Whilst it is important to do things such as prepare for interview questions and follow up with thank you messages, it is equally as important to consider your appearance in order to create a good first impression. It will go a long way to help you to secure your dream job or next big role.

Our tips on what to wear to an interview will help you feel prepared walking into your interview and ensure you make a good first impression.

General tips for what to wear to an interview

  • Due to the formal nature of the interview process, it is necessary to dress formally for your interview in Japan. Wearing an appropriate outfit will show that you have a serious attitude toward the job and take the company and the opportunity seriously
  • Don’t feel the need to ‘stand out from the crowd’ with a unique or stylish interview outfit. Essentials are to be well-groomed appearance, and excellent manners. If you are not born in Japan, these are critical to follow in order to show that you understand the culture and would be easily able to adapt to life at the company and in Japan
  • It is recommended you confirm the dress code with the hiring manager you are in communication with prior to the interview
  • A conservative appearance is preferred, so ensure you have no visible tattoos or facial piercings, and do not use excessive amounts of perfume or cologne
  • Get the basics right, ensuring you are conservative, your clothes are tailored, uncreased, and high quality, and you pay attention to the details, including things like hair, nails, facial hair, and makeup
  • As a general rule, keep your appearance simple, neat, and clean

Whilst these tips are good for everyone, you may also want to consider these specific tips for men and women:

What to wear to an interview for men

  • Clothing: a well-tailored business suit is recommended in professional, dark colors of black, dark blue or dark grey. Pair this with a white shirt and muted tie whilst ensuring there are no wrinkles.
  • Hairstyle: hair should always be clean, neat, combed, and short. It is recommended you do not have dyed hair
  • Facial Hair: you should be clean-shaven to avoid looking untidy or unkempt
  • Accessories: belts and ties should be neutral and conservative, and the only other accessories you realistically need are a nice watch and briefcase
  • Shoes: black leather shoes with plain, black socks or socks which match the suit colour

What to wear to an interview for women

  • Clothing: a business suit is recommended for women as well as men, although this can be as pants or a skirt set. Similar colors to men are expected; black, dark blue or dark grey. If wearing a skirt, pair with neutral or skin-tone panty hose/stockings. If you are wearing a dress or a skirt, ensure it isn’t too high above the knee and doesn’t shift too high when bowing or sitting. You want well-tailored clothing yet not too form-fitting. Keep your shoulders covered, ensuring your collarbone is not showing and you have no cleavage on display
  • Hairstyle: hair should always be clean, neat, combed well if short, or tied back if longer to ensure it stays off your face. It is recommended you do not have dyed hair
  • Makeup: whilst your appearance and skin tone should be even, only very basic and light makeup is recommended, or no makeup at all
  • Accessories: you should not wear any flashy, big, colorful, or loud accessories to ensure you appear professional. Do not use bright handbags; a briefcase would be a better option
  • Shoes: black, low-heeled, basic shoes are recommended

Having harmony in the organisation and amongst greater society is important, and this should be reflected in your choices.

Keep this in mind when you are deciding what to wear to an interview.

The goal is to have the hiring manager picture you in the role and visualise you in their team, and it is always better to be more formal than not formal enough. If you would like further tips and advice for your job interview, visit our job interview hub, or contact our team today.

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