Interview Attire Tips for New Grads

Interviews can be nerve-wracking. Researching appropriate interview attire and coming up with your perfect, go-to interview outfit can allow you to focus on other preparations instead. Below are several tips for first-time interviewers to help avoid common interview attire mistakes.

Avoid loud colors and patterns.

Wearing a bright purple suit or tie dye button-down may seem like a choice that showcases your personality, but the employer might remember you for your over-the-top clothing rather than your qualifications. Err on the side of caution by choosing solid, conservative colors, like black, navy, grey, or beige, and subtle patterns, like pinstripes.

Trade in “club wear” for more professional clothing.

“Club wear” is an umbrella term for anything too tight, too short, too revealing, or too casual for an interview or business setting. For women, that means that skirts should be knee-length, heels a moderate height, and tops that are not too low-cut. For men, be sure your shirt has appropriate sleeves and is not too tight or too casual.

Keep an eye on details and consider accessories.

Will you need to take notes during your interview? Show off your portfolio? Collect business cards? You may consider bringing a briefcase or professional business folder with you to carry any interview items you might need, rather than scrambling at the last minute to find an interview-appropriate bag or purse.

In addition, think about the smaller pieces of your interview attire. Are your nails clean? What jewelry, if any, are you wearing? How will you style your hair? The details of how you present yourself are as important as ensuring that your attire is appropriate.

When in doubt, overdress.

Sometimes, job listings will say that an interview is casual or the place of employment is known for having a lax dress code. Regardless, it is best to overdress rather than underdress. Unless the employer has given you specific guidelines for what to wear, stick to traditional interview attire. Even employers with a nonexistent dress code could still be expecting a suit and tie – going too casual could cause you to lose the job opportunity.

Avoid these common mistakes when selecting your interview outfit and you’ll look professional and polished! Good luck on the interview!

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