It's a common dilemma that everyone experiences at least once in a lifetime -- what to wear to a job interview.
While many people look into a company's corporate facts before an interview, they don't investigate the firm's dress code. "Absolutely research the company you are going to interview with," says Roz Usheroff, communication and image specialist for the Usheroff Institute. "Know their dress culture."
One way to do this is to simply ask the person requesting the interview about the type of attire worn in the office. Usheroff also suggests visiting the office beforehand to observe the office attire and culture. She recounts having an interview at a large company and being unsure of the dress code. "I pretended I was looking for someone in the building and just walked around in the lobby observing what people were wearing."
After you research a company's culture and dress code, Usheroff suggests dressing a notch above the typical employee attire for the interview. "This allows you to look as polished as possible, but not overdo it."
The corporate world
Professionals like bankers and lawyers usually follow a traditional business dress code. When company dress is formal, Usheroff says a suit is the way to go. "People have great presence in a suit jacket. It especially gives women an image of strength."
For a corporate interview, Usheroff suggests buying a good-quality three-piece suit ensemble in a solid colour, like midnight blue. This type of suit offers a great deal of choice for a business wardrobe -- the pants, skirt and jacket can all be interchanged.
Usheroff also recommends wearing nylons and avoiding open-toed shoes to complete a polished, professional look.
The casual company
If the company has a casual dress code, don't immediately assume you should show up for the interview in khakis and a T-shirt. "Never wear anything you would wear on weekends," says Usheroff. "Remember, you want to wear something that gives you presence."
Try a tailored pair of pants and a crisp blouse, or a great top with an A-line or straight skirt. Another alternative is to pair your black pantsuit with a casual top, like a T-shirt, to lessen the formality.
And don't be afraid to show your creativity and inner personality through the use of accessories. Usheroff suggests wearing a funky brooch or bracelet with your outfit. But do take off visible body-piercing hardware -- other than earrings -- before the interview.
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