A job interview is your chance to leave a stellar first impression on the hiring manager and your future employer. Among other things, your job interview outfit plays a big part in the impression you make. Are you dressed to impress? Does your outfit exude professionalism and reliability?
Your job interview outfit choice may depend on the position you are applying for. Yet, even if the company has no strict dress code, you should always aim to look tidy, neat, and professional. To avoid last-minute stress, it’s best to always have job interview outfits prepared in advance.
Table of Contents:
1. Interview outfits for women
2. Interview outfits for plus-size women
3. Interview outfits for men
4. Smart casual interview outfits
5. Summer job interview outfits
6. What not to wear to a job interview
Interview outfits for women
Women have many options to choose from for their job interview outfits. From suits to a skirt and a blouse, many combinations can look polished and neat.
One of the most versatile clothing items for job interviews is a navy blazer. You can pair one with a blouse, a button-down, a dress, khaki pants, or even dark jeans for a casual look. When it comes to shirts, a plain button-down is always a safe choice. To make your outfit more unique, experiment with colors or materials!
If you prefer a blouse over a button-down, find one that is elegant and pair it with a pencil skirt or slacks. For the wintertime, invest in a well-fitting pair of black pants. You can pair them with a blazer, a cardigan or a sweater.
For a more feminine look, try a statement dress in a bold color or a plain black dress and tights. Remember that the dress should skim the knees, and the neckline shouldn’t be too revealing.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsWomen
Interview outfits for plus-size women
While shopping for interview outfits may seem difficult if you are a plus-size woman, it is well worth the investment. A well-fitting outfit can ensure a great first impression and boost your confidence.
When picking out your job interview outfit, look for items that compliment your body shape. If you are thinner on the top and wider on the bottom, go for high-waisted pieces. High-waisted pants or a pencil skirt with a tucked-in blouse will make you look slimmer and accentuate your waist. On the other hand, if you are bigger on the top, wearing flowy skirts, dresses or slacks can help you achieve a more uniform body shape. For both body types, adding a wide belt at the waist can elevate the look.
When it comes to colors, avoid wearing all black or all bright colors. Instead, opt for natural shades like tan, white, or navy for your pants and jacket. If you want to include bright colors in your outfit, wear them in the form of accent pieces like scarves or belts. Avoid wearing bold patterns and horizontal stripes on your bottom half, as these make you look wider. If you do want to wear patterns, find a patterned sweater, blazer, or blouse.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsWomenPlusSize
Interview outfits for men
While it may be hard to pick out the perfect interview outfit, men have many options to choose from. From combining basic pieces to adding bold colors, here are the best interview outfit ideas for men.
To save yourself the stress of having to buy a whole outfit, it is best to have basic, stylish pieces in your closet. Blazers, dress pants and button-downs should not be missing. To create an outfit that is stylish yet professional, try experimenting with layers. For example, a gray suit with a navy-blue sweater and a button-down is a fashionable yet elegant look. In a less formal environment, you can lose the jacket and wear a sweater over a button-down with dress pants.
If you’re looking for an outfit that is not too formal but still professional, go for light-colored jackets or pants. You can wear these with or without a tie and are the middle ground between business formal and smart casual. On the other hand, for a formal yet stylish look, you can opt for a navy-blue suit. And if you want to add a sense of sophistication and uniqueness to your outfit, experiment with textured blazers.
To show off your personality through your outfit, incorporate colors and patterns. For example, wear a bold-colored or patterned button-down with your suit. Or, for a subtle touch of color, wear a statement tie. However, avoid ties that are too flashy. Finally, for a simple yet neat look, go for a grey or black suit, coordinating tie, and a neutral button-down.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsMen
Smart casual interview outfits
Unlike business casual, smart casual is more laid back and comfortable. If the company has a casual or no dress code, smart casual is the way to go for your interview outfit.
For women, a trendy smart casual outfit can consist of a pair of dark-wash jeans and a blazer. You can pair this with a casual t-shirt for a more relaxed look or take it up a notch with a blouse or button-down. A pair of well-fitted dark-wash jeans are a staple for smart casual outfits. For a comfortable yet polished interview look, you can pair jeans with a cotton blouse or a plaid shirt and some flats.
Men’s smart casual interview outfits can be fun and relaxed, too. Pairing dark jeans or khaki pants with a checkered button-down makes for a comfortable office fit. Another popular look is a basic solid-color cotton t-shirt with a blazer on top. Paired with dress pants, khakis, or jeans, this makes for a great smart casual look. If your interview is during the winter months, you can also add a sweater over your button-down or t-shirt.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsSmartCasual
Summer job interview outfits
You should look put together and professional regardless of whether you’re applying for an office job or a camp counselor position. While summer jobs are often more laid back, you should still pay attention to your outfit.
For a summer job interview, women should wear well-fitting khakis or dress pants and a blouse. While sleeveless blouses are allowed, avoid spaghetti straps or tight-fitting tops. You can also opt for a dress or a skirt as long as it is long enough and not too revealing. Avoid wearing sneakers in your interview. Instead, wear low heels, flats, or other closed-toe shoes.
While young men are not required to wear a tie to a summer job interview, they should still dress professionally. A button-down shirt or a collared t-shirt tucked into khakis or dress pants is a popular outfit choice. If your employer allows you to wear shorts, ensure they are linen or khakis, not denim and cargo shorts. To complete your interview outfit, wear closed shoes like dress shoes or boat shoes. Most importantly, avoid wearing caps or hats to your interview, as these look unprofessional.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsSummer
What not to wear to a job interview
Now that you have an idea of how to dress to impress, let’s look at what not to wear. You should avoid these items at all costs when preparing your interview outfit.
First, avoid flashy, bright colors. If you want a splash of color, wear an accent piece. Also, avoid revealing items like minidresses or camisoles. Second, remember that a blazer only looks as good as what is underneath it. Unless you are in a casual environment, don’t wear a t-shirt or a camisole under your blazer. Instead, opt for a button-down or a blouse.
Avoid wearing too much perfume or cologne. Instead, use only a little bit of perfume and go for one with a light scent. Less is also more when it comes to makeup and accessories. When going for an interview, keep your look light and natural, and avoid flashy accessories and statement ties.
Finally, make sure your outfit is not too casual or too dated. Even in a casual environment, you should still dress professionally and look sharp. And if your wardrobe is outdated, invest in a new interview outfit that will help you feel confident and make a good first impression.
Remember: Your interview outfit determines not only the first impression you make but also how you will feel. Make sure you choose clothing that is comfortable and that you feel confident in. And remember, if you’re not sure of the dress code, always go with a formal look. This will make you appear professional, put together, and reliable.