How to Dress for a Summer Interview for Professionalism and Comfort
The temperature is rising, and with it comes the challenge of knowing how to dress for a summer interview in a professional and comfortable way. No matter the season, dressing the part is essential in making a good first impression—but it becomes trickier to navigate in the warmer months.
You want to stay cool and comfortable but never want to err on the side of being too casual or unprofessional. And you certainly want to avoid showing up with sweat stains, runny makeup, or body odor. Nevertheless, employers want to know that you’ll be a good representative for their business—especially if your role requires you to have a lot of contact with clients or customers—and dressing appropriately plays a considerable part.
In this article, we will set you up for success with tips on how to dress for a summer interview while looking professional and staying comfortable and stylish, so you feel like your best, most confident self during a summer job interview.
Before You Shop, Get Clear on Company Culture
Before you drop your hard-earned money on an entirely new wardrobe, take some time to research the company culture and dress code. Especially in a post-pandemic world, where some companies are 100% remote, some with a hybrid work model, and some are completely in-office, what’s considered appropriate work attire will vary from industry to industry and even from company to company.
A great place to start is by scrolling through the company website or social media—specifically for team photos to catch a glimpse at what folks are wearing. Is it a strict business casual dress code? Is smart casual acceptable? Or is industry-specific attire required, like scrubs or a uniform? The goal is to dress to impress, not to overdress, so you seem overly stuffy or formal.
If you can’t find a specific dress code policy or are still unsure what to wear, don’t hesitate to reach out to the recruiter or hiring manager and ask—it’s always better to be well-prepared. Proactively asking about the dress code will demonstrate your investment in the potential job opportunity.
How to Choose What to Wear to Your Summer Interview
Ensuring you look great when you show up for your interview involves much more than just clothes; your outfit is the best place to start.
Once you’ve don’t your research and have a solid understanding of what’s considered appropriate attire for their company culture, here are some tips for translating that into an interview outfit that’ll make you look and feel the part:
1) Opt for Light, Breathable Fabrics
Lightweight, breathable fabrics are your best bet when dressing for a summer interview. Choose natural fabrics like cotton and linen that are comfortable, lightweight and allow air to circulate freely. Likewise, you’ll want to avoid heavy fabrics like wool or polyester, which can trap heat and make you feel uncomfortable.
2) Strap Up With Appropriate Footwear
Closed-toe shoes are always a good choice for a job interview. Shoes like low-heeled pumps, flats, dress shoes or loafers are a great place to start. But if you decide to opt for an open-toe shoe, ensure your feet are well-groomed. You might even consider getting a pedicure beforehand. Don’t worry: If toenail polish isn’t your thing, you can skip that part!
3) Dress to Express Yourself
Professional work attire doesn’t have to be boring. Embracing your unique style is highly encouraged—especially to stand out against other candidates. There are plenty of online resources to help guide you in finding your personal and professional style, like Career Contessa or Real Life Style.
4) Tie Your Outfit Together With Accessories
Just like in your everyday attire, accessories can really tie your entire interview outfit together. In the past, it was common advice to keep accessories simple and leave your statement pieces at home. Today, things have shifted into a more accepting culture.
When it’s time to accessorize, we encourage you to think outside the box of necklaces, watches and rings. From scarves and neckties to glasses, socks and even shoelaces, there is no shortage of opportunities to express yourself when prioritizing accessories in your professional wardrobe.
5) Stay Groomed From Head to Toe
Never underestimate the impact of good hygiene. In humid climates, this can be particularly challenging to keep frizz at bay and makeup from smudging but being prepared ahead of time can make all the difference.
If you have long hair, consider wearing it up in a bun or ponytail to keep it off your neck and face on super-hot days. For short hairstyles, slicked back or shaved down are great options. It might also be in your best interest to invest in haircare products like styling gel or anti-humidity spray to combat pesky flyaways.
If you enjoy wearing makeup, here’s a tip: Arrive early to give yourself time to apply it in the car or the restroom at your interview location. Just be sure to protect your clothing in the process to prevent unwanted spills and stains!
Lastly, remember small details like your nails and fragrance. Again, you don’t have to do anything fancy here—simply be sure your nails are clean, and if you choose to wear perfume or cologne, we recommend choosing a light, fresh fragrance that isn’t overpowering.
Get More Summer Interviews With Zing Recruiting
Knowing what to wear at a job interview is just one piece of the puzzle when successfully making your next big career move. At Zing Recruiting, we specialize in helping dedicated professionals with smarts, energy, talent, and fresh perspectives—candidates like you—find their dream jobs. Contact us today to learn more!