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Job Interview Outfits: What to Wear to Land Any Job

FashionArticle

A job interview is the make or break point in any career path. You have one shot to make the best impression on a potential employer that you can to land a job, but what do you wear?

 

Many people leave their interview outfits until the last minute or forget to put one together entirely. Showing up to an interview looking your best is vital to landing your desired job. Oftentimes your appearance is the first thing an employer will judge before you even open your mouth. So, how do you dress for an interview?

 

Here is the ideal standard for job interview outfits for men and women that are sure to help you land any job.

General Do’s and Don'ts

No matter the job you’re going for, there are some hard dos and don’ts when it comes to dressing for an interview. Do’s will help you tailor an outfit to perfection, while don’ts should be avoided in any situation. These apply to job interview outfits for women and men.

Do

  • Dress for the job you want
  • Wear clean and well-fitted clothing
  • Wear black, gray, or navy blue as a general rule
  • Do your hair in a neat manner
  • Think about the whole outfit from the top of your head to your shoes
  • Wear something you feel comfortable and confident in
  • Show off a bit of personality and style
  • Keep it simple
  • Wear pants to video interviews, just in case you have to stand

Do Not

  • Wear anything too bright, flashy, or obnoxious
  • Wear too much makeup
  • Wear large or gaudy accessories
  • Wear anything with stains or holes
  • Leave facial hair or hair unkempt
  • Wear anything too revealing
  • Wear frumpy, overly casual, or ill-fitting clothes
  • Wear anything with prominent brands, logos, or graphics
shoes and clothes laid out
quotation marks

If you are going in for an HR position at a small and casual company where you don’t know the dress code, always take the suit over the button-down and slacks.

Formal or Business Interviews

In more formal interview situations, you’ll want to pull out the full suit. Imagine you’re pitching an idea in a business meeting or meeting a prestigious client for the first time. You want to dress to impress while also looking professional and put together.

 

For men, a full suit and tie are best. Wear dress shoes, matching pants and jacket, a crisp dress shirt, and a tie. Additionally, make sure your hair is neat and styled, slap on your most expensive watch, and carry a briefcase to appear more organized. Clean your shoes before entering the meeting if you have to, and unbutton your suit jacket when you sit to avoid wrinkling.

 

For women, you have a few more options. You can wear a full suit just like the men’s with dress shoes, matching slacks and jacket, button-down, and tie, or opt for a skirted suit. Low heels, nylons, a business skirt, blouse, and jacket are perfect for very formal interviews. Additionally, you can carry a briefcase or simple bag if you have papers or documents with you.

 

Do your hair neatly, and wear minimal makeup. Avoid any large or flashy accessories. Small earrings, a thin bracelet, a simple necklace, or a complimentary brooch are alright but don’t wear more than two.

What to Wear For More Casual Professions

Casual job interview outfits are a little more flexible.  Generally, you won’t be expected to interview for a landscaping position in a full suit and tie, but you shouldn’t wear work clothes either.

 

No matter the job you’re interviewing for, always dress in a politely casual manner or better. For men, this could mean slacks or khakis, dress shoes, and a tucked-in button-down. Depending on the job a short-sleeved dress shirt may be fine, or you may not need a tie.

 

For women, slacks or a business skirt will do. Dress shoes and a tucked-in blouse or dress shirt is fine. You may want to opt for pants if you’re interviewing for a more manually intensive job and avoid any low-cut or frilly blouses.

 

Remember, these outfits are the minimum. You’re always better off wearing a nicer outfit if you’re unsure.

business men looking at a paper

Tips for Success

Here are a few extras that’ll help you put together the perfect outfit.

Dress for Success

One of the most important things to remember when choosing an outfit is to dress for the job you want. This means that if you plan to work in an office, wear business casual or better, if you plan to work face to face with clients in a high position, wear business formal, and if you plan to work as a construction worker, keep it casual but neat.

Overdressed is Always Better than Underdressed

If you aren’t sure how formal you need to be for a job interview, it’s always better to err on the side of being more formal.

 

If you are going in for an HR position at a small and casual company where you don’t know the dress code, always take the suit over the button-down and slacks.

Avoid Accessories, Makeup, and Things that Stand Out

While it’s good to show off your personality in an interview you’re expected to do it through asking and answering questions, not by wearing your favorite diamond hoop earrings or a dramatic smokey eye.

 

A plain outfit in dark or neutral colors is better than a frilly, sunshine yellow blouse with six necklaces. Remember, your interviewer is also looking to see how well you can adapt and fit into their work environment.

A Smile is More Important than a Suit

The best tip to remember is that the way you present yourself and behave in an interview is what will get you the job, not your outfit. Think of it as going to a swimming pool. It’s a given that you’ll wear a swimsuit there, but what you choose to do once you’re in the water is up to you.

 

Interview outfits are just a part of the process. The bit you need to focus on is presenting yourself as friendly, hardworking, and prepared.

woman being interviewed in a library

The Takeaway

While job interviews are incredibly stressful, and there’s a lot to think about, your outfit shouldn’t be a point of worry. So long as you follow this guide, and above all wear a smile, you’ll do just fine.

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