AnnaMarie Houlis via Fairygodboss
Interviews can be intimidating — you’re there to prove yourself to an employer, which can put a lot of weight on your shoulders. But interviews grow increasingly stressful when you receive conflicting advice about what to wear and how to behave, too.
The truth is that all interviews will go down differently depending on the job, the industry, the hiring manager, your experience and your level of preparedness. All you can do is your best, which involves taking everyone else’s advice with a grain of salt.
With that said, there is some advice definitely shouldn’t take too seriously — like these seven once-classic pieces of interview advice that, simply, just don’t make sense in the modern world anymore.
1. You can’t wear color to the interview.
This advice is sound, but it’s not fact. Sure, according to 2017 research from SmartRecruiters, black is the safest choice for interviews. That’s because 70 percent of the hired candidates in the study reported wearing mostly black outfits to interviews, while just 33 percent of the rejected candidates wore black. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t wear color.
In fact, we once asked stylist to grade different interview outfits, many of which boast different colors and prints, and they’re all for color. How colorful you choose to go really depends on the type of job, your personality and the interviewer.
2. Women have to wear high heels.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to wear high heels to interviews anymore. This is especially true as more and more offices are adopting “office casual” dress codes. If you walk into an office wearing slacks and high heels while everyone else is wearing jeans and sneakers, you’re going to stand out — and, in this case, not for the better. You want to be able to fit in with the company culture, and this means assimilating.
3. You should always include a resume objective statement.
While many people argue in favor of resume objective statements, many others consider them to be outdated and to take up valuable space that could be better used with your experience. If you’re not sure whether or not to include a resume objective statement, here are four times that it could potentially make sense — otherwise, scrap it.
4. You shouldn’t show your weaknesses.
While you might feel like you need to hide your weaknesses and avoid talking about any past hiccups, interviewers today like to see that you can be humble. You may even be encouraged to speak about a time that you disagreed with a boss or a colleague or share a story about a time that you made a mistake and redeemed yourself. You’re only human, and it’s more important that you can share the lessons you learned than it is to pretend like nothing has ever gone wrong for you.
5. You have to get dressed up formally.
Again, you don’t necessarily need to dress super formally for an interview if the office culture isn’t formal. While you should always dress to impress for the job you want, you should also do your best to fit in. If others are wearing sneakers to the office, we don’t recommend that you wear sneakers to your interview, of course. But this means that you may not need to wear a full suit; rather, you might opt for slacks and a blouse, instead.
6. You should put your photo on your resume.
Whoever told you to put your photo on your resume lied. Unless you work in acting or modeling or another similar field, most people don’t care to see your photo on your resume. In fact, many people argue against the resume photo.
7. You have to share your salary history if asked.
If your interviewer asks you about your salary history, you do not need to share it with them. In fact, recent state laws make this an illegal interview question in several states and municipalities across the country in order to address gender pay inequality. If you’re not sure if the salary history question is legal or not in your state, learn more about the salary history ban here.
A version of this post previously appeared on Fairygodboss, the largest career community that helps women get the inside scoop on pay, corporate culture, benefits and work flexibility. Founded in 2015, Fairygodboss offers company ratings, job listings, discussion boards and career advice.
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AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreport and Facebook.