So you’ve scored the perfect interview, you’re prepared with questions, and you’ve got your beauty sleep. But wait, what do you wear? Dressing for an interview is often one of the most overlooked parts of the process. Being comfortable and looking your best during an interview often shows confidence which will help your interview go smoother. We’re not saying to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe, but knowing how to properly dress during your interview could be what’s sitting between you and the callback. Follow these simple tips and you’ll be sure to ooze confidence during your interview.

Do your research

The first thing you want to do is find out the environment and culture of the company you’re interviewing with. If you get the feeling that the company is business professional or business casual, dress that way. If you know the company is very casual (as most start up’s are), lean towards business casual.  If you’re not entirely sure, it’s better to dress up too much, than not enough.

Pick your bottoms first

Always pick your bottoms before the rest of your outfit. That way, you’re not bummed out when you can’t find a nice enough pair of pants to match your favorite top (sorry, jeans won’t work this time). For an interview, neutral is the way to go. Stick with black or grey dress pants or pencil skirt. You want them to fit, so nothing baggy and nothing too tight. Also, your skirt has to hit at least right above the knee; you shouldn’t show any thigh.

Be fun with your top

Picking a top is where you can put the most personality into your outfit, like colors and patterns. Because you’re going for a neutral bottom, you can be a little more fun with your top. You never want to wear anything showing your bra strap, so to be on the safe side, cover up your shoulders. Also, shy away from t-shirts or anything see-through, low cut, or with logos.

To blazer or not to blazer

For business professional, make sure your suit jacket/blazer matches your bottoms! For business casual, a blazer might be too much, but that’s up to you (remember, you researched your company). If you do decide on a blazer, try to make it a different color. Sometimes a sweater can be a nice touch to cover your shoulders or dress down your outfit if you’re wearing a very dressy top.

Match your shoes

When deciding what type of shoes to wear, don’t wear anything you’re not comfortable in. If you don’t wear heels often, stick to flats. Again, ONLY wear heels if you’re good at walking in them. Nothing would be worse for a first impression than if you fell after wobbling around into the interview. A pointed-toe flat is a very professional look that is still very comfortable. If you wear heels a lot and you’re comfortable walking in them, stick to a solid leather heel, shy away from patent leather. You don’t want to draw too much attention to your feet, and you want to look professional. The pointed-toe look is also very fitting for a heel.

Keep your hair out of your face

In an interview, nothing is more distracting than if somebody is fidgeting with their hair. I know personally that one of my nervous habits is running my hands through my hair, so I always have to make a conscious effort to not touch it. An easy way I dealt with this habit was to put my hair back. A simple look would be pulling the front of your hair back in clips, a low bun, a ponytail, or a headband. Doing something with your hair, other than just brushing it, also makes you look more done up and shows that you put more time into looking nice for the interview.

Use accessories…when necessary

Accessories can go two ways when you’re dressing for an interview. They can either make your outfit or break it. A nice watch is usually always a nice accessory or a belt that matches your shoes. You want to shy away from wearing too much jewelry though, especially bracelets that could make noise when your hands move and cause a distraction. The key to accessorizing for an interview is to compliment your outfit, not to make a statement.

If you’re ever questioning whether or not something you want to wear is inappropriate, it’s probably inappropriate. Stay on the safe side and dress more conservatively. Check out our Pinterest page for examples of great outfits, hairstyles, and accessories that you can wear during an interview!