10 Things To Remember When Dressing For Job Interviews

When it comes to applying for jobs and doing a job interview, image is everything. And appearances CAN be deceiving. Especially if you dress wrongly when going for that job interview. Would you want to lose a job prospect all because of your attire? Of course not. The fact is – appearance shouldn’t matter when being interviewed, but the harsh and sad reality is that we are all judged in an interview before we get a “Hello” out of our mouth. Here, then are some top tips and advice about what to keep in mind when you dress for that all important interview.

1. Do not appear too casual in your clothing – yes, we all have that casual vibe at times and when going to meet someone we know, we dress “neat casual”. It’s the in thing. But neat casual does not belong in the interview room. Some people’s idea of neat casual can also consist of ripped jeans with the knee ripped out, a t-shirt with the face of a bulldog snarling at the speaker with the words “What are you looking at?” emblazoned across it, or that Hawaiian shirt you brought back from vacation that you “felt” like wearing. Neat to some is a red flag at a bull to others. Worn out trainers, shoddy looking shoes, and for guys, large jewellery that really dazzles may not shine for you in the end. Unless you’re looking for a job as a Pimp, this look doesn’t cut it in the interview room and the employment world. Clothing should be formal and business-like. make them neat and tidy, with under-stated elegance if possible. If the price for such clothing is high - ask yourself how badly do you need this job?

2. No headwear – you should not wear any caps, hats, hoodies, beanies or any “Captain Haddock” inspired marine wear in your interview. People usually associate these to a certain kind of person, as though the person has something to hide. There are obvious medical and religious exceptions to this interview rule, where of course it's perfectly fine to allow headwear.

3. Wacky ties are a no-no – for the guys here, yes, the wacky ties serves some purpose, like if you are like John Snow on Channel 4 News, who can wear weird ties and socks, and he has become a fashion icon almost for this line of clothing. He gets away with it. But he waited till after he got his job before trying this out. I have to confess that some people I know have won jobs and they said certain college ties or university ties were worn in the interview. perhaps that is a curious exception to this rule. Maybe you are "one of the boys". But for the most part, your interviewer will not have an appetite for your humor, so dress like you are serious about the job.

4. No Tattoos or piercings – with apologies to a great Tattoo lover, (I am thinking of one just now), sadly these are frowned upon in the interview room. What if you cannot remove them - then try to conceal or cover any piercings or body art that may cause offence. A Tattoo of an angel won’t upset anyone. But if you have studs – keep them small. Also, even though it might be weird, ask a female friend about some make-up to cover a tattoo in a public place, it may do the job, as long as it doesn’t look too er...unusual.

But here again there are exceptions. In this very multi-cultured world, applying for work in some industries – it's okay if you have such “décor”. Male Hairdressers will get away with these no problem, and best of luck to them, I say - and in creative, artistic or design jobs too. I got a lady friend who wore a man's suit and an emo hair cut who sailed through her job interview an advertising! So it is possible...

5. Go easy on the accessories – ladies, you have to remember not to accessorize too much or bejewel yourself to the point where that chain, locket, or broach is getting too much attention and you are getting little or none. Plus, if there is a lady interviewer, she will feel put out and up-staged in some way. I have nothing whatsoever against having accessories, as we ladies love to wear stuff! Accessories can accentuate us in some pleasant ways, as long as it’s minimal and not overbearing. Less can sometimes be more...

6. Keep the make up toned down – again for the ladies, make up that’s applied around the mouth and the eyes is fine but just avoid anything too ostentatious or outrageous. Like the accessories, keep it subtle. And again, there is an art to make-up. It can be done right and it will make you look amazing.

7. Take care of those strong odors – It goes without saying but wearing too much deodorant or perfume can be a turn off or distraction. Many people have been tempted to try some new aroma in an interview, sometimes on recommendations of friends. My partner Cathy Nerujen informs me that Silky Girl perfume got a nod of approval in her recent job interview, so there is a subtle art in knowing what is just right. They should be managed carefully. Similarly, the odor of cigarettes or tobacco is not advisable. Breath freshener before you enter the interview room, please. Another one is drugs. Some interviewers can detect the smell of some drugs and alcohol is distinct for it's aroma - they will eject any candidate who appears in the interview room under any influence.

8. Trim the facial hair – there used to be an old saying about facial hair being a bad thing, but this is happily no longer the case. In fact, a neat beard can look great, provided it is just that - neat. The five o’ clock shadow is frowned upon, it makes you look like you just fell out of bed, unless it is managed and designed to impress. Another weird one is the shaved person with the rash under the neck from having just freshly shaved his neck and dabbed gallons of alcohol-based aftershave on top of it. They will send for a doctor straight away. This, you do not want. (Psst, it's called Aloe Vera cream and it fixes this no problem.)

9. If the suit fits, wear it – suits maketh the man, and the woman who “power-dresses” is going to get attention. Make sure the fit is right. A suit that is fitting in the right places is better than a suit or jacket that doesn’t. If you found a suit that is a bit too baggy or loose, get something more snug that will fit. Shoes always help make a good impression. And though it goes without saying, discard any army fatigues, or strange uniform that suggests that you are just back from the wars. Unless that uniform comes with that job.

10. Ladies no flashing! It’s a job interview, not a lap dance or an evening out on the “tiles”. Some kinds of attire work in some industries, but that midriff, six-pack, and cleavage should be covered up if you want to pass that job. Dress to suit the job. This is where your “other” assets come into play, okay? IQ, problem solving, managing and multi-tasking stuff? And beware the top shirt that shows too much detail in the boob department. Check yourself in the mirror beforehand. Ask a friend for a second opinion. Or if she has bad taste, get a third opinion, or just go ask your Mum. You can do it!

These are basic common sense tips that will stand you in good stead. Getting a job is a serious task, and so dress serious if you want to succeed. Remember what other people think as they will judge you in the first few seconds. Impressions really go a long way! And I wish you the best of luck in that interview.


Copyright 2010 to 2014 (c) Cassy Mantis. All rights reserved.

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Comments 63 comments

SimeyC profile image

SimeyC 6 years ago from NJ, USA

Some great advice here - when I got my last job I wore a very nice conservative suit even though I knew the firm I was applying to had a business casual dress attitude - I did this to both interviews - it just shows a professionalism...


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Simey: You are nearly always my first hubber when I publish any job-related hubs! You win the prize yet again. regarding the interview, you did the right thing. It pays to play it safe. Maybe it helped in the end. I like your style, Simey! Thanks for your comments! Have a great day! : )


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Ta..uh Healt....uh...uh...OMG You killed him! *ROLF* What kind of a man are you! Heh! Ok! I still love the Tattoo hubs, though! Aaaaaw! You are my kind of Avatar! Anyone ever told you that, Capn? You have "been" so many people! You should be in films! LOL! Hugs to ya! XOXOX


Bad_Company 6 years ago

Cassy ya will learn that I am the most eccentric person you will ever meet, but trust me the new BadCo aka the Captain will way surpass that tosser TattoGuy for funny hubs. Hmmm but I was TattoGuy so how can I surpass myself lol, anyways you and my lil Cathy have a great weekend, I really love you 2 girls, yer like my best friends xox


CabinGirl. 6 years ago

That guy is weird !


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

No cleavage ok Cheeky, even if I want to I dont have any hehe, Maita


Darlene Sabella profile image

Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

Great hub cheeky, being in the corporate world most of my life I know how it is. But, if my interview was with a man I would always get the job, if it was a women, I wouldn't hold my breath. Always professional.


Madison22 profile image

Madison22 6 years ago from NYC

Awesome! "not a lap dance" so important:) All great tips!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Bad_Company! Great as always to get your hubliness here! LOL! Eccentric, h'mm....interesting word, that. TattoGuy a tosser! I am laughing like crazy here! Only you could say these things about...well...yourself! And that's what's so crazy! Heh! Yes, we have been out doing shopping, and running errands. Glad to be home. Gonna have a stone baked pizza with lots of trimmings here pretty soon! Like a nibble? The Pizza I mean! We love ya too, Capn you know that. It's nice to hear that! You are a ray of sunshine! Have a great and fun weekend too, moi friend! XOXOX

HY Cabin Girl: same goes for you too!

Hy Maita: Okay, this hub is a cleavage-free zone, ok! OMG that's too much information! Hehehehehehe! Hands over ears! Lala lala! Aw, you're just fine and dandy! : )

Hy Darlene: That's an interesting comment - I once tried for a job and didn't get it, and a woman interviewed me, but all my other jobs were male interviewers, and I got them. That is MOST interesting! H'mmm! Food for thought! I smell a hub in there somewhere! Thankyou for your comments! You are a loyal Hubber here! Love you for that! Hugs to you, Darlene! : )


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Madison: Great to see your comments here! Yes, why I threw that lapdance reference in there - heaven knows why! Heh! I meant that in a kind of professional sense or way! Now - if you'll excuse me I have to finish nailing that pole-dancing pole to the floor of my apartment. LOL! Thanks for this! : )


Tammy Lochmann profile image

Tammy Lochmann 6 years ago

Great advice with your witty humor. Bad odor is a deal killer in any interview LOL


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Tammy: oh boy, B.O. is like a death at a birthday party, something you just don't want. And yes, my humour is all part of the package here! LOL! Thanks for the comments, Tammy! : )


prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

hehehe, you made me laugh, Maita


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello, my dear Pretty One! Really? Which part, Maita? My mention of cleavage, or facial hair or clothing, lapdancing or odours ala Tammy's comment! Cryin' out loud! Bad odour is a deal killer on a freakin' DATE, let alone an interview! LOL! Insomnia here, can't sleep, so I'm surfin hubs! Heh!


blaise25 profile image

blaise25 6 years ago from close to you...

Really awesome advice here Cheeky! I'll be checking those 10 things especially if you're the boss ;p


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Blaise: like your yellow sunglasses! I wouldn't mind being the boss - that would be nice! Thanks for the vote of confidence, moi friend! : )


CabinGirl. 6 years ago

Moi friend, lol you talk like someone I know, methinks he is rubbin off on ya, or wud like too lol ; )


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Cabin Girl! Yes, perhaps you are right. It could be! And he deff wants to rub off on me for sure! LOL! But then that's the man for you. But then, you know him better than anyone. You probably even clean and cook for the Capn too! The things you could tell....! *laughing like crazy here* Cheers, moi sexy friend! Heh! : )


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 6 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Great Topic and an Awesome hub my friend.

You are a winner!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Neil: What good timing, I was lurking around your hubs just a few mins ago, and was re-reading some of your hubs! Heh! Good telepathy! Thanks for the warm comments! : )


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Happy Birthday Cassy, have a great night, methinks ya will ; ) xoxox


Runway profile image

Runway 6 years ago from New York

Thanks for the advice! Going to an interview today!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy TattoGuy: I like the new avatar! It's rather fetching! Yes, we are having a lovely evening here! I even got a birthday cake! Its a bit rowdy here! Take care from us, Art! XOXOX

Hy Runway: wow - all the more reason to check the hubs! I hope you get it! Best of luck to you in your interview!


CabinGirl. 6 years ago

Happy Birthday CG from CG xxx


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Awww - thankyou Cabi Girl! Had to go back to work today! Oooh my poor head! Had a great evening! Lotsa fun! : D


Ten Blogger profile image

Ten Blogger 6 years ago

Great advice indeed. Very well covered topic. Very witty too ! I liked it.. Cheers !


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Ten Blogger: Nice to get your comments as always! Thankyou! I do my best. And yes, I like to put a bit of cheeky humour in there too! Cheers!! : )


TattoGuy 6 years ago

Cassy & Cathy, enjoy yer weekend girls, don't be doing anything I wouldn't do lol ; ) xox


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello there Art! Just published a wacky hub! Yes, we are heading out here now! Enjoy your evening and have a great weekend, moi friend! Cheers! XOXOX


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

What? No tank top and flip flops?? lol


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy habee! Yaaay! Tank top and flip flops! Break out the Haviannas! We're going to the beach!

Actually I have seen people walking into church wearing stuff like that. Nothing is sacred any more. we live in an age of "Anything Goes". My pleas may fall on deaf ears. It's a chance I am willing to take! Heh!


Dee Dee MonSherie profile image

Dee Dee MonSherie 6 years ago from Hollywood, California

I think your advice is on the spot Cheeky, although I haven't a shirt or blouse that can completely conceal my physique, I do so try to dress with etiquette in mind on an interview. I would think even when applying for employment using a pole, it's would be fine to dress modestly, the boss is just going to ask each applicant to disrobe as part of the interview anyway? No? Nice to meet you, Mon Cheri'!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Dee Dee: Why would you want to conceal that fantastic physique? I would let the world just look! But for an interview, sadly, it has to be professional, or no dice. The pole thing is a curiosity that a few commenters picked up on! Hubbers looking for Hub ideas and high ratings, are you paying attention? Health? Pole dancing? Fitness? *hears a charge for the door* Heh! Well God bless the girl who gets the job, whatever it is, Dee Dee. Same for the guys too.

(Never saw a guy do pole-dancing, wonder why?)


dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Gosh, I've been meaning to read more of your hubs CG (and no I don't mean Cabin Girl, lol, but I do read her's as well...or his...Whatever!)

Great tips as always. I was always told that the resume will get you the interview and that the interview will get me the job. It's really amazing how so many people don't heed your advice and fail miserably. Some don't even get through the door!

Thanks, Cheeky!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Dohn: It's always good to see your comments, moi friend, and yes, the CG and CG get a wee bit mixed, although Cabin Girl is a good friend of mine. I'd love you to read more of my hubs and lend me your opinions on them! : )

The Resume / CV should do some of it, but they always go by first impressions too. With just a few helpful tips and some quick advice, people can turn the interview to their advantage, and get that job they need so much. Yes, it's sad that some candidates don't get in the door. As I glance through the Job-related hubs I wrote, I can see how people could easily fix that. Like turning a hub from a no-follow to do-follow! Heh! It's making an effort - and selling ourselves. It's not that much different. Thanks Dohn! Cheers! : )


2patricias profile image

2patricias 6 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

This is a very helpful list. Sadly we have seen most of these things at job interviews. One more bit of advice - if you smoke make sure you get all those yellow stains off your hands.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello 2patricias: Welcome aboard here! Thanks for the comments. The tip for removing cigarette stains is intriguing. Wow! Thanks for that! Cheers!


mwatkins profile image

mwatkins 6 years ago from Portland, Oregon & Vancouver BC

Great tips for interview success! I enjoyed your tongue in cheek sentiment that went with your tips! Being on both sides of this fence, you have excellent advice! I used to go through 200 resumes every day and if you are not a good writer, let someone else prepare your resume - no kidding. Of the 200 resumes I read daily, only 2-5 made it past the circular file (garbage can). Spell check is free!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello mwatkins: Thanks for the comment my friend. Yes, the tongue-in-cheek is my stock in trade here. And I do love that spell checker, he's my best friend. Even when moi spelling turns a bit french at times, he always lets me know but your point about letting someone else writing the resume is a good one. Cheers!


rebu profile image

rebu 6 years ago from Coorg,India

Good tips..thnx for sharing


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy rebu: thank for for the comment!


Ladybird33 profile image

Ladybird33 6 years ago from Georgia USA

Great tips here, going to do an interview here next week, so this hub is helping me a lot! Thank you


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Ladybird33: I am glad to help. I wish you lots of luck in your interview, moi friend! Feel free to read the related hubs here too, if they are of any help! Cheers!


Neelima Nair profile image

Neelima Nair 6 years ago from Kerala

Great hub! :) thks!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy Neelima Nair: Thanks for the comment Neelima. Cheers!


Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

I'm with Habee, no tank tops or flip flops?

The "look" you want depends on the job you are going for

I'm not certain I know of any job where tank tops and flip flops would work unfortunately....If you know of that kind of job, fill us in 'cause I want to apply!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Duchess! Well, if you are gonna be one of those girls who parades up and down the hot sweltering beach of Mallorca or a beach near where a night club or rave happens and you hand out fliers to young hopefuls, that might be one possibility. Or the person working for a tropical tourism company who works a beach perhaps? Any Life Guards out there reading this? Heh! I know a guy who used to do that, he loved the job! No surprise! It was Australia. Wow, there must be lots of jobs like this that you can just wear the minimum and get paid, and it must be legal obviously! Duchess, you are taking my hub waaaaaay too serious! Either that or you are looking for a change of job! Well, thanks for the comments! There might be another hub in there somewhere! : )


Jennifer Bhala profile image

Jennifer Bhala 6 years ago from Upstate New York

Hey Cheeky Girl, love your name. Being humorous is the only way to be. I work from home mostly and so I really have to think about how I look when I actually go and meet with someone in person instead of over the computer on a webinar.

You gave some great tips. Thanks. Thanks for the comment you left on my post also. Sounds like your birthday was a blast.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Jennifer: thanks for the comments. I envy you for being able to work from home, something I would love to be able to do! Oh to dream! Yes, I try to lighten things up with a wee bit of humour too! Cheers! And yes, my birthday was quite a lot of fun! Take care!


HappyHer profile image

HappyHer 6 years ago from Cleveland, OH

Great tips! Going for an interview is a thin line between standing out and remaining conservative. Hopefully your resume and winning attitude will stand out over fashion blunders.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello HappyHer: to stand out or remain conservative. Depends on the job. Most jobs alas require conservative attire. Bosses don't take kindly to someone sitting in front of them wearing a hairstyle like the band "A Flock of Seagulls" from the 1980's! Heh! Unless it's a hairdresser of course! In which case, fashion is everything! Thanks for the comments!


DjBryle profile image

DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing! =)


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy DjBryle: Always happy to share! Cheers!


salamkool 5 years ago

Informative.. thanks


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hy salamkool, glad you find the hub informative. Cheers!


Extinct Soul profile image

Extinct Soul 5 years ago from 14°35'N 121°0'E

haha...my comment's kinda late..but the info you've give were really right on time for me. I'm planning to apply for a new job and this hub gave me great advice!! thank for sharing! ^_^


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey, thanks for the comments here. Happy my hub is helping out, and feel free to check my other hubs on getting jobs. Best of luck getting the job! Best of luck! Cheers!


Feeling Fit profile image

Feeling Fit 5 years ago from Fitting in Fitness Moves Everywhere!

Cheeky Girl, my dear...

You've done it again! You've written a no-nonsense, common-sense hub that we all could stand to review in the current global career climate ~ & you've done it with a warmhearted, professional tone that makes the information stick. Bravo! Kudos!

Having spent some time as a recruiter years ago, I had flashbacks at every one of your 10 essential points offered.

Thank you for reminding us all that dressing well & appropriately for the activity at hand is certainly a well-played bid for success.

May you have continued success personally & professionally.

Warm regards...Feeling Fit


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hello Feeling Fit! Well, to be honest, I did work in recruitment for a while, so that does help. I have a few articles on similar job finding subjects. You were a recruiter! Wow! Neato! *tips hat to you!*

I think that the tips will definitely help, and I wouldn't write them here if I thought they would not help. Thanks for the warm regards here - and I respect you for your knowledge in the recruitment market. Its a great business to be in. Thanks for the amazing fanmail! I blushed reading it! LOL! Cheers, my friend! Have a great weekend! :)


tracykarl99 profile image

tracykarl99 5 years ago from San Francisco

Great tips, Cheeky! Always a good reminder to dress for success even in the "casual" atmosphere most offices have today. Interviews are different. Thanks for a useful hub:)


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 5 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

Hey Tracykarl99, dressing up right for that interview is important, even in the casual atmosphere that you describe. In summer the lighter neat clothes are a welcome bonus. I am a great believer in being comfortable in an interview, and as you say interviews are different. Thankfully they don't last too long either! Glad to help, have a great day!


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 2 years ago from UK and Nerujenia Author

From: Hanif-Ibrahim (with edits)

"Hi Cassandra Mantis

The tips given by you in your hub "10 Things To Remember When Dressing For Job Interviews" are really very useful for job seekers. Tips like Do not appear too casual in your clothing, No headwear, Wacky ties are a no-no, and No Tattoos or piercings etc. are great for the freshers who appear in interview first time. I am an agency owner in Perth Australia. You can visit my website here - "

My reply:

There was a link and it has been snipped - sorry about that as it is grabbed by the hub system as possible spam message. But good points you make here, and thank you Hanif. You deserve a reply.

Some of these tips are just common sense, but it's worth re-visiting the tips for dressing for interviews. Job seekers can make it so easy when they appear more presentable. With people in graphic design and other art-related areas and jobs, obviously companies make allowances.

I wish you luck with your HR agency in Perth in Australia. Thanks for checking out my hub. Cheers!


sanasiddiqui profile image

sanasiddiqui 11 months ago

Thanks Cassandra for this ,because most people do not have knowledge about the importance of dressing up for an interview.

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