mannerisms.Your non-verbal communication signifies a lot to your interviewers before you even open your mouth. Make sure you pay attention to conveying the right message. Eye contact is very important. This shows your interviewers that you value them and what they are saying. Do not let your eyes wander. Leaning forward is also a good sign. This conveys that you are interested in the discussion and what your interviewers have to say. Arms crossed may leave a negative impression. The interviewer might think that you are not open to changes and suggestions.
  6. Distinguish yourself. Know how to convey the value you bring to the table – the strengths, unique gifts and marketable assets that are distinctly yours. If you want to stand out in the huge ocean of candidates that represents your competition, you must be prepared to state how you differentiate yourself from the crowd.
  7. Why did you leave your last job? You must be able to respond appropriately to the question of why you left your previous position, assuming you left voluntarily. No matter how challenging your supervisor was or how grueling the workload, you must refrain from saying anything negative and frame your response in a positive light.
  8. Do not discuss salary. Do not discuss salary. Interviewers are aware of average job salaries and want to be sure you are in the ballpark. However, their knowing your salary history or requirements can disqualify you or lock you in to compensation that does not match your worth. If asked, you can simply state that your salary is negotiable.
  9. Establish rapport. While your answers will help the interviewer assess your skills for the position at hand, it’s how you respond that more importantly determines your overall fit with the company. Personality is ninety percent of the battle, and your attitude could be telling them no. At the outset, you must establish a rapport with your interviewer and maintain that chemistry throughout the meeting. You could be the most qualified candidate for the position, but the person with whom the interviewer feels the most comfortable gets the offer.
  10. Ask questions. Be prepared to ask questions — about the position, the company and opportunities for your own growth. This allows you to quickly assess the viability of your pursuing the position further. An interviewer may like you, especially because of your questions, and want you to continue through subsequent interview stages; however, you may decide the job is not for you.
  11. Give attention to the impression you give. Come to the interview dressed appropriately, and on time. Your handshake needs to be firm but not gripping. Eye contact must be maintained throughout the interview. Sit upright in your chair and try not to shift your posture too much. Remember, you’re there to sell yourself; before the interview is over, make sure you ask for the offer.

If you are successful with the interview, you have a bigger chance of finally becoming a part of the company you are applying for. You have the education and experience needed for the job. Do well during the interview and you will land the job.

Now get out there and make a fantastic impression with your amazing appearance!

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Getting ready for an interview? Check out some more guides from our career coaches:

Definitive Interview Questions Guide (with sample answers)

Food service interview questions

What to wear for a bartending interview

For more in depth coaching, reach out to a career coach.


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COMMENTS

  • Esti Chammings
    April 10, 2013

    Thanks for the tips! I've an interview next week and I've been reading all the tips and tricks I can get my hands on! For all you job seekers out there, another tip to keep in mind is not to wear overpowering perfume. I read that it can be very distracting to your interviewer!

  • Daniella Kawawe
    April 11, 2013

    Good luck Esti! I've been interviewing nannies and definitely agree that dressing professionally is a huge must for an interview. Hope you get the job!

  • Esti Chammings
    April 11, 2013

    Thanks Daniella! I appreciate the support!

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