In any interview, a good rule of thumb is to dress slightly more formal than the company’s dress code. Many times, you can find pictures of employees at work functions by looking on the company’s website and social media outlets. By doing a little research, you can get a feel for what the other employees wear, giving you some guidance on what to wear.
Many times, corporations have a dress code and dress formally. This means that dressing professionally and conservatively is key. Make sure you have a pant suit or blazer and skirt that fit well and are tailored correctly. Pants should not drag on the floor and skirts should not be too short. Many larger retailers sell professional clothing that doesn’t cost a fortune. Even if you have to spend a little more, do your research and find a good tailor in your area. When it comes to professional dress, it’s more important to have one outfit that looks nice and fits well than 10 outfits that could use some fixing.
When dressing for an interview with a small business, research is everything. Wear a professional outfit but, depending on the work environment and brand identity, you may have a little freedom to express yourself with a colorful blazer or shoes. Many larger clothing retailers are going into sale season which is your time to score an outfit that you can wear to a few different companies. Many times Macy’s sales span the entire store, so no matter what you are looking for, you can find it in one department or another. Again, quality is more important than quantity. Buy one great outfit for all small business interviews then mix it up with shoes or jewelry to add in a bit of your personal style that vibes well with the company.
More often than not, startups are owned by innovative individuals who are on the cutting edge. In most cases, you can have a little bit of fun when dressing for an interview. Keep it conservative but also make sure that you have a piece on that shows off your personality and unique style. Drop the blazer and add some color. If you want, you can take your metallic gold bag instead of your plain black bag.
Not many people think about how a freelancer should dress. Don't they just work in pajamas all day? The fact is, even (or especially) a freelancer needs to give a good impression. You want to appear professional and serious, even if you're not a full-time, ever-present employee. These days, many freelancers stay in touch via video conference and come into the office to check in regularly, so professional dress should be worn whenever business is being conducted, especially an interview. This will also help you feel more productive.
Depending on the type of company you freelance for, follow the above guidelines. If you work for a few different companies, stick to a more conservative professional appearance, at least until you get a feel for the company policies.
For any job, the way you dress helps the interviewer get a feel for your personality and what you will be wearing to work on a regular basis. Always remember to do your research so you are not under or overdressed and dress like someone they could see in the position you want.
Nailing the outfit can also show a company that you have looked into their culture and that you’re prepared for the interview. What you wear is your chance to make a good impression while showing the company why you would be a good fit for their culture and workplace environment.
Carolyn got her start in the industry as the lead editorial contributor for AZSpaGirls.com. She currently works as a PR Account Executive at a Scottsdale-based advertising agency.
Carolyn’s work has been published in local publications including Arizona Weddings Magazine and ArizonaSpaGirls.com. She has also worked on national PR campaigns landing clients in The New York Times, Shape, Mens Health, Mens Fitness, Mashable, Lonny Magazine, NBC’s Open House and more.