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You know that coveted Black Sabbath world tour T-shirt you think is really cool and a heck of a conversation starter? It may be both, but an interview for a temp or temp-to-hire job is not the time to boast your heavy-metal cred.

Granted, it seems the whole world has gone business-casual crazy, and polo shirts, khakis and skate shoes may dominate the workaday world, but err on the side of formal when you show up for an interview arranged through a staffing agency like AtWork.

Here are four ways to ace the interview wardrobe:

1. Know your audience. While it’s true you want to err on the side of formal and professional in any interview setting, there is some leeway. If you know a company’s culture leans toward the free-spirited, consider a khaki blazer, tie and matching pants. This can bridge the divide between formal and informal.
2. Let your tie talk. You don’t want to wear anything too gaudy or obnoxious, but there’s nothing wrong with your tie boasting a bit of flair. This technique works best when it’s not coupled with a blazer or suit coat. A colorful tie and button-down shirt can cut it in many modern work environments.
3. Formal statement. If you land an interview at a company you know is fairly old-school in its dress regimen, go full-bore formal with a suit and tie. It doesn’t, however, have to be a boring, traditional ensemble. Go with grey instead of undertaker black. Wear bright shirts and a matching tie – see above for more on tie flair – for a modern, urbane look.
4. Age well. If you have been out of the job market for a while, consider updating your wardrobe to make a more upbeat, modern first impression on an interview.
5. Shoes say a lot. Even if you are dressed in the finest tailored suit, tired, go-to dress shoes can sink a wardrobe. They don’t need a military-grade polish, but shoes should be on a par with the rest of your interview outfit.

The old saying is true: You only get one chance to make a first impression. So dress for success during interviews, whether you aspire to a temp job or temp-to-hire job that can catapult your career to the next level.

For more information on job-hunting tactics – and maybe a few sartorial tips – contact the AtWork staffing agency nearest you today.

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