I love dressing up for a party or going out with friends, but try to simplify things for work. When it comes to work and fashion, I try to remind myself of that old Tide commercial tagline, “Style is an option. Clean is not.” Job interviews, in particular, are not a time to experiment with trends.
There are countless articles on color guidelines and styles. However, the best interview attire guidelines boil down to two main considerations:
1) Look professional, and
2) Feel confident.
The easiest way to look professional is to wear a jacket. Yes, most companies these days are business casual and you likely will never wear a jacket once you start the job. However, a jacket conveys to the interviewer that you are taking this process seriously. At Pye Legal Group, we recommend that candidates wear jackets (typically with no tie) including for video interviews.
Save distracting accessories and low necklines for the weekend. I am not saying that the interviewer should judge you for the style choices you make, but they might do so, consciously or unconsciously. Take that factor out of the equation by sticking to relatively boring, professional dress.
The second main consideration is how confident your attire makes you feel. If you don’t feel confident in what you have chosen, it will show. While nothing beats athleisure in the comfort department, make sure your interview clothes fit well and will not leave you continuously adjusting or scratching. Confidence-boosting is another reason to dust off that jacket. When I put one on, I just feel smarter and more professional.
What “rules” do you have for interview attire?
Note: These tips apply to roles in legal departments. The more creative a role, the more leeway one typically has to display that creativity in work attire.
Danielle Kruger joined Pye Legal Group in 2022. Before transitioning to legal recruiting, Danielle practiced law for nine years in a big law firm, an in-house legal department, and in a small firm.