We’re often asked what to wear to a job interview. It does depend on the job you’re applying for, and it depends on the company you’re applying to. Sometimes it also depends on your counterpart in an interview.
But there are a few staples that can always be considered. Below is our quick overview. Spoiler: It’s easier than you might think.
1) Our most important advice: feel comfortable!
You should always feel comfortable. This is also (or: especially!) relevant in a job interview. The more comfortable you feel, the better you can convey your personality and strengths to your counterpart.
2) Take a shower before jumping into that interview.
It sounds funny, but even if it’s a video call, take a shower before the appointment. It’s a trick that some of our candidates told us about. You feel fresher, better and appear more confident. If it’s an on-site interview, it goes without saying that you should shower. (If the interview is in the afternoon, don’t worry: a shower in the morning is enough :D) Applicants who present a clean image, convey the impression of being reliable in business. And on top: it’s one red flag that you can easily avoid. Pro tip: trim your fingernails. It’s an old school trick interviewers look at.
3) Wear clean clothes. And a clean pair of shoes.
This sounds like a given, but it really isn’t. Every once in a while, we all forget to have that one set of clothes ready that we really planned on wearing. Prepare a set of clean clothes for your interview day. Our advice is to think about it the day before and have it ready. That way you don’t get tangled up in outfit choices on the day itself. Pro tip: Clean shoes are especially important. It’s an old school trick, but some interviewers like to look at the shoes of an interviewee to evaluate how he or she looks after things.
4) Casual wear is the new normal.
Good news for all “casual wear” aficionados: Simultaneously to the rise of remote working, casual wear has become completely normal. That is, not only at home. Astonishingly enough, this has quickly been applied to the office. Many of the companies we work with, who previously relied on formal business attire, are now welcoming casual wear. Our advice if you decide to go casual for an interview: choose business casual. Even if the company’s dress code is t-shirts and jeans, maybe decide to wear a blouse, a button-down shirt, or a polo shirt instead of the t-shirt. One level above the company’s dress code gives you a professional and polished appearance.
5) You’re never overdressed in a suit (or statement dress).
Don’t worry: even at casual organizations such as a start-up, nobody is going to get upset with you if you show up in a suit. It may be surprising at first, but it’s still a traditional way of showing your respect for the interview itself and for the effort you’re putting into the interview. Side effect: it can make you feel confident. If you realize that everybody in the room is wearing a t-shirt, you can still lay off your jacket.
6) There are a few things you should best avoid, even if “casual is the new normal”:
- Don’t wear a hat, sandals, shorts, or a too short dress/skirt.
- Go easy on the accessoires to an outfit, i.e. excessive jewelry. And don’t wear headphones around your neck. Even if you’re a software developer :)
- Perfume and cologne may smell nice, but be conservative when applying it. Some people are more sensitive.
7) And to end things on a cheesy note: the best thing you can wear is a smile!
Cheesy, but it really helps.
If you need more detailed advice, feel free to ask us before a job interview. We can quickly address additional questions together. Up until then: we hope you all feel fabulous in your interview outfits. 🐦