what not to wear to an interview.

Your appearance and the way you dress can say a lot about you, and you certainly do not want to convey the wrong message when you are interviewing with your dream employer. Based on what you wear to the job interview, you can make a good impression which will increase your chances of getting employed.

Interviews are a great chance for you to show a little bit of your personality. It also helps the interviewer determine whether you are a good fit for the organisational culture. That said, even if you have a loud personality, try not to distract your interviewer by being too over the top!

Today, many people would prefer working in places with a more smart casual dress code. In a recent survey conducted by Randstad USA, one-third of respondents stated that they would rather be able to wear jeans to work every day than receive a $5,000 raise in their annual salary.

Before you start showing up in jeans, always research the dress code of the company that you are interviewing for. While dressing down is normal in a tech start-up, it may not be appreciated in a bank. One way to find out is to go on social media platforms such as Instagram and take a look at how their employees dress for work.

Despite the growing trend of business casual attire for work, there are still some generally agreed-upon items of clothing that you should never wear to interviews.

6 things not to wear to a job interview

1. flip flops and sandals

Under no circumstances are flip flops and sandals acceptable footwear when it comes to job interviews. You want to convey your professionalism, and needless to say, proper dress shoes and heels are part of the image of a professional. Showing up to an interview in flip flops, no matter how branded or expensive they are, communicates your nonchalance and will not help you secure that position you so desire. Furthermore, sandals can be a work hazard in some environments such as manufacturing, construction and supply chain.

2. shorts

The only thing worse than showing up in flip flops is wearing the sandals-and-shorts combination. We get it, it’s hot and humid outside and you don’t want to show up soaked in your own perspiration. However, even if you live in a land of perpetual summer, you should never show up looking like you are heading for a pool party right after the interview. If you’re not interviewing to be a lifeguard, turning up for an interview in something too casual like shorts is never a good move.

3. headwear

If your headwear is not for religious purposes, we suggest you leave it at home. Sure, they may be in trend, but baseball caps and beanies don’t exactly convey your professionalism to the person interviewing you. If you’re having a bad hair day, there are always alternatives! Go to the salon before your interview or use a hair spray or dry shampoo to temporarily liven those flat roots.

4. athleisure

Even with athleisure becoming more trendy and popular these days, it is not a good idea to show up for an interview looking like you came direct from a spin class. It suggests that you do not take the interview seriously or respect your interviewer enough to dress professionally for it. As comfortable as they may be, leave your yoga pants and sweatshirts for the gym, not the interview room.

5. flashy clothes

You dress to impress, but the sparkles and sequins are not doing you any favours during the job interview. You want an outfit that will help you shine through, not outshine you. Unless you’re interviewing for a position where a creative and bold style matters, you should not attempt to dazzle your interviewer with loud patterns. Sticking to neutral and muted colours such as black, blue, white, brown or grey would be better, as the interviewer should ideally be listening to you rather than be distracted by what you’re wearing.

6. overpowering perfumes or colognes

Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to fragrances, and what you find pleasant may be a pungent odour to the person sitting opposite you. Instead of reaching for your bottle of perfume or cologne, you might want to opt for deodorant instead. Deodorants have less overpowering scents than perfumes and colognes, and are therefore more suitable for an interview. To add, you may not know if your interviewer has any fragrance sensitivities, so it is best to err on the side of caution and skip the heavy perfume or cologne on your interview day.

confidence is key

What you wear and how you feel can make a big impact on your level of confidence during a job interview. Candidates who are equipped with details about the company they are interviewing for tend to be more self-assured, translating to better performance during the interview.

One way to be absolutely sure of what you are walking into is to work with a recruitment agency like Randstad. Recruiters often have access to privileged information that may not be readily available to you, such as the dress code and culture of the company or team that you are looking to join. Your recruiter can share these details with you so that you can be better prepared and more confident during the interview.

If you want us to help guide you through your job interview, apply for a job through our website or simply tell us what your next dream career looks like. We’ll connect with you once the right match comes along.