How To Dress Up For An Interview

Dress for success, they said. Dress to impress, they said! Not only is it extremely important to dress up for an interview at your best but it is also equally important to make sure that you leave the best first impression with your personality.

However, most people tend to find themselves in a grey area when it comes to making the right choice to dress up for an interview. Some go over-dressed while some land up being completely casual. Therefore, striking the right balance needs a little guidance.

Forbes has put together a fine list of 10 tips to dress for an interview along with a keen emphasis on the importance of it.

If you watch old television shows and movies from the 1950s, men wore suits and ties and women wore nice dresses pretty much everywhere. However, over the years, our society has become less conservative when it comes to dress code. Certain industries still require dressing conservatively but others have a more collegiate atmosphere and it’s not unusual to find employees wearing shorts, T-shirts, and flip-flops to work. You probably don’t need to wear a suit and tie to a job interview at a laid back company, but that doesn’t mean you should dress too casually, either.


What you wear to your next job interview might be more important than you think. Why? Whether you like it or not, your appearance is the first thing people notice about you–and first impressions are usually formed within the first 30 seconds, says Brenda Ferguson Hodges, a California-based image consultant and career coach. “Appearance affects hiring decisions and plays a major role. Hiring managers need to be able to visualize you in that position they are trying to fill.”

Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s career expert and best-selling author, agrees. “On a job interview, your attire makes a statement about yourself before you even open your mouth,” she says.

The Undercover Recruiter lists down some basics that you should keep in mind before you start to dress up for an interview,

Check out the company culture:

When first deciding what to wear on a job interview, you should first take into consideration the culture of the company you are interviewing with, and dress accordingly. Are you interviewing with a company where the employees wear suits everyday or do they wear t-shirts and jeans?

Nothing too fancy, nothing to casual:

A suit is not always the best choice for what to wear on a job interview. If you show up wearing a suit and tie and all the employees are wearing shorts and flip-flops, you will look out of place, feel uncomfortable and give off the wrong energy. The same is true of the opposite. If you show up wearing shorts and flip-flops to a company that wears professional attire, you will be just confirming that you don’t fit into the company.

Match the interviewer:

If you want to get the job, your choice of what to wear on a job interview should match or be slightly dressier than the normal work attire of the company. For example, if the normal work attire of the company is business casual, it’s ok to wear a suit to impress. If the normal work attire is casual, it’s ok to wear a business casual outfit to impress as well. Appropriateness is the most important factor on what to wear on a job interview.

After you decide whether a professional, business casual, or casual outfit the most appropriate for your interview, here are some guidelines you will want to stay with in when deciding what to wear on a job interview. The key is to wear clothing that you feel comfortable and look great in, while at the same time matching the corresponding dress code of the company. That way you’ll give off great energy and your true personality shine through.

Here are the guidelines:

  1. Make sure your clothes that are neatly ironed and press. Nothing gives away the lack of attention to detail than wrinkled clothing.
  2. Make sure your clothing fits properly. If your pants or sleeves are too long or something is too loose or too tight you’ll look and probably feel awkward.
  3. Don’t wear flashy jewelry. You’ll want the interviewer to pay attention to you, not your bling.
  4. Dress according to the season. Don’t wear a stuffy turtleneck sweater in the middle of the summer.
  5. Don’t wear perfume or aftershave. You never know if your interviewer is allergic and this isn’t a good way to find out.
  6. Make sure you have a nice, clean haircut that makes you look well groomed.
  7. For men, make sure you shave and keep facial hair to a minimum.
  8. For women, don’t wear anything that is too revealing. It’s best to keep your body parts inside your clothing and not be too exposed.
  9. Avoid articles of clothing with loud, busy prints. It’s best to wear solid colors that flatter your skin tone.
  10. For women, make sure you wear appropriate lingerie and/or pantyhose underneath your clothing. This will give you smooth lines and assure you don’t have visible panty lines on your backside.
  11. For women, don’t overdo your makeup. Wear natural colors and avoid heavy eyeshadow, eyeliner and bright colored lipstick.
  12. For pants outfits, make sure you wear a belt that matches the color of your shoes.

Once you keep the above in mind, you will find yourself in the right position to properly dress up for an interview. However, specially for the ladies, Huffington Post lists down a few ‘don’t’s to keep in mind,

Don’ts for Women
-Short skirt or extreme form fitting garments
-Textured, patterned or bright colored hosiery
-Wet hair
-Strong perfume or heavily scented body products
-Distracting or noisy jewelry
-Visible body piercings and tattoos (Cover tattoos with a band aid or flesh colored tape)
-Jeans, t-shirts, sneakers, canvas slip-ons
-Sunglasses worn as a headband
-Exposed technology; turn off cell phone and keep out of sight
-Carrying a book bag rather than briefcase

Here are some tips on how not to dress up for an interview.

(Click here for more interview attire and dress tips for women)

Good luck on your job interview!

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