Great, you’ve scored that job interview for the Legal Assistant or Paralegal position you applied for!
Now you have to decide what outfit to wear that will make a great impression and seal the deal on getting the job.
Since there is a trend toward more casual clothing in the workplace, is it acceptable to dress more casually for your interview?
What to Wear to a Legal Assistant Job Interview
While it may be true that you shouldn’t judge a book (or a person) by its cover, the fact is that what you wear does leave an impression on the people that you meet, especially on the person giving you a job interview.
Legal Assistants and Paralegals are often the first people that potential clients see when walking into the law office. Most legal firms are still pretty conservative in what they want employees to wear. Attorneys must dress up for court, and employees in legal offices generally wear similar attire.
The fact is, any clothing advice is subjective, and the interviewer will be subjective too. Use your best judgment to decide what you look best in and what is appropriate for the Legal Assistant or Paralegal position and the office you want to work in.
What to Wear
When you are trying to get a job as a Legal Assistant, you need to show up to your interview dressed professionally and appropriately. You will want to err on the side of caution; it is better to be overdressed than underdressed.
Try to find out as much as you can about the company. A large corporate firm may expect a different dress code than a private practice firm in a small town. Some law offices, especially in the southern states, require women to wear dresses or skirts.
Wear what looks good on you, and what you feel comfortable and confident in.
You’ve mostly likely been told that red is a power color, and wearing it for a job interview conveys confidence and passion. While that may be true, if you hate the color or don’t look good in it, do not go out and buy a red shirt you won’t feel great in and will not ever wear again.
Dress professionally, but it’s ok to represent who you are as well. If you like bold colors or patterns, pair a bright shirt with a black or navy blazer. Bright red or yellow shoes are fun as long as they don’t look like “hooker heels.”
What NOT to Wear
Even if an office allows their employees to wear casual business attire (that means khakis and collared shirts, not yoga pants and t-shirts), you still want to dress at a higher level for the interview.
Unless you know for a fact that any of the following would be acceptable attire in the office you are applying at…
Cover up tattoos; remove nose, lip, or eyebrow rings; skip wild hair colors.
Most advice will tell you to just wear simple jewelry like a pair of studded earrings and a simple necklace. Noisy bracelets can be a distraction, but would it be so bad if you are remembered as the gal with the fun earrings?
Good hygiene is non-negotiable. No matter your style, be well groomed and clean. That means freshly showered, hair brushed, and beard trimmed. You don’t want to show up looking like you just rolled out of bed or slept in your clothes.
- Plan your outfit
- Look professional
- Practice good hygiene
- Dress comfortably
- Look in the mirror before you leave the house
- Wait to pick clothes last minute
- Look sloppy or frumpy
- Smoke before interview
- Wear uncomfortable clothing
- Wear revealing or too tight-fitting clothes
The night before, try on your entire outfit including clothes, shoes, jewelry, purse, and tie as the case may be. Make sure there are no loose strings or buttons, and no stains or wrinkles.
Have everything you plan to wear laid out and in one place so you won’t scramble around in the morning trying to find anything.
Ladies, if you are wearing a skirt or dress with pantyhose, bring an extra pair to keep in your car or purse in case you get an unexpected run.
Guys, if you are not used to wearing a suit, and plan to wear one for the interview, spend some time wearing it on an errand or two or even around the house so you will feel more comfortable. Practice tying your tie so you don’t waste time getting it right the morning of.
Now that you know how to dress up for interviews, try out our Legal Assistant Job search tool to find jobs to apply for in your local area.
Continue to return to BestLegalAssistant.com to find answers to all your questions and get on the path to becoming the Best Legal Assistant!