How to Dress for the Job You Want

By on March 20, 2013

Over the course of my career, I have interviewed applicants wearing business suits, jeans, and even one wearing a bikini top and shorts (It was Florida, what can I say!). Hopefully, you will agree that I know a thing or two about interviews and will trust me when I say that the clothes you choose to wear to an interview can set the stage for your success.



Consider a person who is attempting to sell their home: One recommendation that is often made is to clear the clutter and “stage” the home so that prospective buyers can easily imagine living there. This allows the potential buyer to not get distracted by obtrusive wall colors or outrageous décor.

During an interview, your recruiter is imagining how well you’ll fit into their brand. Therefore, a similar approach should be made when selecting clothing for an interview. You should wear clothing and colors that support your brand, not distract from it.

It is crucial that, when selecting the outfit you’re going to wear to your interview, you need to consider your prospective company’s brand as well. Ask yourself: ”What are the words that you would use to describe their brand?” If they are a bit more chic and trendy, you can accommodate your suit in your clothing selection. Just be sure to recognize that just because something is fashionable it does not mean it’s professional.

Fashion Hiccups

In my current role, the bulk of my interviews are with current college students or recent college graduates. I think gentlemen have an easier time when it comes to attire. They wear a suit, a shirt, and a tie. Women, on the other hand, have more options when it comes to choosing an outfit which can lead to “fashion hiccups.” It is essential that you do a “dry run” of your selected outfit. Does the hemline rise a bit too high when you sit down? Do the shirt buttons gap or does the neckline fall too low? Solicit the opinions of others, but make sure those you ask are honest and aware that this is the outfit that you’re wearing to an interview.


Polish and Piercings

Lastly, remember the details. Take out the visible piercings depending upon the prospective company (gentlemen may want to remove their earrings). Don’t forget to polish your shoes, that’s a detail often overlooked. When it comes to nail polish, it’s either “all on or all off”, chipped and peeling polish never looks good. Proceed with caution when it comes to nail art or “accent” nails.

Although, you may feel like your interview outfit is boring, or does not completely reflect your personality, consider the adage, “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.”

About Ronisha

One of Hyatt's Regional Talent Acquisition Managers, Ronisha recruits for Hyatt's College Programs and supports our full-service locations within the East Coast and Midwestern regions of the United States. A lover of all things "social", you can follow her on Twitter at @ronishagoodwin