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Dressing for Job Interviews: Tips for College Graduates Ready to Start Their Career


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You’re ready to enter the workforce, all up-to-date about your potential employer’s business – now one thing’s left to do. Figuring out what to wear to your job interview amounts to doing half the job right (and, in some cases, to actually getting the job) – because fact is, that first impression you make is vital. From what type of clothing to wear to the right colors and the right jewelry pieces, we’re covering all the bases on dressing up for job interviews.

Know Your Industry

There isn’t a universal rule when it comes to dressing the part and that’s because different companies have different dress codes and expectations. And that’s precisely why the first step when aiming to make a great first impression is to research as much as possible about the targeted company, as well as the industry you are about to enter.  Moreover, the location of your potential place of work is also important – and the more central the company is, the higher the chances that you are expected to wear formal attire. As a general rule, a start-up company (especially if in a creative or tech field) will have a more casual approach to work attire, while a veteran company in a more conservative field will expect you to suit up.

Perfect the Business Casual Look

If you can’t find enough information about your potential future employer, the safest way to go about your interview-ready attire is to create a classic business casual look. Half on the formal side, half casual, business casual comes with slacks, chinos, button downs both for men and women, blazers, knee-length skirts (or slightly above), classic dresses, lightweight sweaters, dress pants and conservative shoes.

Wear the Right Colors

Once you know the expectations of your potential future employer regarding the dress code, another thing to consider is a color palette that conveys professionalism and trust. Stick to a range of neutrals, black, greys, taupe and navy if you want to avoid any faux pas. A recent study by CareerBuilder found out that the top best colors to wear at a job interview are navy and black, with orange scoring the lowest.

Tips for Women: Timeless Done Right

A timeless, classic outfit is a safe bet when you are about to go interview for your first job – just make sure that said look does not step into the dated territory. The go-to staple elements: solid colors, tapered pants, a skirt that ends around the knees paired up with a coordinated blouse or a conservative dress in a similar length, medium heels and a streamlined blazer. Keep your jewelry pieces to a minimum and choose delicate gemstones, minimalistic pieces and elegant, non-flashy finishes. A discreet pair of studs, a dainty pendant necklace or a pearl ring are some of the safest and chicest choices, perfectly appropriate both for interviewing and working in the corporate world. If you are interviewing for a creative or more casual company, feel free to incorporate a print into your look, such as stripes or polka dots.

Tips for Men: A Neat, Polished & Smart Look

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While showing off your fun personality might be tempting, it is safest to stick to a more neutral and classic approach when dressing up for our first job interviews. Avoid prints (or opt exclusively for the very subtle ones) and stick to classic colors, always wear a blazer even if you choose to forgo the suit and always pick the long sleeved shirt instead of the short sleeved one. Accessorize with a leather belt, paired with dark socks matching your slacks and choose conservative, perfectly-polished shoes.