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What Is Acceptable To Wear to a Job Interview?

What Is Acceptable To Wear to a Job Interview?

It’s hard enough to pick out an everyday outfit—how are you supposed to choose an outfit for something as important as a job interview? While finding the sweet spot between over and underdressing is a challenge, planning your outfit shouldn’t take your focus away from preparing for the interview. Before the big day arrives, learn about what is acceptable to wear to a job interview so that you can set yourself up for success with any company.

Before You Pick Your Outfit, Do Your Research!

No two job offers are the same, so how you prepare will depend on the business interviewing you. You’ll want to research the company you’re interviewing anyway, so adding a bit of wardrobe espionage to your itinerary isn’t too difficult. To cheat a little, look on the company website to see if there are pictures of existing employees—it can help you know if you need to hide anything during the interview, such as tattoos or piercings.

Consider the following elements of the company in question.

What Do They Do?

What your potential employer does in their field sometimes doesn’t make a difference, but it can become a deciding factor when it matters. If you’re seeking a job in the fashion industry or at an upper-crust department store, dressing formally is the way to go.

When applying for a job that you know has a strict dress code for employee safety, such as closed-toe shoes or pants, adhere to it to show that you have some expertise in the field.

How Big Are They?

Smaller, homegrown businesses and companies may not look for someone who dresses too formally—they could want to match the laid-back attitude of their location. Dress business casual at most.

Should You Wear Outerwear to the Interview?

If you have an interview and it’s freezing outside, do you sacrifice your own comfort to avoid showing up in a full coat and sweater outfit? No—sometimes a coat is necessary for you to brave the weather outside. However, what you wear under the coat is important, as extra outerwear can amplify your outfit or make it look too bulky. Outerwear is different from your regular clothes and serves a unique purpose. Consider if your outfit is doing too much before taking it to the interview!

What To Do With Your Hair

For Black women especially, hair is a point of contention in what is acceptable to wear to an interview due to the employer’s personal biases and prejudice. What matters the most during an interview is that you’re confident in your hair, whether you keep it natural or braid it. So long as it’s neat by your standards, it’s beautiful enough for any potential employer.

If you need help knowing whether your hair is distracting or not, ask a good friend who has similar hair to yours. Remember—the employer needs to impress you as well, and if they judge you based on your everyday hairstyle, they’re not worthy of your presence, period.