Your Location: Select

Job Interview Attire

Candidates wearing job interview attire
Many find the question regarding job interview attire on a job interview a taxing one. After all, first impressions count for a lot when it comes to interviews so you will want to make sure that you are dressed for success. While employers are looking for qualified job applicants they are also looking for applicants that are well groomed and professional in appearance. Preparing for a job interview goes beyond developing a series of answers to common interview questions or prepping yourself to speak in front of a small group it is also determining what job interview attire to wear. While in an ideal world appearance would count for little in the face of skill or experience the fact of the matter is that in the business arena appearance counts.

How to Decide on What Job Interview Attire to Wear

In order to decide what job interview attire to wear you must look closely at the position you are applying for. What may be appropriate to wear for one position may not be appropriate for another position. Examine the job you are applying for carefully before deciding on the outfit to wear to the interview. There are a few traits and characteristics of outfits that have no place in an interview position. As you decide what to wear on a job interview make certain to avoid these characteristics:
  • A plunging neckline.
  • Mini-skirts
  • Ties with loud colors or patterns.
  • Shear blouses
  • Sandals
  • Patterned jacket or suit
  • Gaudy jewelry
Industries in the arts, theater, or even advertising allow a slightly more flamboyant fashion sense than in other career paths. A flash of color or daring necklace will be tolerated more easily than in industries like accounting or business.  

Job Interview Attire you Should Wear

It is best to dress conservative when deciding what to wear to a job interview. That way you are certain not to offend anyone or make a bad first impression. If there are follow up interviews you can change your outfit slightly to match the fashion and styles of the office or company. Men should wear a dark colored suit well-made and tailored. The tie should not be loud though simple designs are permissible. Shoes should be shined and match the suit. Hair should be neat and styled and beards and mustaches nicely trimmed. Some companies do not allow facial hair so before going in for the initial interview you will want to do some research to see if that beard can stay. If you find that the company has a strict policy on facial hair you will want to trim, cut, or shave yours in order to meet the requirements. This effort will not go unnoticed by the interviewer.

Women may be tempted to dress according to the current fashion trend. This should not present too much an issue unless the current fashion trend is a plunging neckline or some other kind of unscrupulous clothing. Again a dark suit is best with either tailored slacks or a modest skirt. The skirt should reach just past the knees and provide coverage during normal day to day activities. The blouse should be white and fashionable. Splashes of color can be added through jewelry or accessories just make sure that you do not go overboard and diminish the overall look. Hair should be brushed and kept. Wearing the hair up or partially up will present a professional yet stylish appearance. Before the day of the interview try on the outfit. Make sure it fits well without any bunching or loose threads. Ask yourself:
  • Is this professional?
  • Will I be taken seriously in this outfit?
  • Does it fit well?
  • Is it wrinkled or stained?
  • Would my grandmother approve?
First impressions are important when it comes to job interviews. No matter your experience or skill if you arrive to the interview in a stained blouse or in an ill-fitting suit you will not be taken seriously. On the other hand if you arrive in a nice suit and are well groomed the interviewer is sure to remember you later on in the interviewing process. Having the appropriate job interview attire is a crucial step to ensure that job candidates start off on the right foot.  

Additional Resources:

Appropriate Job Interview Attire - Source:

Interview Attire Dos and Dont's - Source: Huffington Post

Professional Job Interview Attire - Source:

Job Interview Attire for Men - Source:

Female Job Interview Attire - Source:  

Source: The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, 2009-2010,© 2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies. “Adapted” with permission of the publisher. This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher.
Browse Jobs By State