Deciding what to wear to an interview is important to making a great first impression. When you walk into that room, your interviewer has a matter of seconds to look you up and down and come to a conclusion.
Interviewing is nerve wracking enough already. Adding the uncertainty of what to wear on top of it makes it that much worse.
You definitely will want to look your best, but feel comfortable. We will talk about all the right and wrong things to wear when going to an interview.
Research The Company
The fact that you got to the interview means you have the right qualifications they’re searching for. The interview is part of the process where they determine if you’re a good fit for the company.
What does it mean to be a good fit? It means you seem like a competent and hardworking individual.
The interview can help determine if you’ll get along with other employees as well. How you dress will definitely help the interviewer determine if you’re a good fit.
How you dress will also depend on the type of job and the company culture. It’s going to be really important to research what the dress code is.
If you’re unsure, ask the HR department before your interview about company dress code.
If the everyday dress code is business-casual then you don’t want to show up in a long gown, or a tuxedo! It also doesn’t mean you should show up in jeans and a t-shirt.
A good rule of thumb is to dress up rather than dress down. Interviewers will be impressed when you show up looking professionally dressed.
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What To Wear To An Interview: Women
Interview Formal Attire
If you’re interviewing for a big corporate position or interviewing at a law firm, consider dressing more formal. For women that would be a nice dress or pant suit. For men this will include a nice button down with a jacket, or perhaps a suit.
A nice tailored dress can have you looking your best in an interview. Don’t be afraid to go for a longer skirt. Too short, and you may be making the wrong impression. Your dress should definitely have a high neckline and cover your shoulders.
If you choose to wear a dress with thinner straps, then pair it with a cardigan for a more conservative look.
Skirt SuitA simple skirt suit is a great choice for a more formal interview. Pairing these two pieces is a put-together and flattering look. A skirt suit is also a better option if you’re shorter. There’s less chance you will have to go to the seamstress!
Interview Business Casual
Most companies nowadays have migrated over to business casual. Business casual includes slacks and blouses, and more casual sun dresses. Business casual can even include dark wash blue or black jeans with a nice blouse and blazer.
Tip: I would recommend not wearing jeans to an interview. It’s better to go with a pair of slacks for the interview portion.
Pants With A Blouse
Here is an example of a nice blouse with black jeans. This is an appropriate business casual look to wear to an interview. To dress this look up even more, you could add a matching black blazer.
It is typical to stick to solid colors such as tans, blacks, and blues. If you do choose to wear a pattern, then go with something rather simple like the blouse pictured above.
Slacks And A Blazer
This outfit is very similar to the first look, but with a blazer. You can see how the blazer completes the outfit giving off a very polished look. Simple solid colors go a long way.
Pencil Skirt With Nice Top
Here is one last business casual look with a pencil skirt and a knit long sleeve. A pencil skirt is also a good choice to wear to an interview and can be dressed up or down whichever way you accessorize it.
What To Wear To An Interview: Men
Interview Formal Attire
For men, how to dress for a formal interview will consist of at least a jacket and maybe a suit. If you’re ever unsure about the office dress code, dress more formal. It makes a better impression that you’re willing to dress professionally!
Here is an example of slacks with a nice button down and jacket. If your interview is more formal, the jacket will always be a good edition. Jacket’s can be dressed up or down depending on the formality.
For an even more formal look, go for a suit. The more formal the company dress code, the more formal your interview outfit should be.
Interview Business Casual
As said before, most companies are starting to dress down in the workplace. Business casual is comfortable and professional looking. Here are some great business casual outfit ideas for men to wear to an interview.
Button Down With Sweater
Here is a comfortable and great business casual outfit idea. You can make your look more put together by adding a nice pullover sweater to your slacks and button down.
What Not To Wear At An Interview
There are plenty of options you can choose to wear to an interview, but there are also a few things to stay away from.
These fashion choices can make a bad impression and look unprofessional in an interview. It’s best to stay away from the following:
Open Toed Shoes: Never wear open toed shoes to an interview. No one wants to see those little piggys making an appearance. More importantly, a lot of workplaces don’t allow open toed shoes for safety reasons.
Of The Shoulder Tops / Short Skirts Or Dresses: Modest is hottest when it comes to interviewing. Conservatism helps to exude professionalism in the workplace, so practice this when dressing for an interview.
Blue Jeans: There are so many other alternatives to blue jeans. You could even get away with a pair of black jeans. Blue jeans are just a little too casual.
Heavy Perfume / Cologne: Stay away from overbearing scents. You never know if someone is allergic or sensitive to strong fragrances. Just a small dash of scent will do, or stick with only deodorant.