How to Dress for an Interview

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How to Dress for an Interview

Attire plays a significant role in a job interview. Though there is no set dress code for an interview, but certain etiquette needs to be followed. Generally, the first perception of an interviewer is based on your attire and how you look. So to make a long-lasting first impression, it is necessary to dress professionally. Here are some insights for dressing for an interview.

Does your dress actually make a difference in an interview? Well, it should be noted that a candidate will not get a job because he/she is well-dressed, but many a time a candidate can ruin his/her chances of success by dressing unsuitably. The most important things a candidate needs to remember is to look tidy, smart and understated. The interview attire should be comfortable, yet professional.

Your dress should be consistent with your position and the company’s culture. Give attention to details; your nails, shoes, accessories, everything should be perfect to create the best impression. It is always advisable to dress cautiously and professionally, even if the company’s dress policy is casual. It is wise on a candidate’s part to do a background research on the company and the dress code prior to the interview. In case you are going through a placement agency, you can ask them about the dress code.

A job interview dress code for men and women are different. But one interview etiquette that holds true for both is to dress sensibly and professionally. This is one of the most important interview etiquette. The adage, “First impression is the last impression”, is very true in terms of interview. With this in mind let us know about the dress code for men and women.

Interview Dress for Men

Here’s a look at the interview dress code for men.

  • Conservative business suit, preferably dark gray, navy blue or black.
  • Long sleeve white shirt (or you can coordinate according to the color of your suit).
  • Necktie (avoid jazzy patterns, it can be a silk tie with a conservative pattern).
  • Dark socks (black is preferable, or you can match with the color of your trouser).
  • Professional leather shoes, clean and polished (preferably you should wear lace ups for an interview).
  • Minimal or no jewelry at all.
  • A neat hairstyle (short haircut is best during interviews). If you have long hair, you can tie your hair at the back, so that it doesn’t fall over your face.
  • Minimal perfume/aftershave.
  • Clean and trimmed fingernails.
  • Portfolio or briefcase.

Another important interview dress etiquette for men is to be clean-shaven. People who have beard, make sure it is neatly trimmed. Also, ensure that your suit and shirt is well-pressed.

Interview Dress for Women

For women, given below are the tips for dressing for an interview.

  • Conservative business suit (skirt/pant). Color can be dark gray, navy blue or black. If you are wearing a skirt, make sure that the length is at least to the bottom of the knee. Longer length skirts also look professional. The skirt should not be too tight, that you can hardly sit.
  • Blouse (white, cream, or pale blue). Avoid low necklines or too many frills in the blouse.
  • Leather shoes. Don’t wear too bright colors. Choose a color that matches your outfit, and take care to choose shoes that are comfortable to walk with. Avoid very high heels and open-toe shoes, and stilettos; closed-toe pumps are preferable.
  • Stockings are a must if you wear a skirt. The color of stockings should be natural, beige or tan.
  • Minimal and elegant jewelry, small earrings, and a watch. Avoid junk jewelry.
  • Manicured fingernails. Your nails should not be too long, also avoid too sparkling nail polish colors (if you at all wear nail polish, though it is not necessary).
  • Simple and natural makeup is appropriate for an interview.
  • Make sure your hair is clean and choose to have a professional hairstyle. For those of you who have long hair, neatly tie it at the back, so that it doesn’t fall over your face.
  • Don’t carry a very small purse, carry a leather briefcase instead. Micro fiber or fine woven purses are also preferred.

The most important interview dress etiquette for women is not to overdo the makeup. Try to keep it as simple and natural. Do not wear dresses for an interview. After all it is a job interview, and not a social event or a party!

General Tips

  • Dress professionally, not casually.
  • Your interview attire should be clean, well-pressed and most importantly, it should fit you properly.
  • Take care that there are no missing buttons in your shirt/blouse.
  • Shoes should be well-polished.
  • Make sure that your fingernails, hair are clean and groomed well. Ensure that you don’t have a bad breath and body odor.
  • Don’t wear too strong perfume/cologne.
  • Most important: Don’t try to appear stylish by wearing sunglass on your head. It is a complete no-no.
  • Don’t chew gum or candy during an interview.
  • It is important to shake hands with the interviewer. Don’t give your hand first even if the interviewer is a lady. But be ready to reply the handshake.

Hope the above tips prove helpful to you. Whatever the job, always remember to dress your best. This, not only, creates a positive impression during an interview but boosts your confidence level as well. Last but not the least, it is very important to have a charming and pleasant appearance. So don’t forget to wear your beautiful smile. Good luck!

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