What Add job title, key skills
Where Add location, town, city
Scroll for more!

Dress To Impress: What To Wear For An Interview

Published: Thursday 30th April 2015

male who passed his interview

If you are attending a job interview you want to make the best possible first impression that you can to your potential employer. Although choosing the right outfit won’t get you the job alone, choosing the wrong job interview outfit could cost you it. If you don’t look smart enough, you could be communicating that you are too sloppy for the organisation you are interviewing for. 

Remember that appearance matters in the workplace, if you are applying for a customer facing role such as a receptionist job, or a cabin crew job, you need to demonstrate that you can maintain a professional appearance to represent the company’s core brand values. If you are interviewing for a managerial or senior executive role, then you want to show that you can command respect amongst your colleagues.

Women: What To Wear To An Interview

The Basics: 

Women should look smart and well presented for a job interview. A tailored jacket or blazer, fitted dress or blouse and smart skirt with a knee length hemline are a good idea. Trousers are acceptable but need to be tailored. If you are wearing a dress or skirt, tights are also a good idea. Your shoes must be polished; it is advisable not to wear heels that are too high, as you need to feel confident and comfortable as you walk into the room.

What To Avoid:

Avoid anything outlandish. This can include too many accessories, too much makeup, or colours that are too bright and bold, or ones that clash. Jewellery should be kept to a minimum. Clothes which are too revealing also are not advised. Most employers in office environments still expect tattoos and facial piercing to be covered up, so be mindful of this. If you are applying for a role in retail or the hair and beauty industry however, there can often be a more relaxed attitude, however it’s worth researching the company if you are unsure.

Men: What To Wear To An Interview

The Basics:

You should wear a two-piece tailored suit with a shirt and tie. It is recommended you wear a sober colour like black, grey, charcoal or navy. For more casual job interviews it is all right to wear a tailored jacket with smart trousers in a coordinating colour, and a shirt without a tie but this is only recommended for very casual environments. Most employers would also recommend being well groomed, clean shaven and wearing smart polished shoes. 

What To Avoid:

As recommended to women, it is a good idea to avoid anything to outlandish; this includes brightly coloured ties or shirts, too many accessories or unnecessary jewellery. The same advice applies for men on facial piercings and tattoos and also make sure your shirt is tucked in and that your shoes are scuff free. As recommended to women, your clothes should be cleaned and well ironed. 

It is also recommended that both men and women research the organisation they are interviewing with and dress in a way that reflects their core brand values. Are they corporate, cutting edge or traditional? Although the same basic rules apply, you may be able to adapt your outfit to show that you are their “kind of person”.

What To Wear For An Office Job Interview:

It is important to be as smart as possible, wearing slick, tailored clothes that show that you mean business. Muted colours are advisable and accessories and jewellery are best kept to a minimum.

What To Wear For A Retail Job Interview:

It is advisable to research the company and dress to conform to their brand identity. If they are a fashion company, you can wear clothes that are in a similar style to the clothes they sell. If they sell other types of products, you can still adapt your outfit to fit with their brand image, for example trying to look more “cutting edge” if they sell tech and gadgets, or traditional, if it is a homeware shop. 

What To Wear For A Creative Job Interview:

If you are interviewing for a creative job, such a graphic designer or photographer, it can help to express your creativity subtly with an interesting print or piece of jewellery. Remember though there is a fine line between creative and over the top, so it is best to make subtle choices to strike the balance between showing your uniqueness and still looking like you have taken the job interview seriously.

For more job search tips visit our Zoek blog. Also, why not try our faster, smarter recruitment app to help you find your next job role, available to download for free on iPhone and Android.


Interested in finding out more about the subjects raised on this page?
Simply click on the tags below to read related blog posts...