Career-Ready Style | Best Interview Attire

Congratulations: you have landed that dream interview, and now you are preparing to make the best first impression! A few questions that may arise are What should I wear? and What should I stray away from? When putting together an interview outfit, try to be mindful of various factors from the length of a garment to the color scheme. You should always appear professional and polished when preparing your winning look. Here are tips on how to dress smartly and make sure employers remember you in the best way possible.

Pay Attention to Hemlines
One sure-fire way to undermine your success at an interview is to wear a dress or skirt that is too short. Not only is it distracting in the moment, but it also gives the impression that you are ready for a party – not the office. If you wear a garment that is above the knee, stray away from a space larger than an inch. Also, consider color as well as length – a navy blue dress that hits above the knee is considerably less risqué than a bright pink one. Another option to make the length of the garment less noticeable is to wear tights and pair it with ballet flats. When in doubt, try on the item and look in a full-length mirror and consider all angles. If you have to pull it down in the back or if you cannot sit comfortably, it is probably best to pass up that style.

Think Neutral
A tip to remember is that neutrals are always a great option – if you want employers to remember you, not your outfit. Muted tones such as white, tan, navy, forest green, and grey are suitable choices for professional attire. A structured, collared blouse or shirt and black slacks work perfectly for both men and women. If you would like an entirely achromatic outfit, opt for light pink and beige tones and pair it with khaki pants or jeans. Make a classic outfit more refined by adding a watch, handbag, tie, or pocket square that has gold or white undertones.

Pop of color
If neutrals are just not your thing and you want to wear color without looking too dramatic, there are ways to incorporate bright tones into your interview outfit. A good choice to select a bright-colored blouse or light jacket as opposed to colorful pants. Solid tones will look more professional even if it is eye-catching: red, bright blue, orange, or a vivid purple are great options. Though there are ways to make most colors interview-friendly, some can still be a bit too abrasive, and it’s best to avoid them. Yellow, bright green, and neon pink, to name a few, can be distracting, despite your styling attempts. If you are not comfortable with a pop of color in your outfit, try a handbag, sash, tie, or even a pair of shoes that are a bit flashier.

Blazers & Coats
Not only are blazers a trending item, but they instantly add polish to any interview outfit. This style also offers versatility: you can wear a blouse with pants, a skirt, or dress underneath for a classic look. A lightweight coat also allows you to showcase your sense of style without going over-the-top. There are various styles to choose from, like tweed, patterns, or bright solid colors. If you opt for a patterned or textured blazer, select one undertone and use that as a building block for the rest of your outfit. For example, a jacket with black undertones can be matched with a dark-toned dress or pair of pants.

Depending on the position that you are interviewing for, you may want to shift the focus away from your outfit entirely. In cases like this, let your accessories showcase your style without interfering with your look. For both men and women – jewelry is always a go-to for adding personality to any outfit. Watches, rings, necklaces, and bracelets add a touch of detail without going overboard. Shoes, handbags, and ties are a great piece to wear if you are in doubt. Some accessories are not interview friendly, no matter the industry. Stray away from hats, heavy jackets, flashy scarves, boots, open-toed shoes, or overly high heels.

Ready for your next career opportunity? Goodwill provides no-cost career services for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job. We offer resume building and interview workshops to help you land the job! Goodwill’s My Career Advisor is the best place to start if you’re planning for the future. Signing up is quick, easy, and free.


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