How to Dress for a Job Interview

First impressions, by definition, are instant. People are quick to form an opinion on the first meeting, and this is no less true in a job interview.

Of course, it’s important to firstly write an effective resume, research the company, predict interview questions and answers, and to perform well in the interview. But how to dress for an interview is also a crucial part of the process.

Wearing the right clothes for a job interview shows that you’re professional, polished, you care about the job, and that you had good attention to detail.

What to wear for a job interview? The most important thing to bear in mind when dressing for a first interview is to appear smart, and if in doubt, go on the conservative side. It is important to know what not to wear to an interview.

The dress code of an office is different to the job interview dress code. Don’t be fooled into thinking you should dress casually just because you know the company has a casual dress code.

Dress for a Job Interview

Job interview dress code for women

Women have more to think about that when choosing the right outfit for a job interview.

There are extra considerations such as whether to wear a dress, skirt, or a suit, as well as having accessories and makeup to think about. When in doubt, be more conservative.

Best outfits for interviews: If you choose a skirt make sure it isn’t too short, knee-length skirts are advisable. Choose a dark color, black is always a good choice, as are navy and brown. In the summer, lighter colors are also fine.

Your tights should match your skin tone. Your hose should be neutral, matching your skin tone.

If you wear a suit it should be a good fit and make you feel comfortable. Get your suit adjusted if the fits not quite right. Many stores offer free adjustments when you buy a suit. Suits should be simple and dark in color.

Wear a single-colored conservative blouse, or one with a very simplistic pattern, such as a singular stripe. Avoid bright colors, patterns, and anything low-cut.

Shoes should be fairly low-heeled and be in good condition. Don’t wear shoes with have an open toe or back, and generally avoid shoes you would wear on a date or on a night out.

Choose a classic, basic, comfortable pair of shoes. A salesperson in a store will be able to advise you.

Makeup should be flattering but understated, choose a shade which is neutral to your skin tone. Avoid bright or unusual colors for your nails.

Keep jewelry and accessories to a minimum. Avoid anything large, shiny, or distracting and keep to a simple, classical style. No more than one ring per hand is advisable.

Your hair should be clean, neat and conservatively styled. The aim is to look professional and polished. Avoid brightly colored hair accessories and hairstyles which look out of place with your outfit. A low ponytail and an updo are two safe options.

Don’t wear overpowering perfume, either don’t wear it or use it sparingly.

Job interview dress code for men

What should you wear to a job interview? It is rarely appropriate to dress down for an interview and it is better to overdress than underdress. The safest bet is to go conservative, which means wearing a suit.

The suit should consist of a matching jacket and pants, a dress shirt, a tie, and coordinated socks.

Your suit should be comfortable and needs to be a good fit. Don’t try and squeeze into an old suit, invest in a new one. Feeling and looking good in an interview will help you to relax and give you confidence.

Dark colours such as black, navy blue, brown, and dark grey are ideal for the suit. The shoes should be black with a black or grey suit and brown with a blue or brown suit. Don’t mix black and brown.

The shirt and tie should complement the suit. Choose a plain, single-coloured shirt, white is a safe choice and a single-coloured tie which matches the shirt. Avoid novelty ties and socks, they will be noticed and may not give a positive impression.

Your hair should be clean, neat, and styled conservatively. You don’t need to wear aftershave but if you do, only wear a little, you don’t want to smell overpowering.

Final advice

Your clothing should be neat, clean, and without creases. Either iron them or go to the dry cleaners beforehand.

Shower before your interview and wear deodorant. Make sure you’ve brushed your teeth and have fresh breath. Avoid smoking or eating directly before.

Preparing for an interview is key. Make sure you’ve printed copies your professional resume and made all other preparation with plenty of time to spare so you can arrive punctually, feeling confident and relaxed.