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Pick a Job Interview Outfit for the Right Industry

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interview outfit

Summary: Put together an appropriate job interview for the industry you are interviewing for to ensure you look the part and blend in professionally.

Preparing for a job interview in an industry you are new to? There is a lot riding on the first impression at your interview so don’t screw it up by picking the wrong outfit. Use this handy guide to know what outfit will be appropriate for the interview.

Admin – HR – Secretarial

This industry is looking for a smart, less formal look. Women should sport a smart looking dress or trouser paired with a jacket or fine-knit fitted cardigan. Men will want to go with a slim leg chino with a crisp white shirt, blazer, tie and brown brogues.

Legal – Finance – Banking

For this industry go for a formal and contemporary look. Men should go for a neutral color suit like black, navy or grey. Men can add color with a tie that has stripes or small spots. Women should stick with a suit and a simple blouse or silk tee underneath. Another option that is acceptable is a tailored dress with a coordinating jacket. Accessorize with simple jewelry.

Media – Marketing – Advertising – PR

This industry is all about the modern look. Men should wear a slick-looking suit or navy chinos to an interview. Pair it with an informal but smart shirt in a bold color or a bold-colored tie. Women should wear more muted colors with an interesting statement piece like a bracelet or neck scarf.

Education – Teaching – IT – Public Sector

This industry is very business-oriented. Women need to wear trousers or a pencil skirt with a silk blouse and a small heel or flats. Men can ditch the suit but cannot go as casual as jeans.

Engineering – Construction – Manufacturing

As a clean-cut industry, an interview outfit needs to be sharp looking. Women should choose a crisp white shirt with trousers or a skirt and pointy flat shoes or small heels. Men should wear a dress shirt tucked into blue chinos with dressy shoes.

Healthcare – Catering

These industries are very practical. For an interview, men should wear black or navy trousers with a tucked in shirt. Piercings must be covered and long hair tied back. Women should also tie long hair back and keep additional piercings covered. Their nails should be short and without nail polish. Keep jewelry to a minimum. The clothing should be a black or navy skirt or trouser with a tucked in dress shirt or blouse. The shoes should have little to no heel.


Any job interview for a position in the creative industry allows for a bit more ability to express your personality. Men will make a good impression in black jeans, a chambray shirt, and leather trainers. Women should stick with an outfit like a jumpsuit or simple t-shirt and tailored culottes. Women need a nice looking pair of sandals to go with their creative outfit.

Sales – Call Center

This industry is a corporate industry. Men must wear trousers and a sharp shirt but a tie is not required. Women should stick with a knee-length shift dress or trousers. Pick a court shoe or flats to go with the outfit.

Retail – Customer Service – Hospitality

An industry that deals with customer interaction is focused on brand and look. Men have very few options – suit and tie. Women should select a silk blouse and trousers or a knee-length pencil skirt in neutral tones.

Have you ever overdressed or under-dressed for an interview? Tell us about it in the comments below.

To learn more about how to prepare for a job interview, read these articles:


Pick a Job Interview Outfit for the Right Industry by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin