Dressing appropriately for a job interview is crucial as it helps create a positive first impression. The specific outfit you should wear depends on the type of job and the company you are interviewing with. 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
What to Wear to a Job Interview
When it comes to choosing the right outfit for a job interview, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Research the Company: Before deciding what to wear, research the company’s dress code and culture. This will give you an idea of whether the company has a formal, business casual, or casual dress environment. You can check the company’s website, social media profiles, or even reach out to current employees for guidance.
- Dress Professionally: Regardless of the dress code, it’s always better to err on the side of dressing more professionally for a job interview. Wearing a suit is a safe choice for most formal or business professional environments. For business casual or casual environments, you can opt for a more relaxed yet polished look.
- Choose Appropriate Colors: The colors you wear can convey certain impressions. For more formal industries like law and banking, neutral colors such as gray, black, and blue are generally safe choices. For creative roles or companies with a more relaxed dress code, you can incorporate more colorful shades like purple, green, or yellow. However, it’s important to avoid overly bright or distracting colors.
- Pay Attention to Grooming: In addition to your outfit, pay attention to your grooming. Ensure that your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and appropriately tailored. Avoid strong cologne or perfume as it may be overwhelming for the interviewer. Keep your hairstyle neat and consider trimming facial hair if applicable.
- Comfort is Key: While it’s important to dress professionally, it’s equally important to feel comfortable in what you’re wearing. Choose clothes that fit well and allow you to move comfortably. Avoid clothing that is too tight, too loose, or restrictive.
- Pay Attention to Details: Pay attention to the small details that can make a difference. Ensure your shoes are clean and polished. Avoid excessive accessories or jewelry that may be distracting. Keep your overall look clean, neat, and professional.
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, a coordinating tie, and a neutral button-down.
To find more inspiration, see #InterviewOutfitsMen
Summer 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
Smart Casual Job 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
What Not to Wear to a Job Interview
When it comes to job interviews, it’s important to dress appropriately and make a positive impression. Here are some things you should avoid wearing to a job interview:
- Casual Clothing: Avoid wearing overly casual clothing such as t-shirts, jeans, sweatshirts, or shorts. These items can give the impression that you are not taking the interview seriously or that you don’t care about professionalism.
- Distracting Accessories: Avoid wearing accessories that are distracting or overly flashy. This includes excessive jewelry, large statement pieces, or accessories that make noise. Keep your accessories minimal and professional to maintain a polished appearance.
- Strong Fragrances: While it’s important to maintain good personal hygiene, it’s best to avoid wearing strong perfumes, colognes, or any other strong fragrances to a job interview. Some people may be sensitive to strong scents, and it’s best to choose a light fragrance or avoid wearing any fragrance at all.
- Inappropriate Footwear: Avoid wearing open-toe shoes, flip-flops, sneakers, or any footwear that is too casual for a professional setting. Opt for closed-toe shoes that are clean, polished, and appropriate for the industry or company culture.
Popular related posts:
- 6 Skills You Need to Succeed at All Jobs Right Now
- How to Write a Resume With No Work Experience
- Elevator Pitch Examples for a Job Interview 
- Phone Interview Questions to Ask the Interviewer
- Create an Effective Personal Development Plan in 7 Steps