What To Wear
To The Job Interview?

Do you have an interview on Casual Friday? Read this advice to make sure you dress appropriately...

Help! It’s Casual Friday. What To Wear To The Job Interview?

You got the interview for the job you wanted.

It was in your field, you met all the requirements of education and experience, you rehearsed the answers to every conceivable question, you arrived on time, you were calm and collected, but you didn’t get the position.

In fact, the interviewer did not seem the least bit interested once you showed up. Not the way she was over the phone beforehand. What went wrong?

Surely, it wasn’t what you wore. Or was it?

Your appointment was scheduled for Friday. Everybody knows that’s Casual Day so you asked the interviewer about the dress code.

She confirmed that Friday was “dress-down” day so you were good to go.

You got out those brand new Capri pants that hug your hips slightly, that great shirt that just comes to your midriff, and those cool sandals that you found on sale last month.

And off you went feeling really good about your choices.

Now that you think about it, you don’t recall seeing anyone else who was dressed quite as casually as you were.

This scenario has played out more than a few times at the job interview.

The job seeker either inquires or is informed about the dress policy, and the words “casual” or “dress-down” immediately translate into “favorite weekend clothes” or “latest fashion statement.”

If you are headed off for a job interview, don’t make the mistake of assuming that you know what business casual means.

It is not the same for every organization.

If possible, visit the organization ahead of time.

Observe people coming and going and note how they are dressed. If you know someone who works there, ask that person how people dress, especially the executives or upper management.

When it comes time for the interview, dress up rather than down.

If you are specifically told that the company will be observing a casual day, there is no need to wear the business suit. You may relax the look, but keep these points in mind:

  • A jacket gives any outfit a polished professional look. That goes for both men and women.
  • Trousers should reach the top of your shoe and should have a finished or tailored appearance.
  • Shoes should be good quality, well maintained and professional. That means no sandals or athletic shoes.

Keep in mind that the potential employer is more interested in how you will represent the organization on the job, not how cool you will look at the company picnic.

Lydia Ramsey is a business etiquette expert and the author of Manners That Sell.

She conducts presentations for organizations that want their employees to be at ease in business situations and to represent them well in the marketplace.

You can visit her website at Manners That Sell.

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