A Complete Guide To Women’s Interview Attire

First impressions matter more than we think. The interviewer can use what you wear to an interview to tell whether you will fit the organization’s culture. Whoever is present on the panel will definitely make a mental note the moment you walk through the door, so you must dress to impress. This advice applies to all interviews, from internships to senior-level positions. Always strive to make a positive impression.

Anyway, how do you dress to impress? Do you know how to pair your colors? Worry not because this article will help you make the best choice regarding your interview attire. Read below if you need help figuring out the right clothes for your upcoming interview.

The Right Colors To Wear To A Women’s Interview

You should avoid wearing something ‘loud’ that will draw too much attention the moment you walk past the door. Remember, the panel should focus more on your skills, experience, and what you can do for the business instead of getting distracted by your yellow skirt paired with a blood-red top. To appear professional, consider colors such as white, black, beige, navy blue, or brown. Colors such as light blue, light yellow, and pale pink should be worn as accent colors, as they can also give you a professional outlook if worn right.

Additionally, avoid bright colors such as orange, green, and red. Even though orange is a great color, it can send the wrong message and make you appear unprofessional and overconfident- impressions you should avoid. On the other hand, green mostly applies in creative fields. If you have to wear green for your interview, settle for the darker shades, as they bring out a more ‘mature’ look. Red does look powerful and energetic but can easily become ‘too much’ if overdone, explaining why it is best used as an accent color.

What about brown? Even though brown is a neutral color, it is not a great option, especially if you are interviewing for a job in an innovative or fast-paced industry, as you may look old-fashioned.



How To Dress Up For Casual Business Andformal Business Interviews

You should find out as much as you can about the work environment of your potential employer before going in for an interview. Is it a casual or formal work setting? Casual work settings are usually laid back and do not demand a level of conservativeness in your dressing. You can get as creative as possible, keeping it well within limits. Formal settings, on the other hand, call for conservative dressing. You can put on a few accent colors, but the dominant has to be neutral. Let’s find out more.

1. Formal Business Interviews

If you are interviewing with a bank or insurance company, that’s a formal interview. You must therefore look business-appropriate and professional to create a positive impression. Some of the attire options you have when interviewing in such a scenario include pantsuits, knee-length dresses paired with a blazer, or dress pants worn with a decent blouse and a blazer.

2. Casual Business Interviews

Even though casual settings are not as strict as formal settings, you still have to look presentable, neat, and polished. Therefore, consider wearing knee-length dresses, dress pants, button-down shirts, pencil skirts paired with nice blouses, etc.

For shoes, wear close-toed heels, short boots, or flats for both interviews. What if you are interviewing for a creative or artistic position? Simple. Explore your creativity as you wish but remember to keep things strategic and minimal. Consider adding more color or jewelry without being ‘too much.’ Remember to stand before a full mirror after dressing up to see whether you have the right color combination.

What To Wear In Different Types Of Interviews

Different interviews call for different attires. For example, what to wear for an internship position may not apply to a senior-management position interview. Some jobs require a sense of authority, which should be seen in your attire before you even answer a question. So, which combinations work for specific interviews? Let’s find out.

1. Entry-Level Positions

Do you have a scheduled entry-level position interview but need help deciding on the proper attire? Well, worry not. First, find out about the company’s culture to determine your limits. If you are interviewing in a casual work environment, consider wearing dress pants or a pencil skirt paired with a nice blouse. However, wear a suit or a dress paired with a blazer if otherwise.

2. Internships

Internship interviews are usually less strict compared to other types of interviews. The hiring managers and recruiters understand that you are just getting started with your career and do not, therefore, expect you to be dressed in a complete ‘executive’ suit. All in all, you still have to dress professionally, so choose something comfortable that can create a positive impression. Go for a lovely dress or slacks paired with a nice blouse.

3. Phone Interviews

You may wonder why we included phone interviews in this section when the recruiter or hiring manager won’t be seeing you. Well, dressing up for phone interviews is more about you than the interviewer. Research has proven over and over again that dressing nicely gives us a confidence boost, which you need in an interview. Despite sitting comfortably at home, you will feel more professional and confident when answering the questions put forward to you.

4. Startup Interviews

Startup Interviews are usually more casual than professional, given the work environment. You don’t, therefore, have to dress up in a full suit when interviewing for a role with one. You can be creative with your dressing as long as you don’t end up overdoing it and drawing more attention than you should. Get something modest, have a few accent colors, and put on some of your favorite jewelry, and you will be good to go. You should also consider researching beforehand because what you consider casual may be too uptight for some startups and vice versa.

5. Mid and Senior-Level Positions

Settle on formal business attire when interviewing for a mid or senior-level position unless your research findings about the company prove otherwise. You should show the hiring manager, recruiter, or interviewer that you are professional and ready to lead by wearing something formal such as a neutral-color suit. Wear a good pair of heels or comfortable flats alongside your suit for a perfect combination.

6. Management and Executive Positions

If you are interviewing for a management or executive position, you have no option but to settle on formal business attire. Remember, you must look professional and responsible as a leader, qualities that may not be portrayed in less-formal clothing. Make sure your choice oozes power and presence to create a positive impression. The interviewer should know that you can command respect and authority when you walk through the door. If you can get it right, consider using red as an accent color, as it can portray authority.

7. Online Interviews

Online interviews became more popular during the pandemic, and there is no sign that they are ending soon, even after the pandemic comes to an end. Our advice is to treat these interviews like you would treat a face-to-face interview, meaning that you should dress up well. While videos of people wearing formal blazers and shorts during online meetings may be hilarious, we don’t recommend that you do that in your interview. You need all the confidence you can get when appearing before a panel, so ensure that you are well-dressed. Learn about the company’s work culture and figure out the right type of attire to go for.

Additional Tips

You definitely know what you should and should not wear for your interview by now. Here are a few additional tips that will help you make the best decision and create a positive impression the moment you walk through the door:

  • Make sure that you pair your upper attire with the right shoes. Do not overfocus on your blouse and pants, and forget about your shoes. Avoid shoes that are too tight, bright, or old.
  • Ensure that your clothes are well-ironed. You don’t want to look lazy and irresponsible right from the start.
  • Do not wear distracting accessories such as large jewelry or facial piercings.
  • Keep your makeup simple. Overdoing your makeup can cause distractions.
  • Keep your dress simple. More sophistication may work against you.

Conclusion

It’s advisable to find out more about the company you are interviewing with to know your limits when it comes to what you can wear or not. You can also ask any of their employees or pay them a casual visit to see how their employees dress. Once you have an idea of the proper attire, select something comfortable and professional. Remember also to put on something that makes you feel confident. We wish you all the best in your upcoming interview.

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