Are you interview wardrobe ready!?

Are you interview wardrobe ready!?

Thursday, 3rd of March

Are you interview wardrobe ready!?

How to dress for a job interview is a common source of worry for students and graduates looking to take their first steps into a career. Even if you have a limited wardrobe you need to think carefully about the impression you want to make as well as to avoid any obvious sartorial mistakes.     

So we have put together a concise list of advice on what, and what not, to wear and the appropriate interview attire to impress a prospective employer

Follow these simple tips for perfecting your job interview outfit…

·         Don’t go too casual – If you get the vibe that casual is OK then stay on the smart side of casual. Ripped jeans, threadbare t-shirts and scruffy trainers should all be left at home. A smart pair of jeans and an open necked shirt is the bare minimum that is expected.

·         Say no to headwear! Under no circumstances wear a cap, beanie or hoodie to an interview – you'll look like you've got something to hide. There are obvious religious and medical exceptions to the headwear rule.

·         Get the right fit, don’t to be looking too baggy or having to suck in the whole time! If you've had to borrow an ill-fitting suit for an interview, or just generally like to wear your clothes a little too loose or tight, try and find something a little more regular this time. It will also reduce the chances of a badly timed wardrobe malfunction during the interview.

·         Strong odours, whiff whiff! Too much perfume or too little deodorant can both be big turn offs - as can cigarette smells - so make sure you smell nice, but neutral.

·         Piercings and tattoos – A touchy one but another feature that is increasingly common, and one unlikely to deter an employer. If you can't remove them, keep any studs small and please cover any offensive or obscene body art.

Specific Tips for Women

·         No flashing, don’t be rude! Although it may work in certain industries, cleavage and midriffs should be covered up for job interviews. You should be relying on your other assets to secure you the role.

·         Don't accessorise too much - remember you want your interviewer to be concentrating on what you're saying, not the obscure purple broach you're wearing.

·         Subtle make-up - You could use make-up to emphasise your eyes and mouth, but should steer clear of anything too outrageous.

·         If you wear nail polish, use either clear or a discreet colour.

·         Shoes – conservative heels only. No teetering!

Specific Tips for Men

·         Facial hair - The old phrase "Never trust anyone with a beard" is pretty much rubbish nowadays, so feel free to go in with your usual fur. However, do make sure it's well trimmed and clean.

·         Wacky ties - As hilarious as you think they are, your interviewer is unlikely to see you as a new fun addition to the team; instead seeing someone who is not serious about the job.

·         Cufflinks – Probably best not to make a statement, you don’t know how the interviewer may react -  avoid potential issues by not wearing them.

Dressing for interview success

Appearance counts. You are creating an image and how you dress communicates messages about your personality and how you conduct yourself. Interviewers will be visualising you in the position they are trying to fill from the first few seconds of meeting you. It can be a hard to overcome a bad first impression, so be sure to minimise this possibility by following our tips!

Further advice

-          Pinterest has a great board on Interview Outfits for Ladies – with lots of wardrobe ideas so you can ‘Dress the part to feel the part’ – and this board has some great suggestions for men

-          Preparing correctly – see our article on What to do before an interview


-          Remote interviewing is becoming more common – check out both Diageo’s Top tips for video interviews as well as Accenture’s top tips on prepping for that big video interview


Now you are interview wardrobe ready and can match confident personal presentation with confidence in your ability. Good luck and remember to enjoy the experience – it’s all about learning every day.


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