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5 Outfits You Should Never Wear to a Job Interview

By Isny Dewi R

13 Aug 2019

5 outfits you shouldn’t wear to a job interview.

Picking an interview outfit might be one of the more stressful parts of preparing for a job interview. An ideal interview look shows the employer that you’re a good cultural fit for the company. Your interview outfit should be professional and put-together. It won’t necessarily be the most stylish outfit you’ll ever wear, but it should communicate confidence and a good work ethic.

Marc Cenedella, CEO of Ladders, a careers site for six-figure jobs suggested reaching out to your recruiter, company contact, or the HR team to get a sense for what people at the company typically wear to work. Regardless of the typical level of dress in the office, some decorum during the interview is still necessary, wrinkled shirts, or ripped denim shouldn’t be in your interview wardrobe even for the most casual workplaces. Here are five outfits you definitely shouldn’t wear to a job interview:

1. Anything that’s Wrinkled or Wrinkle-Prone
Ironing your interview clothes the night before is a must. “Make sure it’s clean, unwrinkled, and that you feel that it presents you in the best possible light,” Betsy Aimee, a digital content producer who writes on workplace fashion and entrepreneurship, told Business Insider. “People make an assumption about you before you sit down in the seat and start talking."

2. Something that Doesn’t Quite Fit You or is Stained
That dress that’s just a little too tight? Those shoes that have salt stains? You want to wear your best, most-polished clothing to the interview so you can feel confident from the get-go. Don’t start off on the wrong foot with clothing that doesn’t feel comfortable or look presentable.

In fact, rolling up to the office in a suit or skirt suit when everyone else is wearing jeans could hurt you in the interview process. It shows you’re not a cultural fit for the company.

“Some of the most common mistakes people make when dressing for an interview are following old and outdated advice or not taking the time to do their research and ask questions about the company culture ahead of time,” Cenedella told Business Insider.

3. Light Colors
If you’re taking public transportation or have a tendency to staining your outfit, avoid wearing light colors, Barbara Pachter, author of “The Essentials of Business Etiquette” and business communications coach, told Business Insider. Stained clothing is the ultimate no-go for job-interview looks. Dark colors are the best choice because it can disguise stain..

4. Too Trendy
Unless you’re interviewing for a job in the fashion industry, you’re probably going to want to keep your outfit on the conservative side. The rest of it, opt for neutral or earth tones, simple makeup and jewelry, and quiet patterns, the experts advise. It’s better to be remembered for your confidence and abilities, not your clothes.

5. Jeans and a T-shirt
Even if you’re interviewing with Mark Zuckerberg, you shouldn’t wear jeans and a T-shirt. Granted, if you know the whole office is ultra-casual, you shouldn’t show up in a suit. But you also shouldn’t be quite as low-key as the rest of them.

“You go in the middle,” Aimee said. “You’re not as casual as everyone else is, but you’re also not too formal.” If you know everyone is so casual, opt for baseline casual, dark denim and a nice blouse or shirt.


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