What’s the Proper Attire for First Interviews?

You’ve landed an interview, and you’re ready to make a great impression. So, what should you wear? Use these tips to choose proper attire for first interviews.

How to Choose Proper Attire for First Interviews

Determine Dress Code

You don’t want to arrive to an interview either over or underdressed. Therefore, do a little bit of research. Start by considering the job. If it’s a warehouse position, casual is fine. However, if you’re interviewing at a law firm, you probably want to wear professional, or at least, businesses casual clothes. For additional insight, check out the company’s online presence. How are people dressed in the employee directory or in social media posts? And, if you’re still unsure, simply call the HR manager and ask, “What’s the dress code for interviews?”

Then, follow these guidelines:

Outfits for Men

  • Professional – Wear a two-piece suit with a dress shirt and tie. Choices should be conservative in dark colors. Add dress shoes.
  • Business Casual – Wear dress pants and a button-up shirt. Add leather shoes. Avoid jeans and shirts without collars.
  • Casual – Wear neat jeans with a belt plus a polo or solid color t-shirt. Add closed-toe shoes in good condition. No shorts or hats.

Outfits for Women

  • Professional – Wear a knee-length skirt or a pant suit with a blouse. Choices should be conservative in solid colors. Add dress shoes with a low 2 to 6-inch heel.
  • Business Casual – Wear a knee-length skirt or dress pants with a button-up shirt. Add closed-toe shoes with a low 2 to 6-inch heel.
  • Casual – Wear dark, tailored jeans with a belt plus a nice shirt or blouse. Add closed-toe flats or shoes with a small heel. No shorts or hats.

Pay Attention to Accessories

Keep in mind, your interview outfit doesn’t end with the basics. Think about accessories too. If it’s a cold, drizzly day, you don’t want to show up in your shabby old raincoat. Also plan for:

  • Outwear such as raincoats and winter coats
  • A briefcase (for formal interviews), laptop bag or small matching handbag
  • Matching socks in dark colors or plain tights (for women)

Additionally, if it’s a casual or business casual interview, you may choose a few pieces to reflect your personality. Contemporary styles and/or minimal jewelry are fine but avoid anything flashy or distracting.

Don’t Forget Personal Grooming

That’s right. Even if you have a picture-perfect outfit, a slobby personal appearance will derail your entire look. Finish up with this checklist.

  • Get a haircut a few days before your interview
  • Shower and use deodorant
  • Brush your teeth
  • Comb and style your hair
  • Remove bright nail polish
  • Clean and clip your fingernails
  • Shave or trim your beard (men)
  • Apply light and natural makeup (women)
  • Skip the perfume, aftershave or cologne

Are You Searching for More Interview Advice?

FirstStaff publishes weekly blog posts on topics ranging from common interview questions to post-interview Thank You notes. And, if you’re having trouble landing a job, our recruiters can help with that too. We place light industrial workers, administrative staff and other professionals in Benton, Arkansas and beyond. Learn more about FirstStaff’s hiring process today!

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