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interview wardrobe upgrade

Before you say even a word to a prospective employer, your attire and appearance provide a first impression defining you as an applicant — for better or for worse. Job interviews create stress in 92 percent of adult job applicants, according to a recent study by Everest College.

A proper interview outfit is essential to your employment goals, but figuring out the best attire for an interview isn’t always obvious. When Black Friday sales and holiday special start to entice consumers with special click here offers and other limited-time offers, job seekers have an ideal opportunity to reassess their wardrobes and track down their ideal interview clothing. Here are some tips for assembling a professional wardrobe.

Don’t Try to Shock Anyone

Subtlety should be your No. 1 rule when shopping for interview attire, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Every interviewee wants to stand out, but clothing isn’t the way to do it. When considering fashion, aim for quiet colors — no neons or pastels, for example — and modest jewelry. Keep visible piercings and tattoos to a minimum — even if some employers aren’t concerned with these things, others might be turned off by these appearances. Use your attire to present yourself as clean, professional and business-like, and you’ll be accomplishing plenty with your outfit.

Understand the Company’s Culture

One exception to the “always dress conservative” rule comes when you consider the type of business you are applying for. A company’s culture should always dictate your interview attire. You wouldn’t want, for example, to show up for an interview at a hip hop record label dressed in the starched outfit of a low-level accountant — unless, of course, that’s exactly the position you are applying for. Creative industries might allow for some greater flexibility, and a pizza place probably won’t discredit you for not wearing a suit.

These cultural considerations can be tricky to figure out as a job applicant, but if your attire matches the company, it will tell them two things: First, you might be a good fit for the organization, and second, you did your research ahead of time.

Choose Clothing that is Hip to Modern Fashion

No, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to overhaul your wardrobe and invest in the latest, hottest fashions. But you definitely don’t want to show up for an interview wearing a women’s pant suit that was popular in the early 1980s. The modern appeal of your clothing is key to presenting yourself as a valuable, modern worker. Plus, if you’re an older individual, you might already feel like your age could be a drawback, so don’t let your wardrobe reinforce inaccurate stereotypes. There are plenty of timeless looks and subtle, contemporary interview outfits that will do the trick — just make sure you don’t wear anything rooted in another time, or in an outdated fashion craze well past its expiration date.

The Motto Rings True: Dress for the Job You Want

When in doubt, overdress. Most applicants to a job opening aren’t just looking for a place they can stay for years to come. They want to see opportunities for growth. Inadequate attire can suggest to employers that you aren’t that serious or professionally polished for a job. To be on the safe side, men are probably better off wearing a suit and tie to their job interview, while women should consider either a business dress or a skirt-and-blouse combo with a women’s blazer. Always wear a close-toed shoe, a belt and dress socks. By following these rules, your attire will serve as great support as you enter interviews and show employers what you’re made of.

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