What to Wear to an Interview - For Both Men & Women
You want to leave the best impression on your job interview…
...And what’s a better way to do that than by dressing for the job you’re applying for?
Dressing snappy can show the interviewer that you’re serious about the job, and at the same time, good at presenting yourself.
Choosing the right outfit, though, isn’t all that easy. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all formula on what to wear for YOUR job interview.
Because of this, it’s easy to get it wrong:
You might end up overdressed, for example, in a snappy suit-and-tie when the interviewer is wearing shorts and a t-shirt.
Or worse - you go to the interview with your home sweats and sneakers to face a stern-looking interviewer in an expensive suit.
Want to always dress on-point, and leave a memorable first impression?
We’re going to teach you how to dress on-point for every single job interview.
We’re going to cover:
- 6 essential interview attire tips
- What to wear on an interview for men
- What to wear on an interview for women
- Bonus: Infographic
6 Essential Interview Attire Tips
Find out what’s the dress code at the company
If you’re struggling to figure out what to wear for the job interview, you can always make a little investigation for yourself. Find what’s the company culture and what people wear on a typical day at the office. This way, you can choose clothes that fit in with the organization’s style.
To do that, you can check the company’s social media pages or website and go through their pictures. What are people wearing there? Are you left with the impression that the company is professional, casual, or something in between?
Or, if you know someone working at the company, you can just ask them directly about the dress code.
Dress for the job
Some job positions require you to be more representable than others. For example, you might be applying for a C-level position at a company with a more informal dress code where everyone wears sweats on a regular working day.
But for the interview, you still want to dress to impress. After all, the first impression is just as important as how well you answer the interview questions. This shows you know very well the role you’re applying for and its duties. So, getting this one right is always a good start.
Try on your outfit a few days before the interview
Not trying on your interview outfit for more than a week, or even worse, choosing what to wear on the day of the interview is a very bad idea. This way, you risk bumping into a lot of unexpected wardrobe malfunctions.
Trying to clean a stain, get rid of wrinkles, or finding a replacement for that one missing button you forgot about, is almost impossible if you have to do it at the last minute.
So to avoid making the interview more stressful than it already is, make sure to put on your clothes for a quick checkup 1-2 days before the interview. This way, you can eliminate any outfit emergencies beforehand, unlike other unpredictable interview situations.
Be careful with your accessory choice
If you like expressing yourself through your jewelry, makeup, hairstyle, or other accessories, you might want to tone it down for the job interview.
Colors that are too bright or bracelets and necklaces that cling together and distract your interviewer from what you have to say can only work against you.
The same rule applies when it comes to choosing a belt, tie, briefcase, or a bag. Make sure they’re simplistic and in the neutral color range. This way, you become the center of attention and the hiring manager can concentrate on your words and not your fashion sense.
Another thing to keep in mind is your perfume choice. We recommend either keeping it very subtle or not using it at all. You never know if your interviewer might have an allergy!
Make sure you feel comfortable
When you decide on your interview attire, always choose comfort over fashion. Being comfortable in your clothes will boost your confidence and you will perform much better during the interview.
Wearing leather pants or high heels that give you blisters will only make you feel uneasy and distracted. And if the clothes make you fidget all the time, it will be obvious to the interviewer too that there’s something wrong.
Run a final check
Right before you enter the office to meet your interviewer, go through one last check just to make sure everything looks alright.
Are there any stains? Wrinkles? Is the hair on point? Nothing stuck in your teeth? Great!
Now that you look and feel confident, all you have to do is get in there, make a good first impression and show you’re truly interested in the job offer.
But that’s much easier now, as you made sure to prepare and prevent any unwanted surprises.
What to Wear on an Interview For Men
Suit & Tie
Suit & Tie is the classical interview attire choice for men. If you’re being interviewed for a senior role in management, or just at a company with a strict dress code (Banking, Law Firm, etc.), Suite & Tie is the best choice.
If you don’t want to wear a generic black suit and white shirt under, you can go for a grey suit and light blue shirt.
Or you can be creative and put a cardigan or sweater underneath (as long as it’s not +40° outside, anyway).
A Sweater & a Button-Down
If the company you’re applying for has a more business-casual dress code, you won’t go wrong with a sweater with a button-down shirt underneath.
You can choose a neutral color for the sweater like grey, brown or black since these match with shirts of just about any color.
You can pair the sweater/shirt combo with khakis, chinos or dress pants if you want to be a bit more formal.
Light Colored Jacket & Pants
If a suit & tie is too official but a sweater and a button-down are too casual, there’s a middle ground between the two!
A light-colored jacket or a blazer is less formal than a black suit coat but it still has a very stylish feel to it.
You can always go for a khaki jacket, a shirt underneath, and a pair of dress pants.
The jacket helps keep your options open.
If you enter the interview and see that you’re a bit overdressed, just take off the jacket and throw it over your shoulder.
Button-Down & Pants
Another semi-formal option is a plain button-down and a pair of dress pants. Don’t go for bright colors or overcrowded shirt patterns, though, that’s just distracting.
Go for colors that compliment you and are subtle. For example, simple pastel color for the shirt and a neutral color for the pants will do the job.
Don’t think that your shoes will go unnoticed. Wear freshly-polished comfortable classic shoes in the dark color range.
And don’t forget to put socks that match your shoe and pants color. If you go for black shoes, don’t wear white socks. They might not show when you’re standing but once you sit down, everyone will be able to see them.
What to Wear on an Interview For Women
Button-down Shirts & Trousers
A button-down shirt is always a good choice when it comes to looking professional. You can choose from the classic black or white shirt, or go for light blue or pink. When it comes to the fabric, you also have a lot of choices from silk chiffon, linen to cotton. Just make sure you feel comfortable in it!
Combine that shirt with a pair of stylish trousers and you will have a very classy professional look at your interview.
Just don’t forget to have your bra covered and invisible under the shirt and choose a modest neckline when it comes to the shirt style.
Blazer & Blouse
If you want to add a bit of elegance to your style, go for a classy blue blazer with a blouse underneath.
And if you choose a blouse with an interesting design, you can always take off the blazer.
You can also combine that outfit with either a skirt or trousers that match the blazer’s color and fabric.
As for the blazer, its sleeves should end at your wrists. Otherwise, if you have super long sleeves, it might look awkward and too big on you. Also, when you choose a blazer, make sure it fits you well - not too tight and not too baggy.
Black Dress & Tights
The classy black dress is another go-to option for your job interview. Just make sure that the dress is appropriate and professionally looking for the occasion. It should be at least knee-length and you should not show any cleavage.
Combining the dress with textured tights and classy black heels gives you a simple but elegant look.
Sweater & Black Dress Pants
If you want to go for a business casual look, pairing black dress pants with a sweater might be a good fit.
Just make sure that the pants are comfortable on you and are not too tight or too loose. As for the sweater, you can combine it with a button-down shirt underneath. Just stick to neutral colors and this attire can look professional and fashionable at the same time.
A job interview is probably not the best place to try on your new stilettos. You don’t want to stumble or walk awkwardly across the office because you can barely remain balanced on your high heels.
So, sticking to closed-toe flats or low heels that you know are comfortable for sure is your best choice. Also, make sure they’re not scuffed, look representable, and are a neutral color that matches the rest of your outfit.
BONUS: What to Wear to an Interview - Infographic
Now that we covered all the essential tips and tricks on what you should wear on an interview, let’s do a quick recap.
- Find out what’s the dress code at the company & dress appropriately
- When you’re choosing your outfit, consider what’s the job role you’re applying for.
- Try on your outfit a few days before the interview to make sure everything is on point.
- Be careful with your accessory selection. You don't want to distract the interviewer from what you have to say.
- Run a final check before entering the interview to make sure everything looks alright.
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