Rules for dressing for a job interview in Israel. Dress for success – what not to wear!
Suits, jackets & ties – Israel’s dress-code is more relaxed
Congratulations! You have secured a job interview.
You’re almost set to go; you’ve researched the company thoroughly, you have at least 3 spare copies of your resume and you’re ready to answer a barrage of questions. Now all you need to know is how to dress and what not to wear.
It’s true, the dress code in Israel’s workplace is far more relaxed than in other countries, but does this hold true for the job interview?
As you sort through your wardrobe and before you make a final decision, ask yourself a few questions.
1. What kind of job am I applying for? Is it an executive position, managerial or will I be just a regular staff member?
2. Who is the company? Are they an international concern, a start-up or just a small local business?
3. Who will be interviewing me? Am I meeting a representative from the Human Resources department or am I meeting with senior management?
4. Do I understand my employer’s needs? Will I be working face-to-face with the public?
5. Does the company have it’s own dress code? Are they likely to expect workers to wear a uniform? Do they work with the religious community who expect conservative dress?
The weather will also influence your clothing choice on the day of your interview but even if it is a sharav or a hot and sweltering day, you must still dress professionally.
Interview dress tips for men
- Be clean shaven – no 5-o-clock shadow.
- No sandals or sneakers. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished. This is often overlooked, but it tells a prospective employer a lot about your attention to detail.
- If you are applying for an executive or managerial position wear a suit with a button down formal shirt.
- Ties? Meeting the Chairman of Bank Leumi? Yes! Meeting the CFO of a new start-up? No!
- If you are not applying for a managerial position but you are applying for a job with a high level of responsibility, no need for a suit – a button down formal shirt, with tailored pants is acceptable. Keep only the very top button of your shirt open.
- If a less formal shirt is appropriate, then a polo shirt is a good choice. Stripes and bold prints are not acceptable.
- Make sure your clothing is clean and that shirts and pants have been pressed and ironed.
- The hem length of your pants should go below your ankles but never dragging on, or touching the ground. No frayed hems.
- Torn or fraying jeans, even if they are in fashion, are not acceptable. No hip-hop dress, or rapper style clothing and underwear should not be visible above the belt line.
- Brown, black, grey or navy blue (matching) socks to match your pants. Never wear white socks.
- Wear a plain leather belt that matches the color of your pants.
- Fashionable head coverings; beanies and caps are a no-no.
- Clothing for Israel – most situations
- Hebrew-English: free ‘clothing’ word sheet with transliterations
Interview dress tips for women
- The length of a skirt can have significant meaning in Israel (especially in the religious community) but mini-skirts are a definite no-no. Be modest not extreme.
- If you wear pants make sure they are properly tailored and fit right. No shorts, tight or baggy pants even if they are fashionable. A pant-suit is appropriate if you are applying for an executive or managerial position.
- Sleeveless shirts, T’s and tank-tops are not okay (even in hot weather). A button down shirt in a silky fabric, cotton or chiffon (not see-through though) works well.
- Bold prints, shiny and brightly colored fabrics are a distraction.
- Shoes are preferable to sandals. If you do wear sandals refrain from wearing brightly colored polish on your toes. No Crocs, thong sandals or beach shoes.
- Belts and accessories can be fun but make sure they are simple and don’t get carried away.
- From top to bottom, your undergarments should not peek out.
Colors to wear to your interview
Men and women;
- Unless you are interviewing for a job in the fashion industry and need to make a fashion statement, go with conservative clothes and colors.
- White or light blue classic, tailored shirts, for men and for women are best. Pastels for women are also appropriate.
- Black or brown shoes are best.
Remember you have only one chance to make a good first impression. Your appearance is an extension of your CV or resume. You will not get a second chance to rectify your dress mistake.