Job Interview Clothes
- Do's and Don'ts

Know what job interview clothes to wear. Whatever environment your job interview is taking place in, a conservative company or a more relaxed workplace, some basic business clothing rules will always apply.

Follow these tried and tested do's and don'ts when selecting your interview attire and be sure of making the right impression.

A number of business people in different outfits with words "Job Interview Clothes Dos and Donts"

Avoid sabotaging your chances of interview success by projecting an inappropriate image with the wrong interview outfit.

What are appropriate job interview clothes?

Your hair and make-up - do's and don'ts

  • Your hair should be neatly combed and styled. Avoid a style that allows you to fiddle with your hair - this makes you appear nervous and unsure.
2 females with different hairstyles- the neat bun appropriate for interviews, the messy hairstyle not
  • Do keep you hair off your face. You don't want to be constantly flicking your hair out of the way during the interview.
  • Sunglasses pushed up into your hair is a definite no! It looks messy and unprofessional.
  • Do wear understated makeup in natural tones.
  • Don't wear too much makeup. Overdone eye shadow, heavy eyeliner and brightly-colored lipstick make you appear frivolous and unprofessional.
  • Do ensure your nails are clean and manicured and only wear neutral polish.
  • Unless the job is in a very informal environment men should have a traditional haircut and shave before the interview. A clean shave makes the right impression. If you really want to retain your facial hair make sure it is neatly trimmed.

Keep it professional - interview clothing do's and don'ts

2 different hemlines for females, one on the knee marked correct, the very short skirt marked incorrect
  • Your hemline should fall just above or on your knee.
  • Short and split skirts are difficult to sit comfortably in - you have to continually tug your skirt down during the interview.
  • Hiring managers complain about candidates who wear short skirts and sexy outfits to job interviews. It is unprofessional and detracts from the purpose of the interview - which is to assess your job skills.
  • Job interview clothes should fit properly and not be too tight.
  • Low neck-lines, transparent fabric and bra straps on display should be avoided. Good tips on job interview attire for women.
  • Men should avoid wearing baggy interview clothes. Sweats and clothes that are too big create an impression of untidiness.
  • Pants pulled down around your hips look unprofessional. Advice on what men should wear to an interview.

Your shoes - interview attire do's and don'ts

Candidates waiting for an interview in a line, indicating correct shoes for interview outfits
  • Wear closed-toe, medium to low-heeled shoes such as a pair of black pumps.
  • You should be able to walk comfortably in your shoes and appear confident and at ease.
  • Very high-heeled shoes are unsuitable.
  • Avoid brightly colored and trendy shoes - you are not there to make a fashion statement.

Invest in a pair of smart business-wear shoes. You will get a lot of wear out of a pair of black or dark brown shoes. Make sure your shoes are clean and well shined. Scruffy and scuffed shoes ruin the smartest job interview clothes.

Carry a smart bag

2 different bags, the smart black case marked correct and the sloppy denim bag marked incorrect
  • Carry a small briefcase or similar bag in place of a purse to your job interview. This provides an easy way of carrying a tablet or laptop, if you need to take one with you to the interview, as well as all your documents.
  • If you feel you need a purse, a small structured one is preferable to a large floppy bag. Avoid canvas, denim and straw, these look very unprofessional.

Your accessories - do's and don'ts when dressing for an interview

  • Do wear understated jewelry. Ostentatious, in-your-face jewelry is a big distraction and gives the impression of flashiness.
  • For men a classic watch and one simple ring per hand are acceptable. Avoid necklaces and bracelets.
  • Big, dangling earrings and jangling bracelets are particularly distracting on women candidates as they bounce about as you talk and move your hands.
  • Anklets can make your feet a focal point. You want the interviewer to concentrate on your face and what you have to say.

Select your job interview clothes the day before

Take time to prepare beforehand and select your interview clothes carefully. Pay attention to detail. All interview clothes should be clean, tidy and neatly pressed. Check for dangling threads, hems starting to come undone, stains etc.

If you are having to travel any distance to your job interview consider how wrinkled your clothes may look after a couple of hours traveling. Select job interview clothes that do not crease easily.

Job interview clothes for men and women

How to find out the job interview dress code

It is important to dress according to the interview dress code of the company.

Your interview attire will also depend on the job you are interviewing for. Interview dress code for different jobs

How to buy the right job interview clothes on a tight budget.

What to wear to a more casual job interview

Job interview do's and don'ts - the right interview etiquette

Find out how to conduct yourself in an interview at job interview etiquette

Your interview body language is part of your overall appearance. Make sure you are fully aware of the message you are sending with your non-verbal signals.

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