What To Wear To An Interview

What you wear to your interview says a lot about you. As soon as you enter the room, within seconds, you give the interviewers an impression about you. At just one glance, they’ll know if you’ve done your research to find out about the culture of the company. How? By the way you’re dressed. According to my previous articles, the first thing you should do before your interview is company research. Finding out about the culture of the company to determine what to wear to an interview there is part of doing your research.

Contact your recruiter or Human Resources to find out what the company culture is. Depending on the culture, will determine what you should wear to an interview there. The culture could be:

– corporate / professional
– business casual
– casual

Remember that your appearance should not be distracting. You want the interviewer to concentrate on what you’re saying, not be distracted by what you’re wearing. 

Over the past several years while a recruiter in the Human Resources department, I would periodically receive phone calls from candidates before their interview inquiring about what to wear for their interview. Because I knew what my hiring managers wanted to see from candidates, my answer was always the same – “dress to impress”. You need to do the same and inquire to make sure you wear the appropriate interview attire.

A great reason to find out about the attire before the interview is because if you go in too formal, it could make you feel a little out of place. Feeling you’ve dressed too formal or informal could lead to you being even more nervous and possibly not doing well during your interview.

Professional Woman

After you have determined what to wear during your interview, make sure you get everything prepared in advance. You want to make sure your clothes fit you appropriately – not too loose or too tight. Men, if you do need to find a suit, make sure you have time to get it tailored before the interview for the right fit. Ladies, if you need to find a suit that includes a skirt, make sure it is the appropriate length as mentioned in the below video.

No matter what kind of interview you have, there are some things to keep in mind that you should never wear:
– T-shirt
– Denim
– Sneakers

Even if the interview is for an entry level or fast-food industry, you should still care enough about the job and your appearance to dress for a casual interview. In fact, some recruiters in those industries may specifically inform you NOT to wear jeans.

As stated, it only takes a few seconds to give someone a first impression.  That first impression will impact how people view you – negatively or positively – during the interview.  The interviewers want to make sure you fit into their culture.  In addition to that, when you dress appropriately, not only will you gain respect because it shows others you cared enough about the interview to dress appropriately, it also shows you did your research to find out about the culture.  The bottom line is you want to show people you take the job seriously.

No matter what you choose to wear, follow the below guidelines:

1. Start with good hygiene
– freshly showered
– fresh breath
– neatly styled hair (no wild colored hair is acceptable)
– neatly trimmed mustache and beard
– clean hands and nails  (yes, men as well!)

2. No aftershave, perfume or cologne
 – beware of allergies

3. Cover your tattoos

4. Remove piercings (eyes, nose, tongue, etc.)

No matter what kind of interview you have, make sure to remember the following:

1. Dress Pants
– Over-sized or sagging is not acceptable

2. Shoes
– Shined and polished
– Colors: black shoes if wearing a charcoal suit; brown/black shoes if wearing a navy suit

3. Socks 
– Should match your pants

– Conservative watch (Black and Chrome)

For great information on what men should wear to an interview, watch the video below:


No matter what kind of interview you have, make sure to remember the following:

1. Purse
– Should be small, simple and color-coordinated with your outfit

2. Shoes
– Conservative color
– Closed-toe
– 1.5 – 2 inch heels (max)
– Comfortable

3. Hosiery
– Should be plainly styled with no patterns

4. Jewelry

– Conservative watch (Black and Chrome)
– One pair of earrings

For great information on what women should wear to a corporate / professional interview, watch the video below:

More additional interview attire information for women:

Business Professional:
If you are someone who likes to wear pants instead of a skirt on an interview, consider wearing:
– nicely fitted dress pants (not too tight)
– matching jacket
– blouse
– neutral or black pumps

Business Casual:
Separates are fine in this situation  so consider:
– nicely fitted dress pants
– blouse
– jacket/blazer
– dress shoes

– conservative dress with jacket
– dress shoes

–  blouse
–  dress pants
– nice shoes

Would you like more information on what to wear to an interview?  If so, click here ——> Interview Attire

Do you have an interview coming up soon and you’re not sure if what you’re wearing is appropriate? Would you like some feedback on your outfit?

Contact us to schedule a FREE  interview outfit consultation TODAY!


The way you dress for your interview is extremely important. People obtain a first impression of you within a few seconds. Remember that you never have a second chance to give a first impression. Finding out the culture of the company so you know what to wear for that all-important interview is part of doing your company research. I wish you well in your career search.

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4 thoughts on “What To Wear To An Interview

  1. Thank you for this informative article.

    I agree not being in dress code during an interview can be the most uncomfortable situation. I can remember the many times, that I had to prepare for an interview. I followed most of the steps that you mentioned in your article. I would prepare my clothes almost a week before, the interview. I would have the prefect everything picked out.

    However, there was one time, I was perfectly prepared for an interview. I really wanted the job that I was applying for. Not only did I desperately need it, it also paid very well. As I arrived at the interview, I was getting out of the car and my stockings or pantyhose got caught onto something and they ripped. I immediately was upset, and just knew these would not go well.

    My first thought was to just take them off but, I remember it was a requirement in the dress code. So, that was out of the question. To make a long story, short, I went into the interview and acted as nothing happened, but was uncomfortable the entire time. Needless to say, I did not get the job. So, my advice to the ladies would be if you are wearing pantyhose to an interview, bring an extra pair as backup! Yes, that’s right – bring a backup pair of pantyhose.

    I forgot to mention that the interviewer, which was also a lady, just so happen to notice my ruined pantyhose, which made the situation even worse. I can laugh out loud about the situation now but, at that time, it definitely was not a laughing matter.

    Would you agree that bringing backup with you is best or would you suggest something else? What would you say is the best way around something like that – where the employer requires pantyhose and they are ruined by the time you get to the interview?

    Although, I did not get the job. I would think that I did the best thing possible. As I still showed up and tried my best in the interview. Thank you for these amazing tips. I love reading all of your advice. Keep up the awesome work, Yvette!

    1. Kisha, thank you so much for visiting my site and for sharing your story here. It is quite the predicament you were in, that’s for sure. I know exactly what you mean about not knowing what to do in this situation. I’m sure you were very perplexed about it and felt uncomfortable the entire interview. I would definitely suggest keeping a fresh package of hosiery in your glove compartment at all times. However, if something happens as in your situation, I would suggest removing them and forget about the situation so you can do a great job of answering the questions. Successfully getting through the interview is the most important thing. While people try to wear what is culturally supported by the company, it’s important to keep in mind you don’t have the job – yet. I have read where there are ladies that never wear hosiery to an interview because they are not comfortable. If that’s the case, then consider wearing a pant suit instead of a dress or skirt. If you get the job, it will then be very important to know and abide by company dress code policies. Thank you, once again, for stopping by and sharing your story. Have an awesome week and please stop by again, soon.

  2. Thank you for this information! These are the types of things that should be taught more often in high school!

    Jeans and tennis shoes, despite that fact that they may be expensive and fashionable, should NEVER be worn to an inverview. I could not agree more with you. While we are here, I would stay away from hoodies as well.

    I wish individuals would think about tatoo placement before interviews! While the job market may offer a limited amount of positions where “tats” are acceptable, I will go out a limb and say more employers than not look for tatoos and secretly frown on that. Honestly, If I were down to two candidates, I would hire the one with none, but that is just me. Cover up!

    Company research is paramount! Not only does your knowledge of a potential employer make an impression, it makes you personally more comfortable and confident entering a naturally uncomfortable job interview situation.

    Moreover, I would recommend studying the environment once you are in the doors. Make a point to observe what is on the walls, what is on the desks, and what interests the employer and/or other employees may have.

    Ask relevant questions about your observations and this will lead to a more comfortable interview. Share common interests.

    Overall, I would suggest leaning how to listen first and then respond. Granted potential employers want to hear of your qualifications, but in the end, many people enjoy talking about themselves, their kids, their hobbies, work, etc.

    Use this to your advantage, dress appropriately as suggested here, and get that JOB!

    1. Nathan, thank you so much for stopping by and for the comments. I agree with you in that I definitely wouldn’t suggest wearing a hoodie to an interview. As far as tattoos, I have a lot of good information around that in an article I wrote Tattoos and Job Interviews. In that article, I have a list of tattoo-friendly companies. It is always a good idea to cover them up in interviews simply because there are sometimes negative connotations around people that have tattoos. One may not be aware of the stigmas around them during the interview so it’s best to be safe and not show them. You may some good points around interviewing and the environment. I have a series of interviewing articles that I’ve written around interviews you may want to take a look at – especially the one about face-to-face interviews Professional Interview Tips. Thanks again, for stopping by. I appreciate it.

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