While what you wear to a job interview matters significantly, it’s also important to consider what you shouldn’t wear if you want to make the best impression. When you are dressing for a job interview, it matters how you present yourself. Your image is the first thing a potential recruiter is going to take into account about you before you even have a chance to say a word or shake a hand.
To make a decent first impression, you should dress appropriately and separate your social image from your professional presence. Even if you’re interviewing at a start-up with a super casual workplace, it’s vital not to dress it down too much.
Here are 5 things you should never wear to a job interview.
(1) Shabby clothes
Say no to torn jeans or ill-fitted clothes. Anything too loose or too tight is equally distracting and leaves the interviewer with a poor impression. Also, merely wearing a blazer on top doesn’t give you the excuse to wear a tired t-shirt underneath. Take the extra effort and put on a button-down or, at the very least, a V-neck sweater.
2) Excess cologne
Do not marinate yourself in cologne. Take it easy on the perfume and cologne, as you never know if your interviewer might have an allergy or aversion to strong scents.
(3) Headphones are not cool at office
While it’s all right to listen to music on your commute to the interview, take them off before you enter the office, and put them away before you’re called in for the interview. Otherwise, you are at the risk of appearing distracted and unfocused. Also, you certainly don’t want to be fumbling with jumbled cords as you meet and shake hands with your interviewer.
(4) An outfit that is too dated
In a competitive job market, everything matters – especially your overall appearance. If your wardrobe is old-fashioned, or if you have been out of the workforce for some time and your closet reflects it, invest in some modern, fashion-forward clothes to wear to your interview.
Don’t forget about shoes, either. Throwing on a pair of sneakers, an old pair of pumps, will not make you look polished or professional. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on your wardrobe. Just find simple yet elegant pieces that fit you well and make you look professional. You will be surprised by how much your shopping trip will pay-off.
(5) Say no to heavy makeup
Women, please take special notice. While it’s important to look your best, stacking on makeup is not the best way to go about it. Keep your look natural. Avoid dark eye shadow, bright lipstick, or heavy foundation. The best way to go about it is to put on maybe a light coat of mascara, a touch of powder, and some tinted lip balm. Try to look refreshed and awake, without looking too done up.