Suit Up: Dressing For Job Interview Success

The semester is over and graduation is here! While you’re celebrating your accomplishments, you’re also facing a new challenge: finding a great job. This means it’s time to up your interview game by polishing your resume and finding the perfect interview outfit.

Dressing for success is critical, even in today’s more casual workplaces, so your interview outfit needs to be on point. However, there are different standards for both industries and office dress codes. So we asked our own Lauren Conaway, League’s Human Resources Manager, for some suggestions.

Lauren at her desk here at League.

“I’ve had people show up to interviews looking as if they’ve just rolled out of bed,” Lauren said. “My Mom always said don’t dress for the job you have, dress for the job you want. This saying still rings true for me to this day.”

So what does Lauren suggest? “League has a very relaxed dress code, but I still think it is extremely important to represent yourself in a professional manner especially during an interview,” she said.  “This is the first time a candidate is meeting Human Resources, the Hiring Manager, and other members of the League team.  The candidate should convey to everyone that they take this opportunity very seriously and that it is important to them. ”

Button down shirts are perfect.

This means dressing up for your interview. “If a candidate can’t muster up the energy to put their best foot forward on the first meeting, it does give an indication of the type of worker the candidate is going to be,” Lauren continued. “We look for dynamic individuals that can contribute on an individual as well as team level.  We look for candidates that have great attitudes, want to contribute to the League team, and will feel a sense of pride for the work that they are producing.”

Take the time to do a little extra studying so you can show up at your interview ready to have your skills stand out instead of your outfit.

There are many different office attire expectations, but smart casual, business casual, and business professional seem to be the most popular in many companies. So, how can you tell the difference and dress accordingly for your interview?

He’s interview ready.

“Smart” Casual

As Lauren mentioned earlier, League is a casual office. However, that doesn’t mean you should show up to an interview in a hoodie and old sneakers. We advise most of our interviewees to dress “smart casual,” a step just below business casual. Your best bet is a  pair of black slacks or khakis with a clean button down shirt. From there, add some flats or dress shoes and accessorize to your liking. If it’s chillier, layer a sweater over your button down for the ultimate preppy look!

Business Casual

Now it’s time to start thinking a little dressier. With a business casual dress code, make sure to grab your blazer! You can recycle the slacks and button down shirt, but add a tie or some heels to really enhance the look. If you’d prefer, a dress or skirt does the trick too! Of course, add some of your personal flair to this look with fun colors or patterns to give the interviewer a look into your own personality.

Business Professional

If required to dress business professional, you need to pull out the suits. This is the strictest of dress codes, and while some personal expression can be achieved, it’s best to stick solid colors, (usually dark navy or black), and clean styles.

Keep these tips in mind and you will be sure to succeed. Good luck with the job search!