What Not To Wear To An Informal Interview Essay

The 6 worst things to wear to a job interview

Before you schedule your next interview, be sure to review this list of the six worst things to wear for a job interview.

Wearing the right thing will help make a great first impression.

When you’re invited to a job interview, one wrong move can blow your chances. Even wearing the wrong thing can distract an employer from your polished resume and outstanding experience.

 

Before you schedule your next interview, be sure to review this list of the six worst things to wear for a job interview.

Ill-fitting clothes 

If you haven’t worn your interview outfit recently, you might find it doesn’t fit the way it used to. Don’t try to pull it off, though. You won’t look your best and you won’t feel comfortable -- and it will show.

 

“Better to wear an outfit that is tailored to suit you, rather than anything that feels or looks too tight or too short,” says Stacy Lindenberg, owner of Talent Seed Consulting. “It may not only give the wrong impression, it may also be distracting. Tugging at your skirt hem, for example, is another distraction that takes away from the focus on you and your skills.”

Overly casual clothes 

Even if you’re interviewing at a laid-back workplace, it’s still possible to take the casual concept too far, says Trevor Simm, founder and president of OpalStaff. “Do not wear jeans, tennis shoes, shorts, t-shirts, hats, flip-flops, or any garments with messages or brands written on them,” he says. “For men wearing a suit, do not wear loud, obnoxious colors, busy-printed shirts or overly patterned ties.” Take the conservative approach, and save the fun stuff for after you’ve got the job.

Anything distracting 

There’s a fine line between standing out and wearing something that’s just distracting. In the interview process, you should err on the side of caution and tone it down. “Better to choose subtle patterns over brighter ones, and dark or neutral clothing versus neon colors or anything distracting,” Lindenberg says. “You should be the focus of the interview, not your clothing.”

 

“Women should not wear anything too revealing or low cut,” Simm says. “No platform heels, no sun dresses, nothing too trendy. Make up and jewelry should also be toned down. For men and women both, it's generally a good idea to stick with the basics: a black, blue, or grey suit and the associated conservative accoutrement."

Excessive accessories 

You might like to make a statement with your jewelry, but the job interview isn’t the time to do so, says Annette Richmond, executive editor of Career Intelligence. “Stay away from jewelry that jingle-jangles, which can be very distracting for an interviewer.”

 

Experts advise against wearing perfume and cologne as well. “You may feel like something is missing when you refrain from wearing your favorite fragrance, but this is one more thing that can be distracting during the interview,” Lindenberg says. “In addition, many people have sensitivity or allergies to fragrances. Play it safe!”

Something very different from what the interviewer suggested 

It’s a good idea to ask about what’s expected of you when you’re setting up a job interview. “Always ask the point person that set up the interview for advice on what to wear,” says Carl Sharperson, vice president of the Kidder Group recruiting firm. “If you wear something that is significantly different than the instructions that you were given, then you stand a good chance of turning off the interviewers.”

The obvious 

“Never attend any interview with ill-fitting, sweat-stained, smelling like smoke, dog or cat hair covered clothing that looks like something you slept in,” says headhunter Michael Mayher. “Never wear the same ensembles you would wear out to a bar or nightclub with your friends.” Mayher also says “ridiculously sculpted fingernails” on women and “pointy shoes and contrasting socks” for men are no-nos.

 

“When in doubt, overdress for the first interview,” he says. “If you're an adult and need to be told these things you probably are not right for the job.”

Dress for success

Keep in mind that what you wear is only part of the impression you make on your interviewer. You also need to prepare for the questions themselves. Need some help in that department? We've got you covered. Join Monster today. As a member, you'll get career advice and job-search tips—including how to answer those tricky interview questions—sent straight to your inbox. We'll help you look smart so you can put your best polished foot forward.


The way you present yourself at an interview can play a large part in the first impression you give off, so make sure you dress smartly and appropriately.

Knowing what to wear for a job interview is half the battle of the interview itself. The old adage could never be so true, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”

When you’re going to a job interview, your appearance is extremely important. Whether or not you look professional or sloppy could play a huge role in whether your interview feels that you are suitable for the job.

Check out the company culture:

When first deciding what to wear for a job interview, you should first take into consideration the culture of the company you are interviewing with, and dress accordingly. Are you interviewing with a company where the employees wear suits everyday or do they wear t-shirts and jeans?

A suit is not always the best choice for a job interview. If you show up wearing a suit and tie and all the employees are wearing shorts and flip-flops, you will look out of place, feel uncomfortable and may give off the wrong energy. The same is true of the opposite. If you show up wearing shorts and flip-flops to a company that wears professional attire, it could give the impression that you are not a good fit for the company.

The industry you are interviewing for should also be taken into consideration, as the dress code for an accounting firm is likely to be different to that of a construction company, for example.

Match the interviewer:

If you want to get the job, your choice of what to wear for a job interview should match or be slightly dressier than the dresscode of the company. For example, if the normal work attire of the company is business casual, it’s ok to wear a suit to impress. If the normal work attire is casual, it’s ok to wear a business casual outfit to impress as well.

After you decide whether a professional, business casual, or casual outfit is most appropriate for your interview, here are some guidelines you may want to follow when deciding what to wear for your job interview.

The key is to wear clothing that you feel comfortable and look great in, while at the same time matching the corresponding dress code of the company. That way you’ll give off great energy and let your true personality shine through.

Present yourself neatly:

Make sure your clothes are clean and neatly ironed. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail more than wrinkled or dirty clothing. Select clothing that fits properly, as ill-fitting clothing can appear scruffy and you wearing clothes that fit will help you to feel comfortable and relax in your interview.

Good grooming and hygiene is essential, so make sure you have clean hair, fingernails, fresh breath, deodorant, etc. Hair should be styled in a neat but manageable style, as the last thing you want to be doing during the interview is stressing about your fancy new up-do coming unpinned, however I recommend you keep it pulled back from your face. Men, if you have facial hair, be sure to give it a trim/comb through ahead of the interview, so that you look as neat and tidy as possible.

Perfume and aftershave should be used sparingly, so that it is not overpowering and the same goes for makeup, that should be kept subtle. Don’t wear flashy jewellery, as it may become distracting and you’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.

Avoid loud prints:

It’s good to show a bit of personality in your outfit choice, however it is best to stick to block colours, rather than loud, busy prints. Don’t be afraid of going for a slightly brighter shade, as it can help you to stand out and appear more confident. Try to find a balance between smart and stylish.

Novelty ties and socks are best avoided. Yes, the interviewer will notice!

Accessorise smartly:

You can inject a bit of personality into your outfit with the accessories that you select, so if you’d rather play it safe with your outfit choice, why no pair it with a nice bag or pair of shoes?

Accessories should be kept smart, so if you are taking a bag with you, a smart satchel, briefcase or handbag would be the better option over a backpack.

Shoes should be clean and newish looking. Keep heels at a sensible height.

 

 

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