Should You Wear A Hat To An Interview?

Can I wear a hat to an interview? | Murston Co.

You finally got the call: you get to interview with one of your top job prospects. But, there’s only one problem, your hair just doesn’t look the part. Although the interviewer seemed like a cool enough person over the phone, it’s tough to know what to expect, leaving the question to stand. Can I wear a hat to an interview?

The short answer is no; you should never wear a hat to an interview. Since hats are typically viewed as casual and even unprofessional, they can leave the wrong impression in an interview setting. Plain and simple, leave your hat at home whenever you interview for a new job. 

On the contrary, you might wear a hat or certain headwear for religious purposes. In that case, you certainly can (and should) wear it. However, merely opting for a hat because you think it “looks cool” is not appropriate. 

To give you some insight about how to dress for an interview, we’ll cover some of the basics about interview apparel–including why your hat should be left in your closet. 

Dressing For The Job You Want 

Unless your upcoming interview is for a super high-stake job at a renowned fashion magazine, dressing for the occasion shouldn’t be too difficult of a task.

Nonetheless, I’ve put in the elbow grease to find some general views on interview attire that you should consider when navigating a respectable—and impressive—outfit. 

I get it; it’s 2021. There are plenty of tech companies and start-ups that allow for casual attire—every day is casual Friday.

In that case, shouldn’t it be acceptable to opt for more of a casual get-up when you’re interviewing for such a place?

Well, to be frank, you should never go full-casual when you’re heading in to meet with a professional interviewer. 

Believe it or not, your astonishing resume isn’t all they’re looking at.

Your outright appearance has a considerable impact on whether or not you’ll be getting a job offer. What you wear says quite a lot about you.

It also allows the interviewer to assess how important the job is to you. I mean, if you dress nice, it shows that this job is meaningful to you.

As a general rule of thumb, dress at least one level above the company’s culture. 

If you’re at a total loss, a successful choice would be to opt for a darker suit, a smart-looking shirt, and a nice tie.

Even if the interviewer specifically advises that you don’t need to wear a suit jacket, it’s best to always go for a clean shirt and tie.

It’s always better to look too professional than not professional enough.

All that said, you should still wear something comfortable. After all, there’s nothing worse than feeling uncomfortable in an already high-pressure situation.

Can I Wear A Hat To An Interview?

Whether it’s a baseball cap, a beanie, a hoodie, or even your most fitting fedora, avoid wearing a hat at all costs.

If you show up wearing a hat to something as important as an interview, the interviewer will only suspect that you’re either unprofessional or not serious about the job.

Either case will likely result in a rejection. 

The point of not wearing a hat is because they’re generally unnecessary.

Even if you just spent a pretty penny on an LA Dodgers hat because you know for a fact your interviewer loves the Dodgers, trust me, you won’t be scoring any brownie points by wearing it to your interview. Plus, you’ll just look like a suck-up.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, there are obvious exceptions to the hat rule.

If for religious purposes, you need to wear a headpiece of some kind, then you’re safe to do so.

And, if you have a reasonable medical issue that requires a hat or headwear, simply let the interviewer know beforehand, and you should be good to go.

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Other Things You Should Avoid Wearing To An Interview 

In light of the commonly-shared opinion that you should avoid wearing a hat, I’m going to toss in a list of several other items that would look better in the closet than an interview room. So, to stay on the safe side, it’s best to also dodge these pieces:

1. Clothes That Don’t Fit

Regardless of where you’re interviewing—whether the place is super traditional or more forward-thinking—you certainly don’t want to come across as a slouch.

Or, on the other end of the spectru, you don’t want to look like you borrowed your ten-year-old brother’s suit.

Make sure your clothes fit you well to give off the right impression at the start.

2. T-Shirts

Both solid and graphic tees are great for lounging at home or heading to grab drinks with friends.

But, when you’re heading into a job interview, they cross the line of too casual.

Not to mention, graphics draw attention away from what you’re saying, so skip out on that one. 

3. Loud Colors

It’s certainly not a requirement to wear dark blue, black, or grey suits to an interview. But, it’s best to avoid taking a chance on a bright purple suit for an interview.

If, for any reason, you’re considering more vivid colors in your ensemble, keep them to a minimum and let your personality do the talking. 

Along with those already mentioned, there are several additional things that you should bypass if you want to up the success of your interview. These include dirty or dingy clothes, inappropriate clothes, sneakers, strong cologne, and other reasonably unnecessary items. 

How To “Success”-orize For An Interview

Since we’ve covered the fundamentals of what not to wear to your interview, it’s necessary to acknowledge the accessories that will make a positive impression on your future employer.

A hat is a no-go.

So, what should you pair with your super professional ensemble?

Don’t fret; there are other accessories that you can and should utilize when you head in for that important meeting. 

That said, without further ado, let’s uncover some secrets about how to properly accessorize for your interview. 

Bare Your Bling

Wearing jewelry to an interview can either be a great way to show off your fashion sense, or a quick way to distract—or worse, blind—your interviewer.

There is a fine line between subtle and overwhelming. And, your success lies in the details. 

You don’t need to wow everyone with fancy cufflinks or a diamond chain hanging around your neck.

To be quite honest, it’s better to avoid too much jewelry and opt for sleek, simple pieces that will catch the eye but not hold onto it.

Yes, that means you should lose the earrings, at least for your meeting.

A clean, modern watch and a maximum of one ring are perfectly suitable for an interview, and it’ll be more than enough to keep you looking dapper. 

What Your Bag Says About You

No, I’m not talking about the ones under your eyes.

Since you’ll likely be carrying a copy of your CV or resume with you, opt to slip it into a sophisticated leather bag or briefcase.

Keeping your papers neat and tidy in a case will not only keep them from crinkling but also imply that you’re organized and appreciate the order of things.

Employers often keep an eye out for those who are put together and take special care of important documents.

Even if all you keep in your bag is one piece of paper, it’ll help make a good first impression. 

Tie Up Your Loose Ends

A tie is typically a necessary article that is sure to help you make your way to the top of an interviewer’s list.

However, avoid an overly busy pattern or one that doesn’t coordinate well with the rest of your get-up.

Keep it simple and sleek, and make sure to bring along a spare in case of any unfortunate coffee spills that might pop up on your way.

And, if you’re opting for a suit jacket, adding a pocket square will give you just the right amount of razzle-dazzle to grab an employer’s attention.

Not to mention, a pocket square will give others an insight into your sense of fashion, which ultimately implies that you care about how you present yourself. 

Bottom Line

To sum it all up, the answer is no; you should never wear a hat to an interview unless it is necessary for religious or medical purposes.

If you’re too lazy to fix up your hair and make it look presentable, an interviewer will probably just toss your resume in the trash.

Along with avoiding hats for interviews, there are various other clothing mishaps to steer clear of as well.

Regardless, keep things professional, clean, and well-fitted to ensure that your outfit doesn’t take away from your awesome personality.

So, what’s your go-to interview ensemble? Be sure to drop your answer in the comments!

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