Freelance writer Jocasta Morrison discusses the importance of dressing well for an interview...
"75% of employers agreed that one of the top interview mistakes is inappropriate attire, according to a survey conducted by Adecco. There are several factors that come into play when an employer makes a hiring decision, but how you present yourself through dress speaks volumes. This is why it is so important to research the company dress code so you don’t make an interview faux pas.
“Freelance writer Jocasta Morrison, is back with her thoughts on Interview Attire...“
Company dress codes are established as a guide for employees. The dress code can range from casual to business casual to formal, depending on the company culture and the customers it serves. However, as millennials continue to enter the workforce, even big firms are choosing to dial back the formal dress code to remain competitive in their recruitment efforts. Business casual is now becoming the standard dress code for most organisations, allowing for more flexibility in your Monday to Friday wardrobe.
So, What is Business Casual?
Business casual can be defined as a hybrid between formal and casual. Although formal suits aren’t necessary for a business casual environment, jeans and t-shirts are still inappropriate. So, what would be appropriate?
The business casual concept is broad. The best way to determine what would work for your interview would be to use your resources. Washington based stylist, Alison Gary, suggests using Google to find images of current employees before your interview. Being able to get a visual of what your future coworkers are wearing gives you better insight into the company’s culture and style.
How to Do It Right
It can be exciting to know you can mix up your work style now more than ever. But getting that perfect mesh of relaxed and dressed up can be tricky. When it comes to your interview, err on the conservative, dressier side. Likely, you’ll find that traditional colours are still favoured; black, grey, navy blue, brown, ivory white or taupe. Don’t go for anything that can distract the employer from the actual interview such as noisy jewellery, wacky patterns, and clothing that is skin tight. Instead, try going for accessories that make a subtle statement and toned down, yet unique designs.
Essential pieces include classic blazers, stylish blouses and, button-down shirts, well-fitting pants, and a sweater. Begin with neutral colors and avoid bold statement pieces that can’t be re-worn as often. Stocking your closet with mix and match options gives you a greater variety for everyday wear.
“When choosing an outfit for the interview, remember, when you look good, you feel good,” Diane Gottsman, etiquette expert and founder of the Protocol School of Texas told the New York Times. “Use your wardrobe choices to give an extra boost of self-confidence.”
Better Safe Than Sorry
Though business casual allows you to express yourself more freely, the interview is not a casting call for models. Make time to understand the dress code put in place and do your research to determine the most appropriate interview attire. If you’re unsure whether your outfit would be well-received on a first meeting basis, go with a more formal look. Better safe than sorry, right?"
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