What to wear to a job interview

What to wear to an interview

When it comes to a job interview, first impressions count and being able to dress to impress will go a long way to help secure your dream job. Although it might seem quite natural to put on your best suit, skirt or dress for the interview as though you already work there, there are more elements to take into consideration. You want to look ready to step into the role you’re seeking.
Being able to answer questions and concentrate during an interview is important, so wear an outfit you feel comfortable in. Be sure to check the weather the night before and have a couple of outfits ready just in case the day looks like it might be hot or cold.

Our tips on how to dress for an interview will help you make a good impression and give you confidence when answering questions.

What women should wear to a job interview

  • Clothing: Make sure you wear a professional and clean freshly pressed shirt or blouse without a deep neckline. If you wear a skirt, be sure that the skirt is no shorter than two inches above the knee. Don’t forget to put on tights or stockings under your skirt. Alternatively, wear a pair of trousers.
  • Colours: If you’re going for an interview with a very corporate company, more muted tones would be better suited to the formal environment. Black and dark blue are the ideal business colours, grey or brown are also good options. Pair this with a blouse or shirt in white or pastel colours. But don’t combine more than three colours and two patterns.
  • Shoes: Open shoes like flip-flops or sandals are a no-go for a job interview. Footwear should be either closed toe pumps with a subtle heel or closed toe black high heels.
  • Jewellery: Stay away from too much jewellery such as large necklaces and bangles, as too much clanging can cause unnecessary distraction. Be sure to only wear subtle earrings. Your watch should be slim and just wear a wedding band or no rings at all.
  • Make-up: Don’t overdo the make-up, keep it conservative and natural looking and just a light touch of perfume.
  • Tattoos and piercings: Cover your tattoos and remove facial piercings.

What men should wear to a job interview

  • Clothing: Put on a clean crisp suit. Wear a clean, freshly ironed, long sleeve white shirt and clean jacket. Be sure to have freshly pressed pants.
  • Tie: Accessorise with a modest tie. Add a traditional business tie hung to the beltline. Make sure your belt is matched to the colour of your shoes and the buckle is not too prominent.
  • Colours: Wear a business shirt of a solid colour, preferably white.  Complete the outfit with a dark blue, black or charcoal two or three-piece suit. Make sure your tie is subtle in colour and design.
  • Shoes: Wear shoes that have been polished and make sure they are clean. Try to match the colour of your socks to your suit.
  • Accessories: Wear a conservative belt and tie. Watches should be conservative with a link or leather band. Minimise your hand luggage - limit to just a leather purse or briefcase if possible. When it comes to perfume and aftershave, less is best. The last thing you want is to be remembered for your cologne and not your answers.
  • Tattoos and piercings: Be sure to cover your tattoos and remove facial piercings.

A professional outfit can help you make a strong first impression on a hiring manager, but don’t forget your body language. Exhibit good posture and maintain a pleasant, open expression on your face. Ultimately you want the hiring manager to picture you in the role and visualise you in their team.

Take a look at our job interview tips hub for more interview tips and advice.

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