What Not to Wear-To Work and Interviews

What Not to Wear-To Work and Interviews

How to Dress for an InterviewOne of the most important things to remember when dressing for an interview (or when dressing for work on a daily basis) is that it’s important to dress the way that you want people to perceive you. The way that you dress is one of the first impressions that people get about you and it will affect their opinion of you. Most people don’t like to think that they will be judged for the way they look and dress, but the reality is that in the business world, appearances are a significant portion of your own personal brand.

When interviewing, a good standard is to dress for two jobs higher than the one that you want, to show a professional and put together appearance for interviewers. You don’t have to hold yourself to that standard on a daily basis, but it’s definitely a good idea. Presenting yourself as a professional helps give people the impression that you are one, and it can go a long way towards helping to further your career.

Here are some tips for what you shouldn’t wear to interviews and they hold true for work at a firm on a daily basis as well.

  1. Don’t wear denim. Nothing screams casual like denim. Everyone wears it, and everyone owns it, but that doesn’t mean that you should wear it to work, especially in a professional environment like a law firm.
  2. Observe your co-workers and others in your industry. When at work it’s a good idea to base what you’re wearing off your co-workers wardrobe choices. Find someone in the office who is at a level similar to you and who is viewed as a professional (and dresses like one) and use that as your clothing standard—anything below what they wear is to casual for your office. When interviewing, take what you know about others in your industry and model your appearance after them. When in doubt, always dress more conservatively and professionally than you think you need to just to be on the safe side.
  3. Wear appropriate footwear. It’s not just about what you wear in terms of clothes, footwear is important too. Runners are definitely out, and, for women, anything a little too racy can give the wrong impression, no matter how conservatively you’re dressed on top.
  4. Always follow company dress code. This should go without saying, but we’ll mention it anyways. If your company has a written (or un-written) dress code or standard of dress that they hold their employees too it’s important to always follow that code to the letter. Your company has imposed a dress code for a reason and they expect their employees to adhere to it.
  5. Be tasteful. This generally applies to women more than men as they have a little more flexibility with their wardrobes. Don’t show too much skin, don’t wear anything to revealing or tight, leaving something to the imagination is always a good idea when dressing for work (and for an interview). You want people to take you seriously as a professional, getting hired because you’re attractive may seem like a good idea at the time, but it will affect the way people treat you later on.
  6. Take other people’s sensibilities into consideration. Especially in highly professional industries like law, it’s important to remember that while you may love your tattoo/multiple piercings/shaved head/exotic hair color, that doesn’t meant that everyone does. It’s a good idea to try and get an idea of what is viewed as appropriate by your firm and interviewer in advance and always err on the side of caution.
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