Padded jackets and pressed slacks used to be universal job interview standard. However, nowadays companies have their own unique and personalised culture and attire standards. For instance, a corporate company may presume that the suit or pantsuits are expected, whereas media companies, start-ups and everything in between feel that wearing a suit is being overdressed, uptight and unnecessary. It’s about finding balance, and it’s about decoding what the company is about, what it’s values are and what they would expect of you.
Evidently, ensuring that you are dressed appropriately may be the deciding factor between getting the position or not. For instance, start up companies are more known for their relaxed and creative atmospheres. If you were to attend your interview in a suit and tie, you could and will quite possibly give off the impression that you are too formal, uptight and conservative for their business and their culture – and therefore, not a good fit for the position. This especially translates into the creative zones, such as media and communications.
The Attire Codes:
Business Professional: Suits, a tie and dress shoes are expected; skirts and heels for women.
Business Casual: Dress slacks or chinos with a button down shirt, belt and dress shoes; a conservative dress, blouse with a skirt or dress pants and dress shoes/flats or boots.
Casual: Long sleeved dress shirt, slacks and dress shoes; collared shirt with pants or pencil skirt for women.
When In Doubt…
Research the company prior through social media and visiting around the area. Check out any professional photos for attire hints.
Dress a step above what they would expect if it’s a more ‘creative’ and ‘casual’ environment. Look polished and professional, but not over dressed.
Be meticulous with detail, as in, ensure your clothes are ironed, your hair is combed, your makeup and general hygiene are well presented, and carry with you any last minute fixes!
Neutral colours are always a safe bet, so don’t turn up to your business professional interview in a bright yellow dress!
Overall, you need to ensure that the bottom line is you look, interact and present yourself in a way that suits not only the position advertised, but the company that is advertising it. But remember, dress the way you want to be perceived and feel that is appropriately translates your personality. If all else fails, you will have presented yourself well enough to gain confidence and understanding for the next interview!
By April Ryan