The Ultimate Interview Dress Guide

work clothes

You have prepared how you’re going to answer that dreaded question, “Can you tell me about yourself?”. You have researched the company inside out, from last year’s revenue to the name of their CEO’s cat. You are feeling ready to walk into that interview and then you remember that you still have not decided what you will wear.

Call it common sense, but you would be surprised by how common it is for people to mess up their interview attire. According to a survey, run by a management careers company, 37% of companies admitted to not hiring a candidate due to how they were dressed. That is a lot of people who have potentially missed out on a good job. The good news is that dressing for an interview is not rocket science. If you follow our simple advice, you will be able to back up your excellent presentation an equally impressive look.

Generally speaking, most interviews require you to dress formally however, those in the creative industries may prefer you to dress a little more casually. Therefore, if you are unsure about a company, you should always ask them what the dress code is. If not, it is always better to overdress than to underdress.

Men

Suits: We all know a suit is the obvious choice for an interview but not just any suit will cut it. Stick to more reserved and conservative solid colours. So a traditional black, navy or grey suit should be fine and try to avoid pinstripes. Shirt and tie combination: A white shirt would also be preferable. You don’t want to subconsciously sway your interviewer against you because he/she didn’t like the colour choice of shirt. The same applies to ties. A solid colour would be preferable and try to avoid busy patterns. Shoes: Polish your shoes! Dirty shoes can send messages of disorganisation and laziness. Black shoes are generally preferable for black and grey suits. For navy suits you may want to consider wearing brown shoes.

Women

Tops: While a matching blazer and trousers would be the safe option, women have a little more room to experiment. A neutral coloured blouse, button down or sweater are acceptable choices for interviews with or without a blazer. Work dresses can also give a sophisticated look as long as they’re not too revealing or fitted. Also try to avoid busy prints and embellishments. Bottoms: Both plain neutral colour trousers and skirts are acceptable. If you’re wearing a skirt, make sure it’s not too short or revealing. Shoes: Clean average height heeled pumps (closed toe) or flats are a suitable choice for footwear. Again try to keep the colours subtle. Accessories: Don’t get carried away with accessories. Small subtle earrings and a watch is acceptable. You don’t want to distract the interviewer with large dangling earrings or an arm covered with bracelets. It is a job interview not a fashion show!

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