What to Wear

What to Wear: Outfits Perfect for a Job Interview

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Job interview outfits on your mind? As if looking for a job isn’t stressful enough! I’ll take the guesswork out of what to wear!

Button-down shirts, dress pants, a tailored suit, high heels, a black dress, jeans, ballet flats…what do you wear to your next job interview? You might have lots of clothes in your closet, but still no idea what to wear to leave a good impression on a potential employer.

Job Interview Outfits 

what to wear to a job interview for women - JK Style

Making a Lasting Impression with Your Attire

In the world of job interviews, first impressions count for a lot. Beyond your qualifications and experience, your appearance plays a crucial role in shaping how potential employers perceive you. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about projecting professionalism, confidence, and suitability for the role you’re aiming for.

Imagine walking into a job interview dressed impeccably, feeling poised and ready to tackle any question thrown your way. Your outfit not only speaks volumes about your personal style but also communicates your understanding of the company culture and your respect for the opportunity before you.

Today we’ll talk about the art of choosing the perfect outfit for a job interview. From understanding the company culture to selecting appropriate attire for different industries, we’ll cover everything you need to know to dress for success. Whether you’re aiming for a corporate position, a creative role, or something in between, we’ve got you covered with practical tips and outfit ideas to help you make a lasting impression.

So, let’s dive in and explore how you can use your wardrobe to stand out in the competitive world of job interviews. After all, when it comes to landing your dream job, every detail counts – starting with what you wear.

woman in a red blazer with a coffee mug sitting at a table for a job interview

Researching the Company Culture: The “What’s Your Dress Code?” Detective Work

Alright, before you start picking out your interview outfit, let’s do a bit of detective work, shall we? You wouldn’t show up to a beach party in a tuxedo, right? Same goes for a job interview – you’ve got to dress the part!

First up, snoop around the company’s website. Check out their “About Us” or “Culture” page – they might drop hints about their vibe and dress code. Do they have social media accounts? Take a look around for photos!

Does it look like a casual environment? Is it more formal? Is everyone in knee-length skirts, a dress shirt, or a black or navy suit?

Next stop: social media stalking! Hit up their LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter – wherever they’re hanging out online. Look for photos of employees or company events. What are they wearing? Suits and ties? Jeans and hoodies? Are they more formal or business casual?

Still not sure? Time to call in reinforcements! Reach out to anyone you know who works there or has insider info. They can spill the tea on what’s cool and what’s not when it comes to dressing for success at that company.

Remember, the goal here isn’t to be a fashion spy – it’s about blending in while still standing out. So, gather your intel and let’s get styling!

General Guidelines for Job Interview Attire: Dress to Impress (Without Overdoing It)

Alright, now that we’ve got a handle on the company culture, let’s talk about the golden rules of job interview fashion. Think of these as your trusty style commandments – they’ll steer you in the right direction every time.

First off, let’s talk cleanliness. This might sound obvious, but you’d be surprised how many folks forget this one. Your clothes should be clean, pressed, and looking sharp.  

Next up, fit is key. You don’t want to be swimming in your suit or squeezing into your shirt. Not only is it distracting for people looking at you, you’ll likely feel uncomfortable and not be in the right frame of mind to showcase your brilliant personality. Find clothes that fit you well and flatter your body type. Trust me, it’ll make you feel like a million bucks.

Now, let’s talk modesty. Skip the cleavage and short skirts – a job interview is definitely not the time or place. Keep it classy and professional for the interview process.

Speaking of professional, let’s talk colors and patterns. You don’t have to necessarily stick to neutral colors like black, navy, gray, and white. (But definitely save the neon leopard print for another occasion.) As for patterns, subtle is the name of the game. A simple pinstripe or check is A-okay, but leave the Hawaiian shirts at home. The goal is a professional look, even if the job itself won’t call for professional attire.

Last but not least, keep it simple. You want be remembered for your skills and smarts! Less is more, my friend.

Follow these guidelines, and you’ll be dressed to impress – without overdoing it. 

woman in a brown blazer sitting at a table conducting a job interview for another woman

Outfit Ideas for Different Industries: Dressing the Part for Your Dream Job

Alright, let’s get down to business and talk outfits for the type of job at different industries. Whether you’re aiming for a corporate gig, a creative role, or something in between, here’s the inside scoop on how to dress to impress.

1. Corporate World:

  • For the corporate crowd, it’s all about classic sophistication. Think tailored suits in neutral colors like black, navy, or charcoal gray. Don’t own a suit? Or like the look? Neutral dress pants or a pencil skirt will work.
  • Pair your suit or pants/pencil skirt with a crisp button-down shirt or simple blouse in solid colors or a subtle pattern.
  • Finish off the look with polished heels or chic flats, and minimal accessories. Simple stud earrings and a bracelet or watch will add just the right touch of personality.

2. Creative Industries:

  • If you’re applying for a job in the creative field, you’ve got a bit more wiggle room to show off your personal style.
  • Swap out the suit for a stylish blazer paired with tailored trousers or dark jeans (if you’re certain jeans are part of the company’s dress code).
  • Mix things up with bold and bright colors, interesting patterns, or statement accessories.
  • Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through – whether it’s with fun dress shoes, quirky jewelry, or a gorgeous bag.
  • Finish off the look with a pair of trendy shoes. You’ll look polished and professional with a creative edge.

3. Tech and Startup Scene:

  • Tech and startup companies tend to have a more laid-back vibe, but that doesn’t mean you should show up in your pajamas (tempting as it may be!).
  • Opt for smart casual attire, like a simple shirt paired with easy trousers. You can skip the suit, but make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle-free.
  • Layering is your friend – throw on a lightweight blazer or cardigan for a polished yet relaxed look.
  • Finish off the outfit with casual shoes or subtle heels. Comfort is key when you’re spending long hours coding or brainstorming in the office.

4. Everywhere Else:

Teachers, “office jobs”, retail, etc.

  • You can’t go wrong with this formula: neutral pants, solid blouse/top, non-sneaker shoes.
  • Add a cardigan or blazer for the perfect finishing touch.

When in doubt, OVER DRESS. You don’t need to go out and buy a suit if you’re applying as an administrative assistant, but you do want to leave the jeans at home and dress up a bit. Regardless of the industry, taking time to choose a nice outfit is a sign of respect for what will hopefully be your new employer! 

Remember, the key is to dress the part while still staying true to yourself. So whether you’re suited up for the boardroom or rocking a more laid-back look, own it with confidence and you’ll be sure to make a lasting impression.

A few more tips to follow:

DO

  • Lean toward conservative colors and prints – it doesn’t have to be beige, just maybe not neon green! (Again, the industry may dictate otherwise, but if you’re not sure, err on the side of caution!)
  • Find something comfortable and that FITS – if you’re needing to constantly fidget with the clothing to keep it in place you’re going to be very distracted in the interview.
  • Wear something that makes you feel good! That sweater that always earns a compliment or that blazer that makes you feel put-together, etc. If you feel good about your clothes, you’ll feel more confident elsewhere!

DON’T

  • Wear sneakers, even if it’s a super casual environment, at least grab a pair of flats 
  • Wear jeans – again, opt for a pair of pants if dresses or skirts aren’t your thing
  • Wear anything distressed 
  • Wear anything too revealing – it’s a job interview, not a date

Need some more ideas on what to wear? Check out a couple more outfit ideas below, all items are under $50, and most are much less!

blue shirt dress with brown ankle-strap heels, cream handbag and gold chain necklace

Dress // Necklace // Bag // Heels

pink short-sleeve blouse, black trousers, gray cardigan, gold hoop earrings, and black quilted flats

Maternity Top // Pants // Cardigan // Earrings// Shoes

gray short-sleeve blouse, black pencil skirt, red blazer, black heels

Top // Skirt // Blazer// Heels

 

blue and black printed short-sleeve blouse, black trousers, black blazer, and black slingback heels

Top // Pants // Jacket // Shoes

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