Whether you like it or not, people form first impressions in seconds, and that’s also true for HR people, even when they try to keep an open mind while interviewing people.
If you want to get the job and impress during the interview, your style should be simple and highlight you, not draw attention away from your answers. Check out the worst job interview fashion mistakes that you should aim to avoid if you’re hoping to get a second interview or even get hired on the spot.
Not Researching the Organizational Culture
When you’re hoping to get the job, it’s up to you to show how you’d fit right in. That means doing a little research about the kind of attire most employees of the company wear. In really casual work environments, getting overdressed for an interview can be just as bad as wearing something too casual for more interviews. Once you get the vibe, don’t try to impress with your forward fashion choices unless you’re actually looking for a job in the field.
Wearing Bold Necklines
In the corporate world, a neckline that’s too low is one of the worst job interview fashion mistakes. You don’t have to wear a turtleneck but stick to a more demure look. If you’re wearing a blouse or shirt, button up. Showing cleavage isn’t the only problem, you should also make sure that bra shoulder straps are never visible during an interview.
Going for a Risky Hemline
While corporate attire mandates that your skirts should never go above the knee, you can risk wearing something too short even for a workplace where the dress code is casual. Just like low necklines, showing off too much leg can work against you whether the interviewer is male or female, so just don’t.
Keeping Your Legs Bare
When you know the dress code is professional, stockings are a must. Choose a neutral or flesh-tone shade, even when your skirt’s hemline is at the knee or below. Skipping the stockings can end up being one of the worst job interview fashion mistakes, particularly if the person interviewing you is dressed more formal.
Getting Too Casual with Your Shoes
Sandals are a big no-no for job interviews. A good rule of thumb is that if your footwear can look right at the beach, it does not when you’re looking for a job. Open-toed shoes and sling-backs should also be avoided. Whether you choose heels or flats, make sure they’re not too casual and they definitely shouldn’t be flashy either.
Ignoring Your Nails
Applying for a job where you’ll be working with a computer a lot and then showing up to meet HR with very long or ornate nails is a really bad idea. To be on the safe side, stick to a more neutral look for your nails. Go for a pale shade and make sure they they’re properly manicured.
Excessive jewelry is definitely a bad look for a job interview. If your jewelry is a distraction, either with its jangly shape or with sound, that will work against you. Avoid dangling earrings, layered necklaces, multiple bracelets, and don’t wear too many rings. Less is definitely more in this case.
Showing Your Tattoos
One of the worst job interview fashion mistakes is showing visible tattoos. They can be distracting to the interviewer, so make sure that they’re covered. While they’re becoming a mainstream fashion accessory, tattoos aren’t acceptable for many HR people when they’re highly visible.
Wearing Strong Perfume
You should skip the fragrance completely or be very subtle with it when you’re preparing for a job interview. If you don’t feel like your style is complete without a little spritz, make sure that’s it’s a not a strong fragrance, that can be felt from across the room or linger after you leave the interview.
Not Being Equally Prepared for Video Interviews
If you’re doing a video interview, via Skype or other similar apps, you should still pay attention to most of the worst job interview fashion mistakes. Wear as much perfume as you like, but dress as you would for a regular interview. Even if you think you’ll do all of it standing down, you might need to get up for a moment and the last your interviewer wants to see is pajama bottoms or yoga pants.