While this is an age-old dilemma, the question of what to wear to an interview, both for bosses and candidates, is still hard to figure out. In a world where we have been working remotely, where everything seems in flux, but office culture is more casual than formal, how can you make sure you are properly dressed for an interview? Additionally, in a market where candidates now have more leverage than they used to, how should interviewers be dressed?
A casual approach has been the trend for both in-person and on-screen interviews over the last 2 years. A Zoom interview isn’t an invitation to show up in your pajamas, but you could totally make do with a clean white T-shirt. Another question that crosses people’s mind is: Will wearing your best business suit get you an offer, or will it make you appear tense and eager?
Dress for the part
As every sane piece of advice would tell you, before you decide what to wear for an interview, make sure you’re looking up your interviewer. Are they more serious or casual? For example, if you’re meeting with a partner at a law firm, you may want to wear a full suit to be read as serious. But if you’re interviewing for a consulting firm, you can easily skip the cuff links and the tie, making you read as more modern.
Dressing up for an interview is extremely dependent on the field you’re in and what kind of work you do. But in 2022, if your personal style isn’t extremely pronounced, having a few polished pieces you could wear in your everyday life that can elevate any outfit are essential and extremely useful when it comes to attending an interview.
A neat and crisp polo shirt is usually a great way to go for candidates, but a plain, well-fitting Oxford button-up will definitely always go well. If greater formality is desired, a tie or sweater with a collar underneath can be added. This alternative communicates that you’re relaxed and confident, but not desperate.
Now for bosses, it’s a little trickier. What you’re wearing will help identify how you are perceived, and that’s the first thing you have to determine: Do you want to be an approachable boss? Do you want to come off as serious? Do you want to be extremely authoritative or more easygoing?
Determining the answer to this question, as well as taking into consideration the field you’re in will help you easily determine what kind of outfit to wear to an interview.
In related reading, following up after a job interview is key – here’s what you should do.