Understanding how to dress for a job interview at a large corporation can be intimidating if you’ve never had an internship or entry-level job. After all, corporations are typically conservative so knowing how to navigate the dress code can seem a little challenging at first. However, with a little bit of research it’s possible to pick the perfect outfit and still feel like yourself.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when dressing for an interview at a corporation.
1. Keep it conservative
You’ve probably heard of casual and business casual attire, but what exactly does conservative attire look like? In one word: suits. These should be neutral in color, with a button-down shirt and tie for men and a nice blouse for women. Women can also wear a dress with a blazer on top or a skirt suit if they feel more comfortable.
If you’re worried about not being able to personalize your outfit, don’t be. You can definitely do this with some tasteful accessories. For men, this means a colorful tie or fun socks, and for women, a statement piece of jewelry or a nice scarf. Feel free to mix a brighter color among the more neutral tones but be sure to keep it understated.
2. Wear the right shoes
Wearing appropriate footwear is a must for all interviews and interviews at corporations are no exception. This means wearing comfortable but nice shoes, the ones that are clean and professional but not over the top. Shoes can tell a potential employer lot about a person — whether you’re neat and tidy (clean, polished shoes), or unkempt (dirty, old shoes). Often people see footwear as a small glimpse into who you are as a person so make sure yours are clean, professional and comfortable for you.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask
Even if you feel comfortable with your outfit for the interview, it never hurts to ask just to be sure. Reach out to your contact at the company, whether it be the hiring manager or HR. You can say something like, “Do you have any suggestions for interview attire?” Since they encounter this question on a regular basis, they’ll be able to give you some tips on how to put your best foot forward and ensure that you’re confident and well-dressed on the day of your interview.
Although interviewing at a large corporation can seem intimidating, it doesn’t need to be. By picking an outfit that’s conservative but still fits your style, you’ll be setting the right tone for the interview and feeling great about yourself to boot.
Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 6 Things to Do in Your First Week at a New Job and find answers to common interview questions such as Tell Me About a Time You Made a Mistake.