When trying to land a job, first impressions really count – and that includes how you dress for the interview. Just like we mentioned previously here on Twenty Ten Talent, dressing the part can really set you apart from other candidates. It isn’t just a case of “fake it ’til you make it.” In fact, researchers from Columbia University have found that it can even improve performance. In a job interview setting that means a well-tailored blazer could fuel you with more confidence than an old shirt can.
Fortunately, a boxy suit is no longer the universal standard. In today’s start-up culture, we’re seeing more variety in dress codes — from millennial workers donning athleisure in the office, to Mark Zuckerberg’s signature grey shirt as the new go-to business attire. However, this doesn’t mean you should no longer put the effort into your all-important outfit. There are still traditional workplaces out there, and you still want to make a great impression with them as well.
When preparing for an interview, you should also look into what kind of office culture and dress code the company has. This will give you an idea on how best to present yourself, making sure not to over or under dress.
Recently, pantsuits have been enjoying their moment on the runways and on the streets. But before they became one of the hottest modern trends, it was the armor for the corporate woman. When going to a formal interview, pantsuits are a reliable choice. Though they now come in many vibrant shades and patterns, Style Favourite suggests sticking to classic colors like beige, navy, or white. Match them with heels and a collared shirt for a polished ensemble that says you mean business.
Business casual attire can sometimes be tricky to navigate. Ultimately, you want to strike a balance between formal and fun, being careful to look professional without being too boring. Your best bet is to mix pieces from both ends of the spectrum. A knit skirt, for example, would go well with more formal blouses. And instead of making a beeline for the most conservative dress, you can try an A-line dress for a more laidback silhouette that still appears put-together, and pair it with a structured blazer. When it comes to colors, avoid overly dark shades like black, and go for something a little more approachable, such as grey or maroon.
An article on Bustle describes startup workers as rule breakers and risk takers, which is usually reflected in how they style themselves. Dress codes aren’t usually as strict in these types of workplaces, but this isn’t an opportunity for you to show off your lounge wear or gym clothes. Again, you still want to look neat, even in a casual interview. The biggest difference is that you can showcase a little bit more of your individuality, unlike in business casual or formal settings. Feel free to inject some color or add in a pattern or two that will give your interviewer a glimpse into your personality, whether it’s a red jacket or a pair of statement heels.
Post by Jane Darcy
Jane Darcy is a digital strategist and freelance graphic designer from Brooklyn. Before making the move to the Big Apple, she spent 10 years working in human resources. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and urban gardening.