Congrats, you have a scheduled interview! Now it’s time to prepare.
Along with researching the company, the interviewer, and the industry, one important thing to keep in mind as you prepare for the big day is what you’re going to wear. I’m sure you have heard the sayings, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” or “Dress to impress”. Although I agree that you always want to present yourself in a professional manner for any job interview (that includes your clothing), regardless of what the job is, wearing a suit & tie (for the male audience) or a business suit for the ladies is not always the right choice.
The best way to ensure that you properly dress for an interview is to simply ask the interviewer as you schedule the interview. Doing this shows the interviewer that you are a planner and wish to maintain their standards. I realize that the question can be a little awkward (after all we aren’t red carpet celebrities), but if you follow their guidance then you can’t go wrong. Of course, let’s say that you forgot to ask, or you did not have an opportunity to speak with anyone, then this is what I recommend.
Throughout the years I have helped countless candidates conduct on-site interviews at locations where work is actively being conducted, such as a construction site or manufacturing facility. If your interview is planned for such a location, then for males I recommend wearing a nice clean button-down shirt, slacks, and steel toe work boats. For the ladies, I recommend wearing a business suit and steel-toe work boats. Okay okay, I know what you’re thinking “Rich, you want me to wear a business suit with work boats? You’ve officially lost your mind.” But please take a second and hear me out. A major reason for doing an on-site interview is to ensure that you would be a good fit at the job location and with the other employees. Thus, if you fail to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as high heel shoes you cannot wear on a work site, then you run the potential of missing out on a site tour. A tour is a great opportunity to ask questions, meet other employees, and ensure that the job will be the right fit for you. Afterall, don’t you want to ensure that you will get along with the people you’ll be working alongside with for 8 plus hours per day, and aren’t blindsided by something you could have found out during a tour? If you really want to ensure you check all your boxes, if you own them, I recommend bringing your own eye and hearing protection.
All in all, don’t over stress yourself about what you wear to your job interview. Instead, ensure you look professional and keep the purpose and location of the interview in mind when determining what clothing is best.