The culture of work is changing in the 21st century, and what’s considered acceptable to wear at work, or to a job interview, is changing too.
It can be difficult to know what to wear to appear professional, but also approachable and adaptable in an ever-changing work environment. More people than ever are working from home, and dress codes are relaxing in industries such as tech and start-up businesses. This has had a knock-on effect, and many sectors outside of this have relaxed their codes too.
But it’s a fine line between looking confidently casual, and striking an unprofessional tone, especially when attending a job interview. With the rise of social media and documenting our every move, and the possibility to Skype in to phone calls, today image is of paramount importance.
A job interview is all about first impressions, and your clothes and grooming are a key part of this. Overall it’s really important to wear something you feel comfortable, confident and smart in. Your clothes can affect your body language and the way you project yourself to future employers, so it’s of utmost importance that you feel like the best version of yourself!
Some sectors such as financial services still have rigid dress codes and encourage conformity in adopting these, so it’s important to research the area you’re going into before heading to the interview. What’s appropriate in the creative industries may not be appropriate in other settings, and vice versa, so do your research.
In a competitive marketplace it’s important that you stand out at a job interview, but in the right way. Don’t be afraid to bring your personality into your interview wardrobe, but make sure your clothing supports your application, rather than overshadowing it. To play it safe, keep trousers or skirts dark, and if it’s appropriate you can experiment a bit more with shirts, blouses or tops. There’s no need to completely rule out colour and print if this is part of your everyday wardrobe, but pair it with classic, toned down separates or accessories.
Crucially, you want to feel your absolute best. ‘Business casual’ can be a minefield, but it also allows for more comfort than the rigid stuffed suits and starched collars of the past. While it’s important to leave the athleisure and sweatpants at home, it’s no longer unacceptable to have a more individual approach to your interview attire.
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