Popular phrases like "dress for the job you want, not the one you have" and "dress for success" have permeated job culture. However, this isn’t necessarily an invitation to go overboard. While it’s always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed for a job interviewer, before you leave your house for this big meeting with your potential employer, take a look in the mirror to make sure that you haven’t broken any cardinal interview outfit rules.
First of all, always look professional. For women, this means no low-cut tops, nothing that shows any bra straps (a sleeveless blouse in the summer is appropriate as long as it doesn’t show too much skin), and no short skirts. For men, this means suits instead of polo shirts and jeans. Also watch out for your footwear, because this can either improve or destroy your outfit. For women, don’t wear your towering heels, and for men, skip the sneakers.
You also want to make sure that you don’t douse on an excessive amount of perfume or cologne. While it’s always nice and hygienic to smell pleasant, your nose becomes used to these scents that you spray on so you can’t tell what’s too much. Therefore, use only a single spritz.
Also, before you head off to the interview, make sure that you’re not trying too hard. You shouldn’t have to drop thousands of dollars on big name brands to look good for an interview. Professional dress attire that you already have in your closet should suffice. While there’s nothing at all wrong with buying new clothes for an interview, just make sure that you’re not bankrupting yourself in the process.
If you get a second interview or get offered the position, you can then start dressing more to match the office culture. For example, perhaps everyone wears jeans and a dress shirt at your new job or some other variation of business casual. While you should never dress like this for an initial interview, once you become an official employee, you can relax your dress code if your office allows it.
It certainly pays to take some extra time into handpicking the perfect interview outfit, but make sure that you don’t get too overzealous in your attire or any scents that you decide to spray on. By following the above guidelines, you’ll make a great first impression.