How To Dress For A Casual Interview (With Examples)

You have an in-person interview, congratulations! You’ve done your research on the company and are excited about the prospect of working there. But now you’re channeling your inner grinch thinking, “but what will I wear?!” From social media photos of the office, you can tell that the dress code is casual – everyone is wearing jeans and t-shirts. What does that mean for you? Don’t fret; here’s a fool-proof guide to dressing for a casual interview.

How To Dress For A Casual Interview

Always Dress One Step Up

First, the golden rule. Always dress one step above the company dress code. So, with a casual dress code, there’s a lot of room for interpretation. Our preference is to go “smart casual.” This typically looks like slacks or a Ponte-style pant paired with a button-down shirt or a nice blouse. However, you can get away with jeans if you really want to. Be sure they are as dark as possible, and pair them with a dressier shirt or blazer to balance. Simple business casual dresses or skirts are always acceptable for a casual interview as well!

Keep Accessories Simple

If you’re already dressing one step above the dress code, keep your accessories simple. There’s no need for a tie or elaborate jewelry. Include a simple watch or an understated necklace. Choose nice, polished shoes and a matching belt. When it comes to accessorizing, an interview is not the time to experiment. Stick with what you know and love!

Tread Carefully With Colors And Prints

There’s no need to avoid colors and prints altogether, but we advise you to choose wisely. Stick with colors that give a professional vibe, like cobalt blue or red. Leave the neon blouse at home to avoid looking too casual or distracting. Likewise, large, loud prints can distract and take the focus away from you and your qualifications. Instead, focus on subtle details that will leave a great impression.

Even at an office with a casual dress code, it’s important to look polished and professional for an interview. Aim for a balance between formal elements and casual touches to make a great first impression.

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

The Millennial Interview Dress Code

Everyone knows that the way you dress for an interview determines a lot about how your future employer views you. In fact, managers form their opinions within the first 90 seconds of meeting you, so greet them with a smile, give them a solid handshake, and of course, dress for success. But first, it’s important to understand how the meaning behind ‘dress for success’ is changing with the millennial generation.

Unfortunately, 75% of managers think that millennials dress inappropriately for job interviews. But this doesn’t have to be you! Trends and styles may be evolving, but there are three dress code tips that you can always live by.

3 Dress Code Tips You Can Count On: 

1. Keep it Professional, Always

Interviews are a time for you to show off your professionalism, skills, and experience. The best rule of thumb to follow is to dress one step up from the company dress code. Check out their website and social media to try and find some pictures of the typical day-to-day style of the organization. For men: suits, ties, belts, and professional shoes are always a safe bet. For women: blazers, dress pants and skirts, heels/flats, and a nice blouse will always impress your potential employer, no matter the position!

2. Check your fit

Apparel that is too tight, too loose, or shows too much skin will lead to an unprofessional first impression. Women, remember if you’re wearing a skirt, it should be knee-length! And for men, don’t wear a suit that is too big. The interview should focus on if you’re a fit for the job, not if your clothes fit properly.

3. When in Doubt, Keep It Simple! 

Wear simple lines and neutral colors like black, navy, and gray if you want to err on the cautious side. Not only do they belong to the ultimate classic palette, neutrals are flattering on every skin tone. And after all, your outfit should not distract your future employer from the focus of the interview, YOU!

While these rules won’t ever steer you wrong, there does seem to be a little more flexibility. Millenials want to show off who they are through their clothes, which is a good thing, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time! Yet, while you want to show your personality, it is important to keep it professional. Here are some interview dress code trends that you can incorporate to add a splash of fun to your professional look.

Exciting Millenial Dress Code Trends: 

Accent Pieces

Add a fun accent piece like a necklace, bracelet, watch, shoes, or crazy socks to show off your personality and style. These items are a totally acceptable way to have some fun with your interview fit. Accent pieces like a handbag or fun socks can be the ice breaker or talking point you need!

Bright Colors

Feeling bold? Add a hint of color to your outfit! A bright blouse with a neutral suit is a stylish eye-catcher. A fun pocket square will add a bit of interest to a classic suit.

Women: Jumpsuits and High-Waisted Dress Pants

Skirts are no longer the go-to piece for women in an interview. Show that you are on-trend by rocking a professional jumpsuit or some high wasted dress pants with a blouse or blazer.

Styles, trends, and culture are changing in the workplace, so make it a goal to aim for a combination of classy with a splash of personality by following these millennial dress code tips. And if you’re unsure of what to wear, stick to what is universally accepted! It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Just remember, your outfit choice alone will not land you your next job! It’s going to be your skills, personality, and experience that shine through to open career opportunities for you.

How to Dress for Your Next Interview

dress for your next interview

The market is hot, and if you’re included in the over 30% of American workers that are seriously considering leaving their jobs, you may have an upcoming interview. But what should you wear to your interview? Well, that depends! Different employers, industries, and departments have specific expectations on what you should wear. Here is a brief guideline on how to dress for success in your next interview.

Manufacturing/Labor setting

If your job interview is in a manufacturing or labor setting, you obviously don’t want to show up in a suit and tie. Instead, wear a button-down shirt and some nice jeans. If you will be on the manufacturing floor or walking around the job site, be sure to wear your steel toe boots! You will more than likely receive a brief tour and want to ensure you are prepared to walk the premises safely.

Professional setting

If you’re interviewing in a professional environment, you will want to dress the part. Wear a suit and a tie or a skirt and a nice blouse. Wear neutral colors and be sure to limit the accessories/jewelry you wear. You want the focus to be on you as the candidate, not what you are wearing. Try not to wear anything that may distract your interviewers. And be sure that your fancy dress attire is nicely pressed and ironed!

Casual setting

If your interview is in more of an informal setting, then you have the opportunity to dress a step down from professional attire and wear a business casual outfit. In this setting, you will want to wear some nice pants and a button-down shirt, maybe a blazer at the most. You don’t want to come to your interview way overdressed. Again, you want the attention focused on you, not what you are wearing. And be sure to wear some nice shoes! Even in a casual setting, you want to wear shoes that leave a great impression. Don’t walk into the front door of your prospective employer with those old grungy sneakers you wear to mow the lawn.

Video interview setting

Last but not least, there is even a dress code for a video interview. Here, you will want to dress appropriately for the employer’s dress code. If it’s a casual setting, dress business casual in your interview. If it’s a professional setting, wear your suit jacket or a nice blouse. You don’t need to put your entire outfit on; however, your interviewers will be able to see you from your torso up, so dress accordingly. Just because you’re at home for this interview doesn’t mean you get the luxury of wearing your pajamas. Bonus tip: be sure you have a clean, plain background for your interview. You don’t want to have a bunch of clutter around you to distract your interviewers (or even yourself) from the conversation.

If you are not sure what the dress code is for the employer, just ask. The hiring manager or human resources professional will be happy to share this information. And if you are still not sure what to wear, it’s always wise to dress a step up than to come in underdressed for your interview.

Decoding Office Dress Codes: What To Wear To An Interview

office dress code

One of the first thing that comes to your mind once you land an interview… “but what will I wear?” The world of office dress codes can be confusing, let alone interview dress codes! Let’s break down the three most popular dress codes you’ll find in a modern office. But first, keep these 3 golden rules in mind at all times, no matter what the code!

  1. Keep it simple. You don’t want your clothing to distract from you, the interviewee.
  2. It’s ALWAYS better to be overdressed than underdressed.
  3. Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. A great outfit will give you the confidence you need to ace the interview!

If the dress code is business corporate

This may be one of the easiest codes to dress for because it leaves little room for ambiguity. The default for corporate interviews is a sleek, well-fitting suit with little to no accessories. Stick with dark and neutral colors and simple, clean lines. It’s important to limit piercings and tattoo exposure. Your hair should be neat and professional (here are some great examples for women). Don’t go overboard on the makeup, perfume, or aftershave. The theme here is to stay as conservative and professional as possible.

If the dress code is business casual

This is probably the most prominent office dress code in 2018. It is also the most confusing! Business casual has a number of varying definitions across different industries, locations, and company cultures. For interviews, you always want to err on the side of caution. Think about dressing one step down from business corporate attire. Khaki slacks or skirts with a button down shirt or sweater are great go-to’s to have in your closet. Blazers will always add a professional element but can be mismatched to avoid the “overdressed suit” look. It’s best to stick to solid colors, as patterns can take the attention away from you, but you can play with a greater variety than just neutrals and dark colors.

If the dress code is casual

Many offices go with a casual dress code now. If that’s the case where you’re interviewing, go with a business casual outfit. Your goal is to look polished without being too stuffy.

No matter what the dress code is, consider the company and position you’re interviewing for! If you’re going to a manufacturing facility that will include a tour, it’s often appropriate (and requested) that you wear steel-toed boots. Interview at a marketing agency? Probably appropriate to play a bit more with color to show your personal style and creativity. Just remember to always lean towards more conservative. If you’re unsure if something is appropriate or not, trust your gut and skip it!