How to dress for a job interview

Clothing options hanging in a closet.

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It’s important to look professional for your job interview. It shows respect for the company and its employees. It also helps the interviewer see if you are a good fit for the company. Looking good and feeling comfortable in your clothes will also make you more confident.

Here are tips for dressing for a job interview:

Research before the interview

  • Go to the company’s website. Look at photos to see how the employees are dressed.
  • Dress conservatively if you work in the creative field. Don’t wear t-shirt and shorts. Wear a dress shirt and slacks or a dress or a skirt/slacks and blouse.
  • Ask if you want to make sure. Call the person who requested the interview. Ask if they have a dress code.

Always look clean and neat

  • Try your clothes on before the day itself. Walk and sit down to see if you will be comfortable in them.
  • Keep clothes clean and neatly pressed. Shoes should be polished and fit you well.
  • Don’t choose loud colours for your outfit. Don’t wear too many accessories.
  • Don’t wear too much make-up.
  • Bring a portfolio case or a document folder for your resume. Bring a pen.
  • Men may get a haircut a few days before the interview.
  • Shower and keep your breath smelling fresh. Check for lipstick stains or food on your teeth.

Watch this video from Monster UK & Ireland to see sample outfits:

Others:

  • Don’t use perfume, scented lotions or deodorants. Most workplaces in Manitoba are scent-free. Employees or customers may have fragrance sensitivity or allergies.
  • Ask for help if you have nothing to wear. Check Community Resources below.
  • Check the weather. Consider bringing another pair of shoes for indoor use in winter. Taking the bus or walking to the interview in summer can make you sweaty. Bring an extra shirt.

What’s appropriate for a Skype interview?

  • Treat a Skype interview like a face-to-face interview.
  • Test your clothes the day before the interview. See how you look by using Skype’s video preview (go to tools>options>video settings).
  • Wear a complete professional attire (tops and bottoms) in case you need to stand up.
  • Avoid clothes with bold patterns and colors. They are distracting on screen especially houndstooth.

Read How to have a successful phone or Skype interview.

General reminders:

  • Don’t be late. Know the exact location before the day itself. Use Google maps or check the company website.
  • Check the bus schedule for the interview day if you are not driving. Know if there are schedule changes.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early. You will have time to go to the washroom and freshen up.
  • Set your phone on silent mode or turn it off before the interview starts.
  • Be cheerful. Smile and greet everyone you meet.

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Community Resources

Ask for help from the following places:

Get affordable gently used clothing from the Salvation Army, The Goodwill Stores and Value Village.

Ask help from English Online (employment workshops), Manitoba Start, or your settlement service provider if you want to practice answering interview questions.

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