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What To Wear For A Job Interview

First impressions are vital for your interview, and that all starts with presentation. Unless you are interviewing on Wall Street or a law firm where the attire is generally formal business wear, a good rule of thumb is to dress one step above the environment.

Business Formal is seen as the standard interview dress code. So, when in doubt, SUIT UP (thank you, Barney, from HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER)!

At the end of the interview, you want that hiring manager to remember you as an amazing possible addition to their team and impress them with your sweet skills… and not that your shoes were muddy and scuffed, or the overwhelming smell of Acqua Di Gio, or your earrings were so shiny and clangy they lost focus on what you were saying. Remember simple, modest, and professional.

Fun Fact: Shoes are usually one of the first things a person notices, so DO NOT underestimate the power of a good shoeshine!

 

What to Wear: Business Formal (think MAD MEN style) - Men

  • Suit up: Matching or Sport Coat/Slack combo. Choose the darker neutrals like navy blue, black, gray
  • Long-sleeved button up shirt: a white shirt is always classic, but pastels (blues, purple, grays, etc.) are a good choice too
  • Wear a tie: Something subtle, yet stylish that brings the outfit together. So, less neon or Looney Tunes and more stripes, polka dots, or paisley
  • Dress crew socks: Black/Navy blue is always the safest choice, but there are some fun dress socks out there for a hidden flair. (NOT WHITE OR ANKLE SOCKS.)
  • Dress shoes that are SHINED. Again, blacks, browns, or navy blues.

 

What to Wear: Business Formal - Women

  • Women have some options because women’s fashion is more complicated than men’s!
     - Suit up: pants or skirt suits with a blouse/dress shirt
     - Neutral and simple colors/patterns: black, dark blues, gray, crimson, etc.
     - Blazer, shell, and slacks
     - Dress with blazer or cardigan
  • Modesty
     - Skirts/dresses length: calf to barely above the knee (avoid skintight) and wear pantyhose or tights
     - Blouses and dress shirts: no crop tops or deep Vs
  • Simple & subtle
     - Avoid LOUD colors and patterns. Simple with a touch of flair is best.
     - Subtle jewelry to accent
    - Simple/natural makeup
  • Shoes: Heels (1-3 inches) or flats

 

Important Checklist: 

  • DO NOT wear cologne or perfume.
    #1- In case of allergies/sensitivity to smells.
    #2- What you think is enough might be OVERWHELMING to everyone else in the world
  • YES to deodorant. Everyone has BO to some degree and helps with any nerve sweats that may come.
  • Brush your teeth and check for any last minute poppyseeds. NO GUM!
  • Remove/cover any noticeable tattoos and body piercings as best possible
  • A nice watch is always a great touch!

 

Other Great Resources For Interview Attire: 

What to Wear to a Job Interview: The Complete Guide by WorkPac Group

What Not to Wear to Your Next Job Interview on TopInterview

6 Rules for Shoes during Job Interviews from Business Insider