Steps on How to Dress Appropriately for Job Interviews in Japan

Jul 11, 2017

11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting


When you have chance to visit your desirable company as part of your job-hunting here in Japan, many of you must think carefully on how to dress appropriately. Because in a typical japanese business environment, keeping up your appearance is a very important factor. There are several rules and points you must know regardi this subject.

If you have an upcoming job interview, don’t miss the following tips we have for you. Here are 11 steps you should know in order to dress appropriately for both men and women.


5 Steps on how to dress appropriately for Men


During your college days, many guys have fun with wild hairstyles like long, permed, colored etc. However, these kinds of hairstyle won’t be acceptable for Japanese companies and would give the impression that you are not serious about working.

So, what is the ideal hairstyle?

3 simple keys: “Short”, “Neat” and “Clean”

Japanese businessmen likes fresh and neat appearances. However, long or permed hair will not look decent in an office environment.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting





Some guys love to have their beards without shaving. Because that makes them look like Johnny Depp or David Beckham but if you’re thinking of working for a Japanese company, you must shave your beards clean. Having beards makes the impression untidiness.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting



Dress Shirts

Do you enjoy wearing colorful dress shirts in your daily life? It may be very stylish and looks elegant, however, if you’re applying for job, you must wear “White Dress Shirt” with no exception. This color is the basic style and manner in typical Japanese companies. Make sure you iron the dress shirt without any wrinkles.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting 



Maybe there are not so many chances to wear formal suits in your life before and you’re thinking what color of suit to buy for job interviews. Please make sure to choose a simple color like “Dark-Blue, Gray or Black”. It must also be a single-breasted suit. Undertone colors also looks calm and  formal.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting 



For job hunting in Japan, you need “Black Leather Shoes” and this color is acceptable for all companies and occasions. It doesn’t matter if its original or artificial leather. It would also be better if you pair it with black socks. Black shoes are basic in manner in all business and work environment. Before you leave home, make sure your shoes are well polished. Interviewers will likely look at your shoes and will be one of the deciding factor in hiring you or not.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting





 Steps on how to dress appropriately for Women



Women hairstyles are slightly different from that of guys. It won’t be necessary to cut it short and clean like guys but you need to put your hair up with a tie. Make sure your hair won’t hide your face since this will not make you look presentable. This clean and sleek impression is very important when applying. Japanese companies are strict when it comes to maintaining and grooming one’s appearance.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting


We understand that beauty cultures and make-up mentality is different for each country. But based on Japanese standards, they prefer women with light make-up or no make-up at all. A women must look neat, intelligent and fresh which is pretty standard.


Imagine if you have an interview at a company one day and realize yourself that your makeup is running due to the humid weather in summer. Else, you also look a little pale if you have no makeup on and people will think you’re not healthy enough? Either way, you have to balance just the right amount of makeup application in order to achieve the Japanese standard when it comes to putting daily makeup suitable for an office environment.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting





If you want to work for an apparel company, it may be a different case but normally, companies do not allow huge and flashy accessories in the office.  Small earrings may be preferred just don’t make it look so obvious and flaunting. Dangling earrings and flashy necklaces are not acceptable in the office. It’s the same for wearing nose piercing, eyebrows and other inappropriate parts of your body. It would be better to remove them during working hours. Interviewers will observe you with their eyes wide open. Keep in mind that it’s not a presentable look in the japanese society. Girls loves accessories and may feel boring but remember, a neat impression is required in any Japanese formal setting.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting




Girls have 2 options for business suits such as pants or skirt style. Either way, please choose  plain “Dark-Blue”, “Gray” or “Black” color with no pattern. If you want to wear skirt, make sure it won’t be way too short when you sit down.  A Knee-length skirt would be safe and an average length to wear.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting


Panty Hose/ Stockings

Colorful stocking are for fashion but that is not the case when you are going to work in a Japanese company. For job hunting, you must wear “Neutral or Nude colors” every time. Black color may look elegant but it will not be suitable for daily office wear. It actually gives the impression that you’re attending a funeral. It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t wear “Fishnets” for obvious reasons.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting





It is a given that all girls love shoes. Good shoes takes you to good places! But when you visit Japanese companies, you must wear “Black low-heeled Shoes” all the time. It may look plain and simple but it’s the most decent thing to wear in an interview or meeting. This style is pretty basic. If you have one, you can also use it for formal events and meetings. If you wear it once, you may notice how comfortable it is to wear everyday. It’s very convenient and your feet will thank you later.


11 steps to dress appropriately for job hunting





Good luck in your job-huntings! We wish you all the luck!


YAE/ Japan

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