Whether you’re on the hunt for a summer internship or in transition between jobs, chances are you’re more focused on perfecting your résumé and getting references lined up than planning what to wear when the time comes for your job interview. However, first impressions are a large part of landing a coveted position for a company you care about, and finding the outfit to wear to a job interview will help give you the confidence you need to march in and blow away the competition.
Follow our tips for making sure your first impression is a lasting one by avoiding the pitfalls in not being prepared to look your best.
Yes, it’s hot outside, and that full suit is looking mighty uninviting, but we caution you from going too far into the casual arena. Sleeveless shirts might be a comfortable option, but in this case, it is more important to look professional than to look relaxed. Sleeveless shirts send the wrong signal, and if you’re not exceptionally careful with your body language, you could flash a little bit of pit to the person you’re trying your hardest to impress.
Open-toed heels are okay, but sandals, flip-flops or any other form of footwear that you might wear to the beach are not. If you’re worried about hurting your feet and being distracted by uncomfortable footwear on the day of your interview, simply wear sneakers to your destination and do a quick-change into more stylish shoes once you get there.
Let’s face it, wrinkles happen. However, they look sloppy in person, and will be a noticeable detractor from your appearance on your important day. There are two ways to avoid wrinkles: first, make sure to press your clothes and lay them out the night before, or, second, choose an outfit in a fabric that resists wrinkles (think nylon, Lycra, or work-appropriate denim).
Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” This is an accessorization mantra to live by, especially when it comes to a job interview. Leave the over-the-top jewelry at home, and opt for simple pieces instead. Major statement jewelry can be distracting, and during a job interview you want the focus to be on what you’re saying, your responses, and your qualifications, not on a blinged-out bib necklace or a huge jewel-encrusted cuff.