What To Wear To A Job Interview And What Not To Wear

Written by
Rachel Wearmoutharrow-right-white

What To Wear To A Job Interview And What Not To Wear

Written by
Rachel Wearmoutharrow-right-white

What To Wear To A Job Interview And What Not To Wear

Written by
Rachel Wearmouth

Reading time: 6min

After preparing yourself for interview questions, make some time to groom yourself too. First impressions are extremely important especially with a potential employer. You are selected for an interview based on your experience and skills but, how you present yourself tells a lot about your character and values. Therefore, the way you dress is as crucial as giving the right responses in the interview questions. Here's a guide of what to wear to a job interview, how to impress the interviewer and advice on what not to wear.

Do Wear:

  1. Dress Shirt
  2. Chinos/Slacks
  3. Clean Shoes
  4. Tidy Hair
  5. Show a little personality

Don't Wear:

  1. Too much cologne
  2. Headphones
  3. Tacky Tie
  4. Excessive Accessories
  5. Revealing outfits
2. Dress for Outcome




Professional Attire:

Usually, people opt for a professional look. For men, it is generally a suit jacket and pants with a dress shirt and tie or button-down with a cardigan. For women, it is normally a statement dress or blouse with dress pants. You should also consider the colours of your clothes in mind. It is better to refrain from wearing bright coloured clothes such as orange, green, purple, and yellow.

Non-professional Attire:

If you applied at a considerably less formal workplace, you might opt for casual business clothes. That does not mean you should wear t-shirts and shorts. Informal business attire is less formal than a professional one, but still appealing to the employer. It is better to find out the dress code of the company you are applying to beforehand so that you dress accordingly. Try searching the companies facebook, linkedIn and Instagram page to see what the employees are usually wearing. Dressing a bit more formal than the average employee at the workplace is a safe option as it is much better to come off as too formal rather than too informal.

Casual Interview Attire:

This look is for those candidates who have an interview at a start-up company, or a relatively 'fun' company. Wearing a top-notch suit might make you look like you are trying too hard and won't fit in with the company culture. The best option is to look relaxed but still presentable. For that, you can go for a button up top with chinos or dark-wash jeans to dress it down.


Graduate or Internship Interview:

While students may take their interview attire casually, the dress code also applies to them. Always dress professionally for a job interview even if it is entry-level. The dress code of students reflects if they are ready for the responsibility and are mature enough to work in a professional setting.



A decent cardigan or a blouse is suitable when paired with dress pants, a skirt or dark wash jeans or you could wear a professional looking dress. Make sure that your clothes are stain and wrinkle-free.

You can complete the look by wearing a clean pair of shoes. Remember you don't have to wear heels, flats work fine. Being comfortable can make you more confident, don't risk hobbling around in heels if you are not confident walking in them.


How to Do Your Makeup for the Job Interview:

This really depends on which job you are going for, if you are going for an interview with a makeup company maybe it is time to break out that beauty blogger tutorial and look glam, but like most of us you are probably going for a normal office job. The best approach is a classic look, try not to go overboard on the eyeliner, contouring and eye shadow. Try not to overdo the make-up as it may end up come distracting from your skills. Don't feel pressured to wear make up, you are there to be judged for your professional skills not your make up ability.




Photo by Stil Classics at Unsplash


Most jobs don't expect you to show up in a sharp-looking dapper suit. However, employers do require some degree of professionalism. A button-down shirt paired with decent slacks may cut a deal for you. Make yourself presentable by wearing clean and crisply ironed clothes to add to your look. It is advisable not to wear denim on denim. For example, if you opt for a denim shirt then pair it with khakis or coloured slacks to balance out the look.


Hairstyles for Job Interview:

There are many ways to style your hair for a job interview. Whatever you choose, it should be groomed and combed to compliment your professional attire. If you want some ideas, you can search for job interview hairstyle ideas for short, medium, and long hair. Just make sure your hair is washed, brushed and looking good.


Choose Your Footwear Wisely:

You don't necessarily have to wear dress shoes to a job interview. You can make your look work with a pair of sneakers or loafers. However, athletic trainers or street sneakers are not the best choices. Make sure that your footwear is clean and laces well tied.


Add a Personal Touch:

Some students are fashion lunatics and have their way of dressing. If you are fond of wearing scarves or blazers, then incorporate it into your interview attire. It will add a personal touch to your style and compliment your personality as well. However, do make sure that it aligns with the company's dress code and standards. Always dress in clothes you feel comfortable in and feel like they represent you, whilst this is a first impression if you get the job you will be setting the expectation of what you will be wearing on a daily basis.


Give it a little bit of flare:




What Not To Wear To A Job Interview:


Intense Cologne: 

While the body odour is essential to take care of, do not overdo yourself with strong scents. Your employer might have an allergy to such fragrance and might lead to distraction. Therefore, avoid over-spraying yourself with perfume. Wear deodorant to avoid being smelly in the interview. If your interview is in summer make sure you dress light enough to avoid excessive sweating.



Some people have an addiction to songs, and they are always wearing headphones because it is a part of their attire. However, it does not give off professional vibes, so don't forget to take them off when you enter the room for your interview, don't leave them hanging around you neck.


Tacky Tie: 

It is always better to wear traditional ties instead of your novelty ties with bright colours and weird patterns if going for a governmental or high ranking position. If you are going for a position in a 'hipper' company, feel free to express yourself with your tie but make sure it is tasteful.


Excessive Accessories: 

This caution goes for both men and women to keep accessories to a minimum. Women should wear minimum jewellery like studs and a delicate pendant instead of big hoops and flashy necklaces. Men should wear decent cufflinks, belt, and tie clip if they choose so.


Revealing Outfits:

You may think this is common knowledge but you would be surprised. Avoid low cut/ see-through tops and short dresses/ skirts, these pieces of clothing can distract from your interview and unfortunately impact how people in the office see you.


Last but not least, make sure to dress confidently and have a bold strut. Your confidence will enhance your personality and make you look more convincing. Make sure that you are still dressing to impress. Good luck!