We watched our parents getting dressed up for the office while patiently waiting for the day we get to dress up for our dream job. But it seems after receiving the call letter; we no longer remember what work appropriate or how simple it should be is. We all have the same question and wonder what to wear to an interview. Let us guide you through the same.
According to research published in Social Psychological And Personality Science(2015), wearing business formals enhanced abstract thinking, creativity, and strategizing. In another study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology(2014), it was found that formal clothing helps win in negotiating deals.
What Is Appropriate and What Is Not?
The proverb “dress the part”, is not a metaphor today. Interviews aren’t only for your skill assessment, but the team also checks if you fit their professional environment. We are here to guide you on what to wear to an interview.
A student’s wardrobe is very different from a professional wardrobe. While students generally wear jeans and t-shirts to college, these are a big no during the interviews. Here is a complete guide to that invincible interview dress code. These tried and tested interview dress code tips can be applied to almost any vertical (at your discretion).
What to Wear to an Interview
1. The main Outfit
The interview dress code for males is very straightforward. If wearing a suit, opt for solid colours. Choose a linen/cotton collared shirt in soothing colours like white, blue, grey, and other pastel shades. Do not wear silk shirts as they are totally out of line for a professional look. Make sure that the outfit is ironed, and there are no stains. For the bottoms, choose a pair of dark-coloured regular fitting trousers or chinos. Do not wear very tight-fitting clothes. Avoid printed shirts or pants. Complete your formal look with a decent leather belt. Do not forget to wear socks.
2. The Footwear
Wear well-fitted formal shoes with or without laces. Generally, candidates opt for black shoes. However, you can also choose brown shoes provided they go with the outfit. A polished shoe speaks volumes about your personality. So, make sure your shoes are without a speck of dust on them. Do not wear sneakers!
3. The Accessories
Wear a simple wristwatch, preferably with a metallic or leather strap. Avoid using fancy analogue sports watches. You can wear a tie if you want, but generally, people don’t wear a tie these days.
4. Personal Hygiene
Along with your skillset, your presentation matters. It’s essential to look smart with the right dressing and proper hygiene. With the appropriate dressing, you have to maintain a professional haircut, well-groomed facial hair, trimmed nails, etc. The question isn’t always what to wear to an interview; it is also how to look the part. Bad breath can set you back enormously. Also, make sure you have no body odour coming from you. Use deodorants, mist, etc.
1. The Main Outfit
Women have an extensive range of clothing to choose from, which means more confusion! You can choose a solid-coloured blazer that you can pair with a skirt or trousers. Black is the classic choice for skirts or trousers. Blouses or shirts should be simple without unnecessary frills.
Choose from pastel and neutral colours to make a statement. Grey, white, and light blue shades are the most preferred shirt colours. To be confident, make sure your upper body inners are not visible. Wear a camisole over the inner for proper coverage. If you are sitting for a PSUs or any government body interview, you can opt for a simple salwar kameez or saree.
2. The Footwear
For your safety, do not wear high heels. Wear comfortable and formal moccasins, bellies, or sandals. If you’re wearing leather footwear, they must be polished nicely. Make sure your footwear doesn’t make knocking sounds on the floor while walking.
3. The Accessories
Try to keep the number of accessories to a minimum. Wear simple jewellery like small stud earrings. You can wear a simple chain if you have to. A simple wristwatch is sufficient as a hand accessory. Bangles and bracelets should be avoided. Be as simple as possible. No fancy hairpins and clips should be used.
4. Personal Hygiene and Makeup
Make sure your nails are trimmed. If you keep your nails long, they must be filed and manicured. No glitter nail paints should be applied to your nails when going for an interview. Use light and nude shades for nails. Hair must be washed and combed nicely. Do not keep hair open. Tie it in a simple bun or ponytail. Keep the makeup subtle. Avoid using bold-coloured lipsticks.
Other than all the relevant points mentioned above, a little research about the company could go a long way. To get an idea of the kind of attire the employees wear, you can look at the pictures from company seminars and conferences. Some companies prefer suits as the interview dress code. Make sure you know about such rules of the target company.
- The outfit (upper body, lower body, socks, tie, belt, etc.)
- The footwear
- Your document folder.
1. Some companies do have a prescribed dress code for the interview. So, make sure you read any particular guideline for the interview dress code if any.
2. Shop for the interview clothes at least a week before the interview to get enough time for alteration. Always choose trusted brands known for formal wear. If you don’t prefer readymade garments, always go with a trusted tailor to ensure a good fitting.
3. On the day of the interview, keep footwear wipes in your purse or wallet to ensure neat shoes.
4. If you’re going to wear a used shirt, make sure it is washed, ironed, and has no stains on it.
5. Of all the accessories, a smile is the best. So, do not forget to greet the panel with a smile.
6. Use a mild deodorant. Applying a very sharp smelling deodorant causes uneasiness to others.
7. For males, avoid having long hair. Get your hair trimmed and go for a clean shave or have a groomed hair cut. For females, it is advisable to keep your hair tied in a ponytail or a simple bun. If your hair is short, have a hairstyle where your hair doesn’t fall off your face. This is deemed as highly unprofessional. Coloured hair may have a negative impact on the interview panel. If possible, try to hide your coloured mane with different hairstyles.
8. Do not keep long nails. Keep them neat and filed. For women, do not put bold-coloured nail paint. Use nude shades or have a french manicure.
9. If you wear specs, choose a frame that gives you a professional look. Frameless glasses are one good option.
10. Never wear slippers to the interview.
11. Have a good night’s sleep before the big day: Your brain needs time to process all the information it has been receiving through these days. Set the alarm and sleep well so that you can focus completely and stay in a happy mood. Appearing sleepy in your interview is going to have a rough impact. Puffy eyes are not what we have in our guide of what to wear to an interview! Get a good night’s rest, so you are ready to conquer your interview.
Also Read: Why should you be hired for this internship?
Now that you have every information about the interview dress code, all you have to do is give your best effort to win over the interview panel. In these pandemic testing times, online courses are the best way to polish your concepts for the final battle. Online educational portals like upGrad offer a unique range of courses that will prepare you to sail through various selection processes.
upGrad is an innovative online education platform developed with a vision of providing significant professional opportunities through online programs in collaboration with global universities of international repute. upGrad offers a wide range of courses in Data Science, Machine Learning, Digital Marketing, MBA from LBS & Full Stack Development.
Hope we have helped you through our article on what to wear to an interview.
How important is body language in an interview?
Every interviewee wants to charm their interviewers with their knowledge, skill, and confidence. People spend a lot of time brushing up on the basic concepts related to their area, practising commonly asked questions in an interview, etc. But cracking an interview entails one essential aspect that people seem to miss: outstanding body language. This plays a huge role in leaving an impression on the interviewers. It is the first thing the interviewers notice when you enter the room. An upright posture, proper greeting in the end, and engaging eye contact are some of the main determinants of confident body language. A great body language increases the chances of getting selected for the interview.
How to avoid anxiety in an interview?
Almost every job requires an individual to clear an interview to get the desired position in the organisation. Interviews are a way of moving ahead in the career. Hence, it is normal to feel nervous during the interview. But, it is vital that you calm your nerves and do not let anything affect your performance. You can try taking deep breaths before entering the interview hall or whenever you feel stressed. It is also essential to ensure that you take an adequate amount of liquids and a light meal prior to the interview. Lastly, it is necessary to have deep belief in your capabilities.
What are some of the psychological hacks to crack an interview?
Many aspects make an interview successful for the interviewee and interviewer. You can take the help of everyday psychological hacks to crack the interview. You should take a slight pause before answering the interviewer’s question. This will help you articulate your answer better and make you sound more confident. Another essential trick is to focus on the interviewer's facial expression and body language. They would hold their gaze if they expected you to elaborate more on the topic. You should take that as the cue and oblige.