Resume—check. References—check. Talking points for interviews—check. Directions to the interview location—check. So you think you have everything in order for your job interview, right? Wait a minute, you forgot something—your business attire! Now, you might be wondering how articles of clothing could play any sort of role in the hiring process, but they absolutely do. All of your focus up to this point has been on your resume writing and personal branding, but your business attire is a vital piece of the puzzle as well. Your appearance helps contribute to your personal brand and selecting the proper business attire helps to promote the valuable commodity that you are! It could be the difference between getting the job or getting rejected. In an effort to make a good impression on hiring managers that emphasizes your professionalism and ability to fit into a new company’s corporate culture, you should consider conservative business attire for your interviews. As a rule of thumb, you should always wear business attire to your interviews that is appropriate to wear in an office environment. For men, this includes suits, dress slacks, jackets, sweaters, shirts, ties, and dress shoes. For women, this includes suits, knee-length skirts, dress slacks, conservative dresses, jackets, sweaters, blouses, and closed-toe shoes.
Another point to consider when you start to plan your business attire for your interviews is modern fashion trends. No one is saying you have to be straight off the pages of GQ with an Armani suit or a fashionista with the latest Chanel suit, but you have to be careful that you don’t wear clothing that is outdated or from another decade! If you give the impression that your appearance is outdated, then it leaves hiring managers with the impression that your personal brand is outdated too and not a good fit for their company. It appears that your skills and knowledge follow “suit” so to speak and are outdated as well. Your goal should be to have your outward appearance reflect your inward value and significance you could bring to the company. You only have one chance to make a first impression, so take the opportunity to consult with your inner business attire stylist and select the proper clothing that reflects your personal brand. Remember, clothes are never a frivolity—they always mean something.