I have an interview – what should I wear? A Recruiter’s Perspective

About the Author

Laura Machan

Laura Machan

Laura Machan is a Partner, Talent Acquisition Group at Knightsbridge Human Capital Solutions based in Toronto, Ontario. Although she has been recruiting for quite a few years, she still gets a big thrill from calling someone to set up an interview and an even bigger thrill when she hears a happy dance as she tells them when their new job starts. Laura lives with her family in Oakville, where she has lived for over 25 years, and is a significant contributor to the Canadian Federation of University Women - Oakville and Women in Nuclear, Golden Horseshoe Chapter.

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Jeans? Khakis? Suit? There are so many different work cultures now, it can be tricky to figure out what to wear to an interview. Over dressing or under dressing can make you feel awkward at the beginning of a conversation and that can be tough to recover from.

Ultimately you want to dress in a way that makes you feel confident. So if you have favourite socks or lucky underwear, start with that.

You can check out the website of the company to see how they present themselves. Look for candid work photos under the careers page. You can look on Glassdoor (although you will learn a lot more than how employees dress!). You can also ask the person who is setting up the interview. Whether they are in the organization or from an agency, they should be able to give you some insight.

And don’t be afraid to ask. How you show up is as important as where you show up.

Whether it’s a jeans place or a suit place, make sure what you are wearing is clean, neat and smells fresh. Not like a garden, a beach or a forest. Just plain clean.

This goes for hair and shoes as well. People won’t care if your hair is long or short. It’s about showing that you respect this opportunity enough to care about how you put yourself together. If you care about that, the assumption is that you care about your work too.

On the way in to the meeting, wipe your palms, square your shoulders and take a deep breath and you will be ready for a great conversation!

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