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10 accessories you don't want to wear for a job interview

Updated on June 3, 2013

It is true that first impression matters. So, if you are getting ready for your first job interview you have to decide what to wear. Most likely, your common sense is telling you to put on a decent, professional attire. But do you know what to pair it with? In other words, do you know what accessories not to wear on your first interview? Because the accessories you wear are as important as the clothes, sometimes having a subtle but unforgettable effect on others.
I have compiled a list of accessories that you want to avoid wearing on this special occasion. Instead, I will show you which ones are appropriate. But first, I want to tell you why accessories are important and what they tell about our personalities.

Fashion accessories are as old as the first human thought. As clothing is exclusively human, so are accessories. Museums are always rich in pendants and rings, belts and necklaces, pins, brooches and fibulas. From stone age to modern times, accessories have been part of people’s wardrobe. At first, they were displayed as a sign of social status or worn for special occasions like religious ceremonies, victorious parades or social gatherings. Whatever the event, they were worn to impress. If you look at the statues and portraits during centuries, you’ll see that most of the models have at least one accessory.

Today accessories have the same meaning. They are worn to impress. Even the watch and the belt, two common items that are used in everyday life more out of necessity, have a twist to them that transform them into fashion accents.

But wearing the appropriate accessories for every occasion, especially for an interview, tells more about us than we can imagine.

Women wear accessories as they wear high heels: most of the time they are uncomfortable and sometimes even hurt our feet but we wear them anyway because we want to look taller, slimmer, with longer legs!

With every type of jewelry, scarves, purses and hats we put on we send different messages. Some accessories are expensive, showing wealth; some come from a specific region, showing their (and our) provenience; others are linked to a certain belief or movement, like religious symbols, displaying our values. While is important to follow our traditions, it is equally important not to over decorate ourselves with too many accessories, that are too big or too flashy.

Wearing the appropriate accessories at an interview tells people that we are confident in ourselves, pay good attention to details, are able to integrate small parts into a big picture, and professional enough to focus on the job. Wearing the inappropriate ones will do the opposite.
In other words, what NOT to wear for a job interview is as important as what to wear.

Before leaving your house, make sure you do not wear these accessories (unless they are part of your traditional or religious costume):

1. Dangling earrings
This type of earrings are more appropriate for a party or a special event when you want to dress fancy. You can also wear them while in vacation. It doesn’t matter how they look or how small they are, most people still associate them with entertaining and socialization.

Instead try stud earrings or even small hoop earrings. They can be of any metal with or without stone. Get a classic looking ones.

2. Beaded necklace
Personally I do not know any good use of beaded necklaces unless they have an astonishing design. Nor they are very popular or have a universal meaning.

Instead of it, try a small sterling silver or gold chain, with or without a pendant. Such neckles is always elegant, is never outdated and can be customized with a pendant of your choice.

3. Wrist bracelet

This accessory is also on the list of not to wear for a job interview unless you want to distract your interviewer from listening to you.

Instead, try a watch with a fancy wrist band. It is professional and fashionable. and you can choose a color or a design that suits you. And it shows that you have a tool for dealing with deadlines.

4. Foot bracelet
There isn’t any good reason to attach a bracelet to your ankle. It draws wanted and unwanted attention to it. You can wear it in other occasion but for an interview is better to go “barefoot”, in other words without it. If you really want to enhance that part of the body, then try a pair of shoes that have a professional look but a cute design.

5. Nose rings, studs or other nose jewelry
This is an absolute No-No. And, unfortunately, there isn’t a substitute for it.

6. Big hair pins
Hairpins are O.K. and even recommended in order to keep an unruly hair from flying all over your head. But do make sure you choose small and discrete ones. It would be better if they were invisible, that means they have the color of your hair and are hidden.

7. Scarves
Scarves are designed to keep you warm and/or to add an accent color to rather boring clothes. But for an interview it is better not to wear one.

If you need to be warm, put on a turtleneck top and make an accent by pairing the color of your blouse and your jacket. Also, you can wear a small pin or brooch on the lapel of your jacket. one. Get a classic looking ones.

8. Hats
Women don’t usually wear hats unless is a special occasion. An interview is the last place you need one. The head need to be uncovered, unless otherwise required by your tradition or religion, case in which the interviewer needs to be made aware.

Sunglasses are the best example of what not to wear for a job interview. You want to make eye contact with the interviewer and not hide behind some plastic lens. Put it in your purse before entering the building.

10. Big purses or backpacks
The purse you wear tells a lot of things about you. If you want to look well tidy up and organized, let your big purse or backpack at home. It is bulky and doesn’t fit a professional attire.

Instead, wear a small purse or a business case which you should not put it on the table or keep it on your lap but hang it on the back of the chair or set it on the floor.

Also, keep in mind that too many accessories will shadow any effort you made to look good. If you wear a chain necklace, then skip the pin or brooch. If you have a nice, noticeable watch band, then you may want to skip some rings, keeping only your wedding or engagement one.


Imagine how boring it would be to wear the same things every time, everywhere, for every occasion. Fortunately, people have created fashion. There are clothes and accessories for every event.

For a job interview, you want to look decent and professional. You don’t want to distract the interviewer from listening to you when you present your qualification for the job. You want him/her to look in your eyes (not at your sunglasses) listen to your voice, not the sounds of your bracelets, and appreciate your subtlety not criticize your showy style. The above list of accessories you don’t want to wear for your first interview, and their alternatives, helps you make that first good impression you need to get hired. 


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    • profile image

      lovedoctor926 5 years ago

      Useful hub! Helpful tips. Don't wear too much perfume either.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 5 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great stuff thanks for enlightening me on the unwanted accessories for an interview definitely those won't be a good appearnce

    • cameciob profile image

      cameciob 5 years ago

      Leaderofmany, I wish you luck on your next interview, and after, come agin and tell us some tips.

      Thanks for stopping.

    • Leaderofmany profile image

      Leaderofmany 5 years ago from Back Home in Indiana

      Great Hub, I will remember these tips the next time I am going for interview.