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What are the best things to wear to an interview to stand out?

Obviously we have to stay looking professional, but is there a way we can stand out? #interviews

Thank you comment icon Adding to the above, I also agree that personality is one of the biggest factors. It is important for interviewers to see who you are, your personality, so be yourself and your confidence will shine through! Arthur D'Souza
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John’s Answer

Sam the people interviewing you want to know that you 'get' what their company is about. They also want to make sure you understand the job duties you'll be expected to undertake.

DRESS TO IMPRESS
First impressions are important for employers. Deciding what to wear to an interview is often a stressful part of the preparation process. Successful job interviews depend on both how well you answer questions and how you present yourself. That’s why a smart, pulled-together appearance can help convince the hiring manager that you’re a great fit for the company. First impressions are made of visual and verbal cues, which can form within seconds of meeting someone. Many things can factor into a first impression, such as someone’s posture, facial expressions, voice intonations, handshake, eye contact, grooming, and dress. While these cues are not always an accurate portrayal of a person’s character and personality, they can give a good indication of who someone is. Before choosing an interview outfit, research the company to determine how formal their workplace is. If you’ve checked the company website and social media pages but still can’t determine the dress code, try calling the company’s HR department. Explain that you have an upcoming interview and would like to know the appropriate dress code.

BE FRIENDLY
Keep in mind that everyone in the company, from the receptionist who met you at the door to the president whom you passed in the hall, can play a role in the final hiring decision. Stay friendly and be pleasant to everyone you meet, even if you are stressed or nervous. Same goes in the interview. Even when tough questions are asked, keeping a pleasant attitude and showing interest in your interviewers can go a long way.

FOLLOW UP
Once the interview ends, make sure you consider these tips to help you land that dream job:
• Thank your interviewers on your way out.
• Follow up with a formal thank-you note.
• Reach out in the weeks following to check the status.

Hope this helpful Sam
Thank you comment icon Thank You Richard. If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever. John Frick
Thank you comment icon I totally agree with John's points. One additional comment I'd make is we're now operating in a world where it's OK to send a follow up email vs. a handwritten note. Speed in this case might be better, especially with a very active and hot job market. Good luck to all! Melanie Chesser-Garcia
Thank you comment icon Thank You Melanie. If our hopes of building a better and safer world are to become more than wishful thinking, we will need the engagement of volunteers more than ever. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Gregory. Service to others is the rent we pay for our room here on Earth. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Joshua. Helping one another. There’s no time like the present, and no present like the time. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Connor. Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another. John Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Margaret. Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more. John Frick
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Sam! I think there are great answers here and I would like to add it's better to blend in with clothes and stand out with your personality and experiences. I think it's important to look professional and I would opt for a nice suit and a nice tie, for medical school I did read about how some male students can wear a bow tie if they would like to stand out. However if you aren't sure then being basic and professional is best, maybe a nice, color but classy tie can be a little way to stand out but I would always be on the cautious side. Below is a link on interview attire for men. As a last note always make good eye contact even if the interview is virtual- then look at the lens or the screen of the camera, be professional but remember to be relaxed and smile, and always be yourself and speak honestly about your experiences! I hope this helps! I wish you the best!

Yasemin recommends the following next steps:

https://www.thebalancecareers.com/interview-outfits-for-men-2061090
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Mary’s Answer

Everyone has wonderful answers on this thread. I would add to wear what makes you feel confident and powerful (assuming it’s appropriate). I’m a lawyer. So, for me, it’s my favorite pair of heels and a special necklace given to me by my foster child. For you, it could be a special pair of earrings or your favorite hair tie. Confidence is extremely important in the way you present yourself!
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Manda’s Answer

Hi Sam, As an HR professional who conducts many interviews, I suggest that you DON'T want to stand out with your clothing. You want the interviewer to remember you and your qualifications for the job, not your clothing, hair, or accessories. I agree with the advice to be neat, clean and well-groomed, and to research the company and/or ask the person who scheduled the interview for advice. I work for a tech company and the CEO wears hoodies; when someone shows up to an interview in a full suit, they look overdressed.

If it's a virtual interview, very little of your clothing shows so just have a clean, professional neckline and avoid distracting accessories. In a Zoom call or similar, the background can also be distracting, so choose a plain background or use a Zoom filter to blur out what's behind you. Essentially, you want to minimize distractions so that the interviewers can focus on your questions and responses. Be friendly, positive, and prepared, and that will stand out more than any outfit!
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Kim’s Answer

Sometimes the way to stand out is pretty basic. Fresh haircut. Hands clean and nails trimmed. Shoes polished. Clothes properly fitted (not necessarily tailored, but, no buttons popping off, no sagging, etc.) , clean, and pressed. Nothing that detracts from your appearance. Don't chew gum or walk in with an energy drink in your hand! Minimal accessories - a notepad - paper or electronic version, a pen. That's about it.

A lot depends on the type of position you are applying for. For example, at least here in Texas, men applying for skilled trades positions can "dress up" with a nice pair of black jeans, nice boots and belt, crisp button-down shirt. There is such a thing as being over-dressed. It's perfectly acceptable to ask the recruiter what is appropriate attire.

No matter how well-dressed you are, you still need to "wow" them during the interview!
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Sydney’s Answer

Hi Sam,
The people interviewing you want to make sure that you understand the company ethos and culture as well.
DRESS to impress
With this is that you need to dress like you are going to a nice restaurant that has a dress code and also no jeans for interviewing unless it it over zoom.
IMPORTANT
When you are done with the interviewing you need to ask for business card or email because you should write them a thank you note and that goes a long way.
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Caroline’s Answer

This is a great question! I often wondered the same thing while applying for jobs. The first thing is you want to look professional. It also depends on what kind of job you are interviewing for. Wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable, while still professional. For example, I feel my most confident when I wear blazers (and they are professional!), so for most job interviews I wear a blazer, a blouse underneath and some nice pants (not jeans). You want to look put together, but stand out with your experiences and personality. Let your words and actions speak louder than your dress.
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Craig’s Answer

I suggest googling "Business Dress" and use this to stand out above those that come in from Business casual. However I recommend not exceed what's listed because you don't want to stand out to the extreme that it becomes a distraction. At the end of the day you want to be professional, but by the interview you want them to remember what you said more than what you wore.
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Grace’s Answer

Hi Sam! I think everyone on this thread offered great advice for this question. It seems like the consensus is to stand out less with what you wear, and more with your personality, skill set, and knowledge.

However... sometimes it's fun to add a little something that makes you feel confident. I always like to start with a really simple outfit (neutral, black/beige pants, for instance) and get fun from there. Maybe it's a fun button-up shirt, a statement necklace, a professional but stylish hairpiece, or a nice pair of earrings.

Either way, make sure you feel confident and comfortable. Too many times I've felt uncomfortable in what I was wearing and couldn't focus 100% on the task in front of me. So make sure to put that first, and leave the statement pieces as optional finished touches.
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Cyndi’s Answer

Hi Sam!

I think everyone gave a pretty good answer. As important as your appearance will be during your interview, your attitude and how you carry yourself speaks a lot too! As far as what to wear, I would say keep it professional and neutral, google some images on what to wear for interview, make sure you look clean and neat. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, what would you think of this person in the first 3 seconds you see this person.

Be yourself, be confident and you will do great in your interview! Good luck!
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Luis’s Answer

Hi Sam!

I would agree completely with Emily. Though what you wear is something consider (nice shirt, tie and slacks), at the end of the day, what makes someone standout is going to be their personality, their attitude and how they communicate. It is possible to be externally prepared for a job, but if the internal isn't then the external doesn't matter too much.
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Stacia’s Answer

Sam,
You need to some homework first to understand the culture of the company or department you are interviewing with. Is the normal attire a full suit or it more relaxed (business casual)? You can start there.

In recent times, many interviews are being conducted virtually and you have to impress via a computer monitor. What will make you stand out is:

Doing your research on the postion and the company. Show the interviewers that you have done your homework, you understand what the job and the company and that you are the best fit.

Showing them who you are. In other words, your personality. Interviewers want to know who they are hiring.

Be confident. If it helps where a piece of clothing or accessory (work appropriate of course) that boosts your mood and/or confidence. Even though they wont see all of you on the interview, dress fully - including shoes.

Don't pretend to be someone you are not. Be you!

One other tip - I get nervous when I interview so I always where something that will hide if I perspire. You don't want to worry about that and try to answer questions at the same time.

And another - make sure your camera and lighting is postioned so they can see you clearly.
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dave’s Answer

always wear a black/blue business suit and make eye contact

good luck!
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Emily’s Answer

Hi,

I feel that your personality and what you bring to the table definitely stand out more. However, with appearances, just make sure that you have a neat hairstyle, spray some perfume/ cologne, a blouse with a blazer, and high-heeled booties. I personally also love wearing wide-legged dress pants!
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Angela’s Answer

Confidence is key! You want to feel confident in what you are wearing and how you are presenting yourself. Do your research about the culture of the company you're interviewing for. A lot of companies these days do not have a strict "business professional" dress code for their employees but it's important that you show that you care and take the interview and the process seriously. So, I recommend "business professional" for a formal in-person interview. Also, remember that there's a lot more to your appearance than just what you are wearing. Overgrown facial hair, excessive makeup and jewelry or tattoos showing may be distracting to the interviewer. Also, use your resources! If you know someone who works at the company or are working with a recruiter, ask them what they suggest you wear and what's expected!
I always find it helpful to sit with my back facing the windows open to the office. I find it distracting to see people walking by or chatting outside the room. Lastly, don't forget to sit up straight and bring some water.
Remember that if you are being interviewed, they are genuinely interested in you as a candidate (they want you to be there!). I hope this is helpful!
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Jennifer’s Answer

Dress for the job, if its within a corporate environment, wear a clean suit. If its more of a business casual environment then wear clean, well fitting clothes that you feel comfortable in. You can also ask them prior to the interview what you should wear. You will stand out more if you are wearing sloppy, uncomfortable clothing so be confident and wear what makese you feel your best and most polished.
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Sheanel’s Answer

Hi Sam,

I love everyone's responses on the thread and would like to add my two cents if I may. The first thing you'll want to keep in mind is comfortability. Yes, a suit & tie looks the part but will you be comfortable in a suit throughout the entire interview? The only thing required is your A game. As long as you come to the interview well groomed & confident you will be fine. Good luck!!!
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Eleanor’s Answer

Disclaimer - the outfit won't win you the job, obviously.

That being said, top things to "dress to impress":
1. It needs to fit correctly. Get it tailored if it doesn't fit off the rack. I mean it. Pants or sleeves that are too long look sloppy. Gaping blouses that reveal things they shouldn't are a problem.
2. Solid colors are best. Subtle patterns (in small amounts) can work. You don't want your interviewers staring at your outfit instead of listening to you. I like a bright jewel color (think aqua, salmon or turquoise) paired with a dark color (black, navy, etc).
3. Less is more with accessories. Anything that jangles, take it off.
4. Less is more with makeup.
5. If you don't feel confident when you put it on, it's the wrong outfit. Whatever you decide to wear, it should make you feel like $1M
6. I usually wear my hair tied back in some way instead of down because I have a habit of playing with my hair when I'm stressed if it's down - so be aware of any of those habits you have and work to mitigate them.
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Gregory’s Answer

I agree with many of the answers here that your personality matters but also dressing to impress shows a level of needed respect. There is a balance between wearing something outside your comfort zone or showing up in wrinkled jeans. Your appearance does matter and shows you are genuinely interested in the job your are interviewing for. Remember you are meeting these people for the first time so look neat, be excited and friendly . I also agree that it is imperative you do the research on the culture of the company your are applying to and ask the recruiter for guidance.
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Gloria’s Answer

Hi Sam,

In my experience, what to wear to an interview is a balance. Your goal with what you wear is not the stand out. You actually want to aim to fit in. You want to show up in the dress code as closely as possible. For example, if you have applied for a warehouse job, you should avoid wearing something like sandals which probably wouldn't be allowed in a warehouse environment. The challenge here is getting some sense of what the dress code is for the job that you are applying for or at the company where you want to work. In that example, it is a distraction in your interview. With other jobs, I still think that it is safe to dress better than the dress code whenever possible. In the US and also in Texas, casual is actually an acceptable standard in some businesses. For that interview, I would dress business casual. Or if the company's dress code is business casual, dress for business. If you think that your outfit would be great for a party or a night out with friends, that should not be part of your interview dress code in most jobs.

The best advice that I can give you after you have done your research on dress codes for jobs, only wear what is comfortable for you. If you don't own the clothes that you feel are necessary, think about the cost versus benefit of that investment. Also minimize enhancements to your makeup or additions of jewelry. Minimizing distraction is more important than standing out. You want the interviewer to focus on the skills and talents that you bring to the job.

Gloria
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