What to Wear to a Job Interview – 7 Tips and Tricks

We’ve all been there.  Found an exciting a new position, put our CV forward and received the good news that we have secured an interview.  So far so good.  But what to wear? Interview attire can be a minefield,  but don’t worry- at Journey Recruitment we are here to help with our 7 tips and tricks on What to Wear to a Job Interview.

In recent years we have seen dress codes relaxed across many of the companies that we partner with, but interviews still call for more formal wear and it’s best to play it safe when meeting potential employers for the first time.  After all, according to psychologicalscience.org, it only takes someone 1/10th of a second to form a first impression about you based on what they see.

What to Wear to a Job Interview – 7 Tips and Tricks:

  1. Speak to your recruiter about the company style and ask for advice. Your recruiter will know the company well and will be able to guide you/ ask the Hiring Manager what they would like you to wear on the day. Some companies are more casual, so sometimes Hiring Managers do tell interviewees or recruiters to come to their interview more casual beforehand, but if in doubt, read bullet point 2.
  2. If in doubt – dress to impress! You can always relax your style once you join the business and get a feel for what is acceptable and appropriate, but our clients are always very impressed with those who dress in “business formal” attire such as suits and blazers.
  3. Let your personality shine rather than your outfit!  Wear a smile and let the focus be on your abilities and skills. Any clothing that is too “busy” could distract the Hiring Manager from the important thing – your skills and experience!
  4. Be comfortable and always check the weather beforehand. It’s worth taking a jacket even in the summer as office air conditioning can leave you a little too cool. If you are taking the train and walking, take an umbrella just in case you get caught in the rain.
  5. Avoid uncomfortable, stained or ill fitting clothes and steer clear of overpowering logos which might distract your interviewer. Cleanliness is always key, and you’d be surprised how many people don’t iron their shirt or walk in with a stain. Also, some of our team have fallen victim to new heels that don’t fit correctly or are tough to walk in. If you go on a company tour, you want to be comfortable so make sure to wear comfy shoes.
  6. Accessorise with a bag large enough for a pen and notebook. You may want to take some notes in the interview or have some questions pre-written down. Also, a bottle of water is always a great idea just incase you get a dry throat.
  7. Familiarise yourself with the difference between business formal, business casual and smart casual. These terms can be a bit of a minefield, but we have popped a brief overview below to help.
  • Business Formal – Business formal is the “go to” for interviews. Think well fitted suits, potentially a tie and ironed shirts. You can also go for a formal “business dress” with a suit jacket or tailored skirt and jacket. Make sure you wear formal shoes that are polished. Flat formal pumps are always great, as heels can be difficult to walk in!
  • Business Casual – Business casual is still very smart, but slightly more relaxed than business formal. This has become a very common interview/ office attire and typically includes a nice blazer, but not a typical suit blazer, an ironed shirt, no tie and chinos. This can also include smart blazers for women, blouses, skirts, or formal trousers. Shoes would probably be the same as business formal.
  • Smart Casual – Smart casual is the least formal version of the three. Think shirts and chinos with formal shoes and blouses and casual trousers.

Help with all aspects of interview preparation is something that we pride ourselves on at Journey Recruitment and our consultants are always on hand to guide you through the process.   Please do check out our new jobs here and let us do the rest!