How to Dress for An Interview

Posted: 01/15/18 | Category: Interviewing

How to Dress for a Corporate Interview


Men's Interview Attire

Here are examples of interview outfits for men. Men should always default to wearing a suit. All clothes should fit well and be free of stains.

  • Suit in a solid color such as navy, black, or dark grey
  • Long sleeved shirt that is white or color coordinated with the suit
  • Leather belt
  • Tie
  • Dark socks and conservative leather shoes
  • Little or no jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Limited amount of aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Women's Interview Attire

In general, fashion for women is more complicated and varied than it is for men who have fewer options.

This makes assembling an interview outfit a bit more challenging for women than for men. For instance, if you're wearing a dress or skirt, you need to decide if you should wear pantyhose or if bare legs are acceptable. Women also need to consider interview accessories and choose an appropriate purse. The best interview bags are ones that are professional and large enough to fit a resume but aren't flashy.

Here are the fundamental building blocks of what women should wear to a professional interview.

  • Suit in navy, black, or dark grey
  • Suit skirt just below or above the knee
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Conservative shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • No dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets
  • No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry
  • Professional hairstyle
  • Neutral colored pantyhose
  • Light make-up and limited amount of perfume
  • Clean, neatly manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Business Casual Interview Attire Basics


Women

Women should wear a combination of a skirt or dress slacks, blouse, sweater, twinset, jacket (optional), and hosiery (optional) with closed toe shoes. Sandals or peep-toe shoes may be permissible in some offices; flip-flops are never considered part of business casual.

  • Khaki, corduroy, twill, or cotton pants or skirts (skirts should not short)
  • Sweaters, twinsets, cardigans, polo/knit shirts
  • A sheath dress is often flattering and looks very professional
  • Solid colors work better than bright patterns


Men

For men, appropriate business casual attire is dress slacks or chinos, a shirt with or without a tie, dark socks, and dress shoes. Avoid wearing polo shirts to an interview, even if they are acceptable for the job in question.


Do not wear jeans or shorts.

  • Khaki, gabardine, wool, or cotton pants, neatly pressed
  • Cotton long-sleeved button-down shirts, pressed
  • Sweaters
  • Leather shoes and belt
  • Tie optional


What Not to Bring to the Interview

  • Gum
  • Coffee or soda
  • If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only is a good rule)
  • If possible, cover tattoos 

You can bring your smartphone but make sure it's on mute or vibrate during your interview. This avoids the risk of getting a distracting loud text alert or phone call mid-interview.