As a recruiter who has coached countless professionals throughout my career, I understand the struggle we all face when deciding what to wear to an interview. This can be even more of a dilemma when interviewing at a trendy startup.
With smaller tech companies, a big part of the interview is seeing how you fit in with the team. It may send the wrong message to show up in a suit and tie when the entire company is rocking Levi’s.
So, how do you dress professionally without being stuffy?
Clothes Men Could Wear:
I typically recommend going just short of a full suit:
- Dress pants, a button down and a tie are a good option
- A suit, dress shirt and no tie also fit the bill
Your goal is to look polished. Choose pieces that are made of high-quality fabric and well-tailored. If you have a gut instinct that this company is going to be full of suits (for example, British startups tend to be dressier), then go with the full suit and tie.
Clothes Women Could Wear:
There are fewer clear-cut rules to determine what is dressy or casual for us ladies. We have more options to choose from, which is both a blessing and a curse. You could go with:
- A dress
- A pencil skirt
- Dress pants with a nice blouse
- Or, you could always go with the old standby: your favorite LBD (little black dress), spiced up with some fun jewelry
Wear something that makes you feel confident, and you will be one step closer to your dream job. Like your mom always said, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.