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What Is the Best Way to Dress for a Job Interview?

Updated on March 23, 2013

The First Impression

Whether you want to believe it or not, when going on a job interview, your exterior is going to be part of the first impression. Don't go on an interview in jeans and a t-shirt. Don't wear wrinkled clothing. You will want to wear dark colors and dress conservatively if you're applying for an office job and if you're in a quandry what to wear, always go with the conservative option. If you're applying for a non-office job such as a lawncare company, then slacks and a nice shirt would be appropriate. Women shouldn't wear excessive jewelry. Be clean.

Dress Conservatively

Keep in mind if you're going to interview in an office that is conservative, then you will want to dress accordingly. It's safer in the business environment to dress conservatively anyway. Dress in dark blue or black. It is always safer to lean on the conservative side if you have any doubt as to what should be worn.

What Should Men Wear?

A conservative suit is the best choice without pinstripes. Select a solid color suit with a white shirt and tie. Don't wear white socks! Wear dark socks that match your suit and appropriate shoes that go with your suit. Don't wear any gold necklaces (some men still wear them, it's true). Don't overkill on cologne and make sure your hair is clean and you have shaved. People who interview others routinely might even notice whether your hands and fingernails are clean too. Outside of this, make sure you have a copy of your résumé with you.

What Should Women Wear?

Women applying for a business type job should also wear a suit with a blouse that belongs with the suit. I don't feel it has to be a solid color suit, but one that coordinates color. Avoid wearing neon colors. Make sure your shoes match and are clean. Don't wear excessive jewelry. Make sure your hair is clean and looks nice. Don't overkill on make-up or wear too much perfume. As for fingernails, I wouldn't suggest wearing red, wear a neutral color. Also make sure you have a copy of your resume with you.

Information to Help With Answering Inteview Questions

The Bottom Line

That first impression you make on the person who will be conducting your interview could be the deciding factor on whether you are hired. It will be taken into account what you're wearing and whether it matches and the fact you aren't wearing wrinkled clothing will be noticed.

If you were chewing gum on the way to the interview, make sure it makes it to the trash bin before you walk in the office. Leave your cell phone in your car so you won't be distracted by any text messages. Don't walk in with a soda pop; let them offer you something to drink when you arrive.

Don't advertise all your body piercings and tattoos when you show up for an interview. While some offices are more relaxed with these subjects, some are not. Some offices or companies do not prefer men to have a lot of facial hair, namely beards. My brother used to have a mustache and short beard. He was told he had to lose the beard. He compromised because he valued his role with his job.


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  • ytsenoh profile image

    Cathy 6 years ago from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri

    Thank you for your kind comment and your time in reading this hub. I appreciate it.

  • profile image

    Kieran Gracie 6 years ago

    These are good tips. The purpose of a job interview is either to get a further interview or to get a job offer. Nothing should distract attention from this aim. Dress and appearance are very important, not just when you walk in to the interview but also during it. You need to be comfortable with what you are wearing, don't fidget with clothing or hair, relax your face and body muscles so that you can appear interested, be interesting and radiate self-confidence (even if you don't have much of it inside!).

    If you have bought some new clothing for the interview, I suggest wearing it once or twice first so that you can get used to it. This applies particularly to shoes.