Deciding what to wear to an interview can be a pain. Choosing appropriately is important since your appearance is one of the few things that is completely in your control. No one is going to ask you a question so difficult that your shirt is going to turn green. However, in order to take some of the stress off, we’re going to give you some guidelines on interview attire. I’m a believer in the idea that no article of clothing is inherently off limits— it’s all about how you wear it. With that in mind, here are some ways to test yourself. This is what not to wear to an interview.
Anything you would wear to paint a room
Jean shorts and oversized t-shirts are obvious interview no-nos. However, don’t forget about footwear. Any kind of tennis shoe or sandal that you wouldn’t mind getting paint on is too casual for an interview.
Anything you would wear to babysit
If you would risk little Timmy throwing macaroni on that shirt, it probably isn’t nice enough to wear to an interview. Additionally, anything comfortable enough to wear on a play date in the park is probably too informal for a day at the office.
Anything that used to be nice, but you wore to paint a room or babysit
In other words, your interview clothes should always be in good condition. Everything you wear should be free of stains, wrinkles and other damage. Additionally, anything too old or faded should also be avoided. You want to come across as savvy and energetic, which is difficult to do in a shirt that used to be green (and, er, isn’t anymore). However, this is not to say that you can’t find some awesome used clothes that would be interview appropriate.
Anything you would wear to a night club
This not only includes clothing, but also makeup and hairstyle. Don’t get me wrong, I love sequins, low necklines, short skirts, body glitter, blue eye shadow, big hair, body glitter, platform shoes and animal print. However, none of these things are interview appropriate.
Anything you wore to work five years ago
This rule is two-fold. First, make sure your clothes fit properly. Anything you have to wriggle into, or talk your roommate into zipping, is probably a bad idea. Second, you should dress for the job you want. When you walk into your interview, you should be projecting an improved version of yourself, whether you work at a daycare or a law firm; whether that means new jeans and bright sneakers, or a tailored suit and briefcase.
What tips do you have for interview attire? Or what tragic (but humorous) mistakes would you like to share? Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb