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Wearing a Blazer Vs. Wearing a Suit to a Job Interview

by Erin Schreiner

As the day of your interview approaches, you might spend time practicing your answers to potential questions and studying up on the company to ensure you're prepared, confident and perfect for the job. Don’t let something as potentially simple as your dress undermine all of this effort. What you wear to your interview is important, advises Lindsay Olson for “U.S. News and World Report.” Put as much effort into picking your perfect interview outfit as you do to preparing your answers so that you make a positive impression.

Dress Appropriately Casually

Slipping on your reserved-for-interviews black suit may not always be the best bet. Instead of falling back on this go-to piece, be attentive to the culture of the company. Strive to dress one-level above the standard level of dress at that company, says software engineer Jenson Crawford in a “U.S. News and World Report” article. If workers typically show up in jeans and a T-shirt, wearing a blazer and slacks to your interview is more appropriate than wearing an overly formal suit that will set you too far apart from the rest of the workforce.

Research Your Attire

Hit the Internet and seek clues as to the business’ formality of dress. Be a smart investigator and look for images of employees on the company website, Facebook page or LinkedIn profile, suggests Image Consulting firm “Style for Success.” Don’t rely on one picture alone when crafting your opinion of the company dress code -- this image could have been snapped on a dress-down day, after all -- but instead seek multiple examples of appropriate company dress to ensure your impression is as accurate as possible.

Strive for Coordination

It’s not a fashion show, but a put-together outfit can influence the interviewers’ impression of you. If you slip on a blazer instead of a coordinated-for-you suit, carefully pick a pair of pants or skirt that complements the blazer. If you arrive in a mismatched outfit, you may inadvertently send the impression that you lack attention to detail.

Check Clothes Quality

If your main motivation to wear a blazer is the fact that you have a long-ago-abandoned one in the back of your closet, so you wouldn’t have to trek to the mall -- reconsider your choice. While you don’t have to dress too trendy -- in fact, dressing overly trendy could be a detriment, suggests Rachel Raczka for “The Boston Globe” -- you should wear clothing in good condition and well-tailored. Just like an uncoordinated outfit, a clearly shabby outfit could leave interviewers second-guessing your professionalism and focus.

About the Author

Erin Schreiner is a freelance writer and teacher who holds a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University. She has been actively freelancing since 2008. Schreiner previously worked for a London-based freelance firm. Her work appears on eHow, Trails.com and RedEnvelope. She currently teaches writing to middle school students in Ohio and works on her writing craft regularly.

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