How to dress for a job interview in Austria?

You are invited for a job interview and you are asking yourself what would be the best to wear to make a good impression. It is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Firstly, it will be explained how you should dress in Austria in general that you can’t make any big mistake. Then in this article, you will also learn about differences in dress code depending on the industry and position and tips for both men and women will be provided.

Candidates should opt for a business formal style when going for a job interview in Austria. This means that men should wear a two- or three-piece dark suit with a shirt, tie, and smooth leather shoes. The possible colors are black, blue, gray, brown or any similar color. Men can match the rest of the clothing to the suit color. Pinstripes, colored ties, and pastel-colored shirts with stripes are allowed as jewelry. 

Women, on the other hand, should choose a chic costume or a pantsuit with a blouse. In terms of color, women don’t need to be different from men. Regardless of whether it is a dress, suit, or skirt: the hem should always surround your knees. Skirts and dresses naturally also include skin-colored tights and pumps on your feet. The heel should not be higher than six centimeters.

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You should not underestimate the importance of dressing properly for your job interview. For instance, if you go to your job interview within a bank for a customer-facing position and you are dressed more casual, for example without a suit and tie then you will definitely make a bad first impression which could lead your interview further in a negative way and you might end up without a job.

If you are not sure, you can lead the following rule of thumb: better too classic than too casual. It is good to think about what clothes you would be wearing when you got the job. Perhaps you already know how future employees will be dressed. Take that as a starting point and make it a bit more formal, because the more the manager can imagine that you fit into the concept of the company, the better. Also, check out the potential employer’s website. There are now many companies that present their employees or the most important employees on their homepage. Take a closer look at what people are wearing. Are they photographed with a suit and tie or rather in a T-shirt? This can also give you information about how casual or classic the dress code is handled in the company.

What HR Managers Learn About You By Looking at Your Clothes

Job interview dress code depends on the industry and the position

Classic office job: You don’t have to wear a conservative suit or a classic costume. Suit trousers including a matching shirt and tie for men or elegant trousers/skirt combined with a blouse on hotter days or a chic sweater or blazer on cooler days for women may also be sufficient.

Creative industries: In advertising and creative agencies, the focus is usually different. The most important thing here is to appear dynamic and creative. Too stiff would be out of place here. Combining beautiful dark jeans with elegant shoes and a shirt or blouse could be a perfect match which makes a good impression.

More conservative industries or industries with a lot of customer contact: Banks and insurance companies, in particular, have more conservative expectations of the outfit (e.g. classic suit, elegant costume). The same applies to positions that are characterized by a lot of customer contact, such as in sales, where the respective employee represents the entire company.

Management positions: Even in management positions, it is usually expected that men appear in suits and women in costume. If you want to lead a team, your appearance should exude authority.

Technical professions, engineers: For engineers, it is advisable to resort to classic outfits. A suit for men or a costume for women is not wrong. However, find out more about the website first. Young start-ups may be more casual than large tech and tech companies.

IT professions: Unfortunately, there is no general answer to this question. Because there is no such thing as an IT job. There are big differences between a junior PHP developer, a senior full-stack developer, a Scrum Master, and an SAP consultant. Someone who has a higher position or a lot of customer contact should wear different clothes for an interview than a growth hacker, for example. Then there are the differences within an industry and the dress code in the respective company. For example, if you are applying to a start-up, you wear something different than an interview for an IT job in a bank.

Tips for women

1. Don’t show too much bare skin

The job interview is about presenting yourself professionally. Any clothing that could embarrass the HR staff, such as an overcut or sheer top or a very short skirt, should be avoided. With a blouse and good pants or an elegant dress in muted colors, you can do a lot right in most cases.

2. No bright or gaudy colors or holiday clothes

The shirt in orange, the pants in neon yellow, or the heavily patterned top makes an unprofessional impression, especially in conservative industries. But if you apply to be an entertainer at a hotel, these colors may be in demand. In most cases, however, you are spot-on with the colors dark gray or dark brown, as these colors exude a lot of seriousness. But light gray, light blue, or dark lilac can also inspire confidence. In most areas with customer contact, you must show a sense of style, which is why you should also heed the following tips:

3. Not too much jewelry

You have put together your – in your eyes perfect – outfit, but you are unsure how much jewelry you should wear? In this case, less is more. A subtle chain can emphasize your style, while pendants that are too flashy leave an unprofessional impression. Piercings seem inappropriate, especially in the banking and insurance industry, which is why the decision between facial jewelry and a serious job is often made.

4. No too flashy shoes

No matter how much you like to wear your high heels or peep-toes – at the interview, depending on the industry, they can leave an irritating impression. And especially if you are not good at walking in it, you should switch to other shoes. When it comes to applying as a fashion specialist, however, you can make a fashion-conscious impression with these kinds of shoes. Shoes that make a reasonable impression in most industries: dark-colored high-front pumps. These are usually comfortable to wear and look elegant at the same time.

5. Make-up: rather subtle

Avoid bright red lipstick or smokey eyes on the day of your interview. We also advise against wearing artificial eyelashes. If you want to gain a foothold in the fashion industry, then you shouldn’t do without mascara and light day make-up. But also in all other industries, you leave a well-groomed impression with discreetly applied black mascara.

6. Hairstyle: Better to be inconspicuous

Do you have new extensions and are you proud of them? If you want to work as a hairdresser, you can emphasize your great new hairstyle. In all other cases, however, your hair shouldn’t be in the foreground. Your hair mustn’t cover your eyes. After all, the HR manager wants to look into your pupils!

7. Fingernails – well-groomed and discreet

If you want to work in a nail salon, you should make sure that your fingernails can act as a sample of your skills. In other cases, fingernails shouldn’t attract too much attention. They shouldn’t be too long and don’t necessarily need to be painted. Anyone who applies in a conservative industry will be “through” straight away with blue-painted fingernails. In any case, your fingernails should be filed and clean.

Tips for men

1. A dark suit is often the best choice

If you are interested in a management position, it is best to wear a neat suit, a shirt with a tie and leather shoes. But even when it comes to the interview for your application as a trainee in banking, law, etc., you make a respectful impression with a suit.

2. No open shoes or beach clothes

The temperatures outside have peaked? Even then, men are advised not to wear open shoes during an interview. The rule of thumb also applies to the rest of your clothing: Anything that would go well with a stay on the beach, such as shorts, is taboo in the job interview.

3. The outfit should go well with the job

If you are interested in a position in which manual skills play a major role, in a suit you can give the impression that you are too fine for certain tasks. In this case, choose a casual outfit such as decent jeans and a clean shirt.

4. Beard grooming or shaving

As naturally as you appear freshly showered and in fresh clothes for the interview, you should also take care of your beard, which can either mean trimming the contours or shaving.

5. Men’s jewelry

While discreet jewelry such as a high-quality watch and ring are appropriate, too intrusive jewelry such as a thick gold chain calls your seriousness into question. You should remove all piercings for the interview if you don’t want to waste time.

Keep in mind that it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed and good luck with your next job interview!


Author: Sofia Ivanov is a blogger at AustrianCareer.at. She holds a MA in international business and also contributes photography to AustrianCareer.at.


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