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Don’t Get Lost in Your Closet Looking for an Interview Outfit

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Summary: Use this job interview outfit guide to help you dress for success at your next interview.

The first impression you give at a job interview will determine how the rest of the interview goes. A sloppy outfit gives the interviewer an impression that your work will be sloppy, while a neat, modest outfit tells the interviewer that you can work well with others, don’t demand attention and put a priority on producing quality projects. If the interviewer does not think you have what it takes to work at the company, they won’t give you a chance during the interview and may even cut it short. However, if the first impression you give impresses them, this will help make the interview a positive experience.

In order to put together an outfit that is neat and modest, follow these tips:

  • Make sure your clothes fit well. This may mean taking in pants to get them hemmed.
  • Have an outfit that is in good condition and wrinkle-free. This may mean putting an outfit aside, saving it for job interviews if you intend on attending several but still go to work every day. You do not want an outfit that is faded, stained, or covered in hair.
  • Clean your shoes. For guys, they need to make sure their dress shoes are not scuffed or dirty. Women should ensure their heels or flats are also scuff and dirt free.
  • Women need to keep the amount of jewelry they are wearing to less than three pieces. This means a pair of earrings, necklace, and bracelet.
  • Men need to wear pants and socks that are the same color. Men wearing a belt should wear one that matches their shoes.
  • Women wearing a skirt or dress need it to hit at the knee. Their thighs should be covered when sitting.
  • Men do not have to wear ties as long as the rest of their appearance is professional.
  • Women need to keep their hair out of their eyes so that it is not distracting to them or the interviewer.
  • Avoiding perfume or cologne is a wise choice as many people have sensitivities to strong smells and may not be able to tolerate your aroma.
  • Stick with neutral colors and subtle patterns.
  • Women need to keep their makeup natural and nails at a reasonable length.
  • You should be wearing a professional outfit of slacks, a dress suit, or something similar. Jeans or athletic wear is not an acceptable option even for a job at a gym.
  • Only bring essential items in a wallet or purse. Keep your personal items and phone in the car. If you must bring your phone, put it on silent or turn it off as soon as arriving at the building.

If cost is a problem, check out consignment shops to find quality, attractive items. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to put together a good interview outfit. There is a good chance you have most of what you need already in your closet and just need to add a few pieces to polish your look. Women likely have a blouse in their closet that they can wear, only needing to find a cardigan or jacket in a dark neutral color to tone down their top. Men often already have a button up dress shirt in their closet and a pair of slacks. Pairing these items with a sharp jacket will pull the items together.

Do you have a go-to job interview outfit? What is it? Share your outfit with us in the comments below.

To learn more about how to succeed in an interview, read these articles:


Don't Get Lost in Your Closet Looking for an Interview Outfit by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin