There's a phrase that we all know very well: dress for success. However, that strategy isn't one size fits all, if you'll forgive the pun: different jobs, and job interviews, require you to dress and present yourself in different ways. The expectations that a hiring manager will have for someone interviewing for high-ranking executive jobs will be much different than what they expect from someone looking for entry-level banking or accounting jobs.
As a result, there are a few questions you have to ask yourself before a job interview, in regards to how you dress. Keep the tips listed below in mind while you prepare and you can be sure you'll be dressed for success during each interview you have.
1. Come prepared for a business meeting
One of the most important parts of your appearance during a job interview doesn't even have to do with attire—it's your notebook. When you show up to an interview with your documents in hand, alongside pen and paper, the interviewer will see that you're serious. On the other hand, if you show up for an informal meet-and-greet without anything to take notes on or refer to, you'll look terribly out of place—and you likely won't get a callback, either.
2. Know that casual is going out of style, even for technology jobs
Some businesses are still going casual for their attire, but you wouldn't want to take that chance during an initial interview. Indeed, there are some tech companies where workers often stroll around in shorts and a t-shirt—but those days seem to be coming to an end, with more companies putting a focus on dress codes and appearances as the years progress. In this regard, be cautious. You don't have to show up wearing a full suit, but wearing a sports coat and dressing up will always help, and never hurt.
3. Try and find out what the culture of the company is like
This is the most important tip on the list. Yes, you always want to err on the side of dressing professionally—but there's nothing better than matching the culture of a company during your first interview. If you can manage to ask a current employee of the company you're applying to work at about how people normally dress, and then match their specifications, you'll be golden out of the gate. More than anything else, a successful interview is one where you convince the hiring manager that you're a perfect fit to work at their company. And nothing says "perfect fit" like dressing to the company's dress code before they've even hired you.
4. Never accessorize too much
Here's a mistake that people make all the time: you never want to be too flashy during a job interview. If you show up with sunglasses sitting on top of your head, or with jewelry hanging off every end of your body, there's a good chance that the hiring manager will think that you consider the interview to be a lark. That gets you off on the wrong foot, due to appearances alone, and we all know how important first impressions are in the business world.
With these tips, you can make sure the first impression you make is always a good one. Keep them in mind, and you'll be able to "dress for success" every time out.