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You are Here: Home > Articles > How to Dress for a Job Interview
Know What to Say on a Job Interview

How to Dress for a Job Interview

With each successive generation since the 1950's, Americans have become more casual in the way they dress. It's now acceptable to wear blue jeans and sneakers to nice restaurants, revealing outfits to nightclubs, and baggy cargo shorts and flip-flops to school.

It's even acceptable these days to dress somewhat casually for work. But, that's after you've landed the job. Unless you're interviewing as a roadie for a rock 'n roll band, how you should dress for a job interview hasn't changed much, especially in the corporate environment.

About Job Interview Dress

Despite style changes, dressing appropriately to interview at most corporations still means dressing up conservatively and the old adage "dress for success" still applies.

Whether right or wrong, the fact of the matter is that you will be judged right off the bat by how you dress for an interview. You might not even get the chance to sell yourself if you're not properly dressed for an interview when you walk though the door.

Even if you know that the company dress code is casual, dress up for an interview anyway. It shows professionalism and respect, and more importantly, that you know how to dress for a job interview.

The good news is that, these days, dressing "up" conservatively for an interview doesn't necessarily mean wearing a business suit. That's thanks to "dress-down Fridays" followed by full-time casual business dress, both initiated by baby boomers.

Whether for a corporate job or another, a good rule to follow is to dress for interviews a step or two above how employers ordinarily would expect you to dress for your occupation, job title and the environment in which you work. Natch, if employers would expect you to dress for work in business suits, that doesn't mean you ought to wear a tux or formal gown to interviews; simply dress as professionally as you would for work.

If you're a young job applicant, you'd be wise to consider that one or more of your interviewers are likely to be baby boomers (or close enough). What looks cool to your generation as interview dress might not look nearly as cool to interviewers of the boomer generation, even though boomers initiated dress-down Fridays. In other words, consider that you might essentially interview with your disapproving parents!

On their Web sites, some companies indicate what's appropriate to wear to work, while others even indicate how to dress for interviews. So, be sure to check for office or interview dress codes at the Web sites of the companies with which you've scheduled interviews. It's a good idea to research companies anyway before interviews and their Web sites are typically good places to start.

If a company doesn't provide an office or interview dress code on its Web site, it doesn't hurt to contact the HR department or the contact person in the job ad, to ask how to dress appropriately for an interview. In fact, if the person you contact turns out to be your interviewer, he or she might be impressed that you took the time to find out.

Read on for more of how to dress for a job interview in the USA (it might differ in other countries). First up are general job interview dress tips for both men and women, followed by tips specifically for women and then men. Examples of appropriate interview dress are displayed in photos.

Good luck with your interview!

Next Page > Job Interview Dress Tips for Men and Women
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