Consider Common Rules of Thumb

Deciding what to wear to a job interview is an important part of your interview preparation. The right thing to wear to an interview will differ depending on where you are having the interview. Your interview outfit will say a lot about your fit into the company's environment. Some companies will have dress codes where it's important to them what employees wear. Other company's dress codes are informal, or they may not even have a dress code. For example, it's common in a tech company that employees can wear t-shirts and flip-flops. The same is common in start-up companies, which also tend to have a relaxed, if any, company dress code.

What is important is that you try to establish what the average employee wears at the prospective employer so you can make a good impression. Your goal is for your interview attire to reflect the company's clothing culture in their workplace environment. Most companies will be more interested in the content of your interview. Still, a few companies may use their interpretation of what it is to dress professionally as a deciding factor in your application. Make sure you ask your recruiter or the hiring manager for guidance.

Interview Outfit For Men

Interview Outfit For Men

Whatever job you seek, you must look clean and tidy. Facial hair is becoming more common and popular for me. Most companies won't have any objection to you appearing at an interview with it; however, it's a good rule to ensure your facial hair is well-groomed and clean. If you're traveling to your interview, you may also want to bring a different shirt to change into, if your shirt becomes soiled or sweaty on the journey.

Business casual attire  - men

If the company you're having your job interview at encourages casual interview attire as their dress code, it's still worth trying to avoid wearing jeans. Although jeans can appear smart when paired with a button-down shirt, they may be a level of business casual that is slightly too relaxed. A good alternative is a navy blue pair of chino pants. They're a good fit for a casual dress code as they combine functionality (as they're flexible and comfortable) with form and are easy to press and have neat lines. Pair your chinos with a casual shirt but avoid busy patterns or bright colors. Clothing considered more masculine has been shown to influence perceptions of management characteristics. If you're uncertain if your interpretation of casual reflects what your interviewer would consider a business casual outfit, it's worth having a suit jacket. You can always take it off if your interviewer's attire seems more casual than yours. This applies both at an in person interview or for a video interview.

Business Professional attire - men

If this is what is indicated to you, think conservative and traditional. You will need a suit, a jacket, dress pants, dress shoes and a dress shirt. Dress shirts should be accompanied by a conservative tie. Given you're wearing formal attire, also ensure you wear matching socks and a classic watch if you have one.

This attire is often the dress code in the Financial services sector as well as in Law and Consulting firms. Although it might sound rigid, attention to detail is often very important. A well-designed two-piece suit could help make you memorable if the hiring manager does many job interviews. Some of these suggestions could be bypassed if your interview is a video interview.

Interview Outfit For Women

Interview Outfit For Women

The reality for women is that regardless of the company's dress code, the most significant determining appropriate interview attire is if it's considered revealing clothing. Studies have shown that women wearing more revealing clothing are associated with less senior roles. There is also an open question about whether wearing perfume is a good idea. This is highly subjective but we'd recommend using a subtle fragrance.

Business casual attire - women

To dress appropriately in business casual for a woman, you may want to consider a shift dress or skirt. A knee-length skirt is probably preferable even at a business informal interview. Women are often in doubt if wearing tights is necessary. Obviously, you need to take into account the interview location. If it's hot, then it's reasonable to want to go barelegged. If it's at home, well who's going to see either way?

Lots of women prefer to wear pants to job interviews. As with men, it's probably best to avoid jeans, even tailored jeans. Given the much more comprehensive choice of cut-in pants, women tend to have more flexibility in casual interview attire. Cigarette pants, culottes, palazzo pants, and boot cuts will all look tidy and appropriate for a casual environment.

Business Professional attire - women

The perception of what is business professional interview attire for women tends to be more about fabric and color than style. Avoid wearing bright colors; as mentioned above, the color of your clothes can influence the perception of your management capabilities. For the ultimate power play, wear a suit jacket and consider wearing closed-toe shoes.


What you wear to an interview will impact your confidence level, so it's essential to wear something you feel comfortable and primed in. As much as we would like it not to, candidates' interview outfits and dress will leave an impression on hiring managers or interviewers. Preparing for this reality in your job search will be a small piece of the puzzle that gets you to your goal of being hired.

Share this post