Dress for Success – Business attire 101

What’s the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you’re interviewing with. You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you’re interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

Whether you are going for an in-person interview or a virtual session with an employer, dressing appropriately is important because the first judgment an interviewer makes will be based on how you look and what you are wearing. Here are some of the common types of interview attires:

Business formal – Simply put, it means a full business suit and dress shoes. You should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed.

Business Casual – If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than suits but must be workplace-appropriate. A simple dress, dress shirt with or without a tie, dress pants or khakis, and dress shoes are appropriate business casual attire. Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a Polo shirt or button-down.

Casual Interview Attire – Rather than showing up in a black suit and dress shoes, opt for something that is relaxed but still presentable: relaxed-fit khakis, dark-wash jeans, and a nice top would be an acceptable option.

Don’t forget that the Career Services & Internship Program Office house the Bear Essential Clothing Closet. Stop by during our office hours to access this service.

By Gerald Tang
Gerald Tang Executive Director