One of the first criteria of an interview is to dress well and appropriately. The proper attire can help you make the perfect first impression. And accordingly to experts, the best way to dress for an interview is to wear formal outfits.
Nevertheless, work culture across the globe has undergone a radical change in the last decade, and many workplaces have a more informal ambiance. Employers now believe in making their employees comfortable in every way, including their attire.
This is the reason why many workplaces allow business casual or even casual attire in the office. And many new job seekers now wonder if they can wear casual wear or business casual for an interview.
One of the most prominent components of casual attire is jeans and denim. They can help one create an instant style statement, are comfortable, and are wearable throughout the day, making them the perfect attire for day wear.
The question is, is it the proper attire for an interview?
Several factors can lead to whether you can wear jeans to an interview or not. And many would argue that it is better not to. However, there are certain aspects to consider before you rule it out.
Why Should You Wear Formal Attire to an Interview?
Before discussing whether you can wear jeans to an interview or not, you must consider why it is better to wear formal attire for an interview.
Experts say that you can never go wrong with formal attire. Since you do not know your employers well at all, and the first time they meet you will be when you walk in for the interview, it is better to be conventional.
It does not matter which sector or industry you will work for. Wearing formal garments will never work against you. You will feel comfortable in front of your prospective employers, who will also be dressed formally.
Moreover, dressing in formal garments is crucial if you are approaching formal institutions like a law firm, a public office, a hospital, or a tech or corporate firm. You will also feel confident in dressing well and will fit in with the ambiance.
Moreover, employers with a more conventional bent of mind feel reassured if they see their candidates are willing to blend in with the ambiance. They are far more likely to offer a job to a candidate who seems conventional rather than who appears to be a rebel and who tries to express that through their clothing.
Can You Wear Business Casuals to an Interview?
Researching the company and understanding the work culture is very important when you appear for an interview and when you dress accordingly, the employers are sure to notice the time and effort you put into it.
In such cases, that will prevent you from being overdressed or underdressed for the interview. Wearing business casuals to an interview is all right if you apply to a modern tech company with youngsters comprising most of the workforce.
These companies have a more laid-back work culture, and the emphasis is entirely on the quality of work they produce, not how they dress. Dressing formally will not go against you, but you will blend in better when you wear business casual.
You can wear khakis to the interview, but only when you are sure you will not breach any protocols. You may even call in advance and check the dress code from HR and ask if you can turn up in business casuals.
When Can You Wear Jean to an Interview?
Perceptions are changing, and many employers are now open to offering their employees various choices regarding dressing codes. Hence, if you want to wear jeans to an interview, here are some things you need to look into.
1. The Workplace Ambience
The workplace ambiance will decide whether you should wear jeans to an interview. Many start-ups today have a casual work culture, and wearing jeans to the workplace is all right.
However, that is mainly for the regular employees who have already become a part of the organization. You must research a company thoroughly to determine whether you can wear jeans to the interview.
Try to review their social media pages to understand whether it would be the proper attire.
2. Day of the Week
If your interview happens to be on a Friday evening or somewhere outside the office, you may wear business casual to an interview, including jeans. Or, maybe, you are meeting your employer for brunch on a Saturday.
In such cases, the atmosphere is less formal than having an interview in an office on a regular weekday, and wearing business casuals would be appropriate.
3. The Workforce
While researching the organization you are applying to, try to get an idea of its workforce. Organizations with a more senior workforce are somewhat traditional in their approach when it comes to business attire, but the younger workforce is far more open to dressing more casually.
It is not uncommon to see many CEOs of new-age corporations dress more casually. However, you still need to look into the dress code for an interview. You can only dress like the rest of the workforce when you have become a part of the workforce.
You must research the company thoroughly to understand whether wearing jeans will improve your chances or hinder them.
4. Your Designation
In some cases, the designation would dictate whether you can wear jeans or any other form of business casual or not.
For example, if you are going to apply for an intern position or one of the junior positions, you may wear business casuals. On the other hand, if you are applying for a senior management position, it would be better if you wear formal attire.
How to Style a Jeans for an Interview?
After considering all the aspects, if you still decide to wear jeans to an interview, here are some things to keep in mind.
- Always wear dark-wash jeans to an interview. Dark wash jeans look more refined, and the color palette of dark navy or black matches the neutral tones that are appropriate for an interview.
- Always wear jeans with trousers and legs. Avoid boot-legged jeans or flared bottoms. The same goes for skinny jeans. Trouser cuts are more formal, and they are appropriate when you are wearing business casuals.
- Do not wear a busy patterned top or shirt with jeans. Both men and women should try to stick to neutral shades while choosing a shirt or a blouse with jeans. You may add a pop of color with a scarf or a handkerchief in the blazer pocket. Avoid busy patterns as well.
- Wear loafers or formal-looking sneakers with your jeans. Avoid open-toe footwear.
- You can pair your jeans with a nice jacket or blazer. Those with broad lapels look appropriate and smart, and they lend a formal touch to the otherwise informal attire.
- Keep the other accessories light and minimal. For ladies, avoid too much makeup and wear neutral shades for your lips and eyes.
Things to Avoid While Wearing Jeans to an Interview?
It would be best if you avoided a few things while wearing jeans to an interview. Some of them are as follows:
1. No Holes
You should avoid any holes or rips in your jeans. Please remember that this is an interview, and only regular, trouser-cut jeans would be appropriate. Avoid any embroidery, patterns, or glitter on your jeans as well. There should be no cuts or patterns that give the illusion of skin underneath.
2. Not Faded
You must only wear dark wash jeans to an interview. Avoid jeans with faded patterns. You must also avoid jeans in unconventional colors like green. Stick to navy blue, black, or deep browns.
3. No Low-Rise
You must always wear jeans at the correct waist level and avoid any low-rise jeans for an interview. You can pair the jeans with a good belt, with a formal buckle to make it more formal in appearance, without appearing too rigid or uptight.
So, if you are wondering, “Can I wear jeans to an interview” you must have received your answer.
Wearing jeans for an interview is a matter of choice. Some employers like it when you add a hint of personal touch to the way you dress. That shows that you are not afraid to express who you are and that you have a sense of style.
However, all of that should be done only when you know your sense of style would be well-received. Since many employers have mixed feelings about wearing jeans for an interview, you must thoroughly research the company before dressing in business casual or jeans.
However, if you can still give a formal twist to the attire and create the perfect impression, then all would be well.