Dress for Interview Success

interview2Choosing what to wear every morning is a daily struggle. Combine that with the stress of an interview, and it can become nearly impossible. You want to make the best impression, but you don’t want to come off “too stuffy” or “too casual”. So, what do you wear? Here are a few tips to help guide you to dressing for interview success:

1. Research.  Look into the culture of the company you are interviewing for. Are they corporate and wearing suits on a daily basis? Or are they more casual and wearing jeans? These are important cues to what you should wear in order to look appropriate. Think about the work culture. You want to ooze “I’m part of the team” from the moment you walk in the door.

2. Accessories – less is more.  Don’t over do it. Don’t do anything that takes the focus away from you. Bracelets clanging against each other while you move your hands to speak, definite no-no. You can afford to be a bit more subtle during the interview process. Also, this is more of a suggestion than a hard and fast rule, but no jewelry is better than cheap jewelry. Just something to think about.

3. Be well-manicured. This goes for your entire head-to-toe look. Your hair should be neat and, unless you are applying for a makeup artist position, your makeup should be natural and kept to a minimum. As for nails, they should be trimmed and clean with unchipped polish. Trust me, these little details go a long way.

4. Color coordination. Navy, black, white, and grey have been interview staples since the dawn of time. If your industry is a bit more lax and you want to steer clear of a formal suit, try khakis or a business skirt, and a nice top. You can add a little pop of color to your ensemble but try to steer clear of neon colors or bright reds. Don’t let your ensemble overpower you. There’s a good reason why navy, black, white, and grey have been staples for so long.

5. When in doubt, overdress…slightly. While you may be interviewing with a startup where everyone wears jeans and a t-shirt, you don’t want to come off as a slob. A good first impression is still the goal. You are trying to make a lasting memory and stand out from the other applicants. In the immortal words of Coco Chanel, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.”

Ultimately it’s important to truly present yourself well. Interviewing is stressful enough; don’t let your clothes add to it. Incorporate these simple tips for your next interview and get a good night’s rest. Tomorrow your new life awaits.