What to wear to a job interview

What to wear to a job interview


What to wear to a job interview

Although a job interview isn't the place to start experimenting with your style, just because you're going to an interview doesn't mean you have to dress frumpishly. Remember though that the more you have going on, the more disorganised you'll appear, and the less of a good impression you'll make.

So keep it simple, go for unfussy clean lines and try not to draw their attention to anything too eye-catching as you want the interviewer to be listening to what you're saying not wondering if you got dressed in the dark.

What you choose to wear also depends on the industry and what type of job you're going for:

Financial or Legal Companies

These industries particularly require your present a very corporate image so a smart, tailored suit or a tailored dress in dark neutrals would be appropriate, or perhaps a pencil skirt with a blouse. The more business-like the better with these types of companies as you want them to take you seriously.

Don't wear anything too wayward or distracting, but still consider reflecting your personality by adding textures such as silk or chiffon fabrics, a bright scarf, an interesting necklace or earrings, a stylish hair accessory or brooch, or fabulous shoes.

Creative Companies

This is where you can let loose and show more of your personality. I'd still not go with jeans unless they were really dark but they will expect you to show some style. You still want to present a professional image so feel free to look a bit different just make sure you don't look bonkers and make sure your clothes are clean and there are no loose threads or buttons missing etc.

Everything else

If in doubt then just make sure you're comfortable, wear something that reflects the company's brand and the industry they're in, and that you look professional. If in doubt then look at their company website and see how the existing staff dress, or even better go past at lunchtime and see what people are wearing.

You don't always need to wear a suit but do keep clean lines, look stylish, with perhaps a statement accessory that reflects your personality. I've always found that a pencil skirt or long straight dark trousers, high heels, a blouse, and a knotted silk scarf tied around my neck like an airline hostess works really well. It's simple, classic, and the scarf adds colour and personality to the outfit without distracting the interviewer. Try not to look like an airline hostess though!


Keep it simple. An even base, blusher, black or brown mascara, and lipstick will be fine. Eye liner is fine if you wear it but now is not the time to break out the sparkly eye shadow or experiment with something you've never worn before. Make sure your foundation isn't orange, on your collar, or worn as a tide mark around your jawline either.

Do not

  • Wear jeans unless you're going for a creative job and you are 100% confident about it
  • Turn up with dirty hair, dirty nails, or chipped nail polish
  • Have food stuck between your teeth. Just before you go into an interview is not the time to eat
  • Chew gum
  • Let your bra show through if wearing a chiffon blouse
  • Wear a very short skirt or a really low top
  • Be so uncomfortable you're picking away at your outfit every few minutes
  • Wear anything stained, missing buttons, or with loose threads
  • Have scuffed or dirty shoes, or shoes you can't walk in
  • Wear really strong perfume. Scent is fine but don't stink the room out
  • Wear sunglasses into the interview room


  • Wear clothes that make you feel confident
  • Walk and sit up straight and give a firm (but none bone-crushing) handshake
  • Bring copies of your CV for the interviewer/s. They'll have a copy but this makes you look prepared
  • Take in notes. A bullet point list of things you want to mention is fine and makes you look professional and organised
  • Look clean and smell nice – or at least don't smell at all!
  • Put your phone on silent
  • Remember to smile – they need to see what you're like and if you'll fit in with the rest of the team
  • Research the company beforehand
  • Know why you want to work there, what you'll bring to the position, and why they should hire you

This was a guest post contributed by Joanne Munro from Career Pioneers who is a Freelance CV writer covering Brighton, Hove and Sussex

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