By Jim Wong, CPA | February 28, 2018

“Dress for the job you want.”

No matter how much change we are seeing in the ever-evolving workplace, there is one topic that will always pop up—work attire. While many offices are moving toward a more causal environment these days – when it comes to interviewing for a role – have the rules changed? What should you wear to a job interview?

This is a question that varies from company to company, and for a job seeker, it’s important to know the answer for many reasons. Most importantly, you want to be prepared for the interview and the role. So, how do you know if the company you are interviewing for maintains a suit-and-tie culture or, if they prefer the business-casual look?

I’ve covered this topic before, however, I find it more relevant now than ever with the many businesses shifting their company culture – and dress code.

Learn 6 Tips to Dress for Job Interview Success below.

1. Ask HR
This is the simplest way to get the scoop on what to wear to an interview is to ask the company’s hiring manager or human resources representatives. When responding to an interview invitation, ask for their guidance on interview attire. It’s a good first step to learning more about the dress code – and the culture.

2. Do Your Research
You may have received an answer from the hiring manager regarding workplace attire, however, a job seeker can also use that information as a steppingstone to further detail. I suggest checking out the company’s website or LinkedIn profile to see if there are photos of their employees at work.

3. Dress Confident & Comfortable 
“Look good…feel good.” While this expression may be cliché, it holds some serious truth. There’s something to be said about peoples’ self-esteem when they’re wearing their go-to tie or favorite shirt. While I’m not suggesting that a job seeker wears their old lucky baseball cap to a professional job interview, I do suggest job seekers wear a piece that they feel comfortable in!

4. Interview Etiquette 
If upon researching the company you find that most people wear jeans on a daily basis, take it up a notch for the interview. As a general rule, I recommend that candidates dress slightly more professional for interviews – even if they company culture is significantly casual. Although the culture may be casual, the hiring managers may expect a candidate to arrive formal and professional.

5. Plan Ahead 
Be prepared! Planning the interview dress attire ahead of time allows a job seeker to focus on the interview itself the day of, rather than their style. You wouldn’t want to wake up the day of an interview only to realize the shirt you wanted to wear to your interview is dirty and needs to be dry cleaned…

6. Be YOU 
Lastly, the best piece of advice I can give is to be yourself. Of course it’s important to use best judgement, but instead of presenting a different version of yourself in an interview, be yourself. If a job seeker puts on a masquerade in a job interview and gets hired, it’ll be difficult to maintain that image every day in a new role. Trust your professional self while staying true to your style!

Do you have other suggestions about what to wear to a job interview? Comment below and let us know.

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