Dress for Success at Your Next Job Interview

You landed the interview! But now, you need to look your best. Not sure what is appropriate attire for meeting potential employers? Try these tips to dress for success at your next job interview.

What to wear to a job interview

No matter where you applied for a job, you should arrive at your interview looking neat, clean, and professional. You want your potential employer’s first impression to be positive. By dressing appropriately, you appear prepared for the job and boost confidence.

Keep in mind of the position you are interviewing for. Some industries and companies require formal business attire, while others have a casual dress code. If there is a casual dress code, you should still dress professionally. Here are a few do’s and don’ts for both men and women.


Wear professional attire, especially for companies with business or business casual dress codes. This could include a suit and a conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse.

  • In casual settings, you could wear dress pants or khakis
  • Women may prefer to wear a skirt or dress
  • Keep colors and patterns simple – you want your experience and personality to be the most memorable parts of the interview, not your outfit.
  • Have a well-groomed hairstyle
  • Use minimal cologne or perfume
  • Put your outfit together a few days before the interview and try it on – you don’t want to wake up to find something wrong the day of the interview!


Distractions can be a big turnoff for employers. The focus should be on how you will be successful in the job you are applying for. Avoid over-the-top wardrobe pieces that pull attention away from you.

  • No jeans or t-shirts
  • Avoid tennis shoes (unless it is appropriate for the job or you have a medical reason to wear them)
  • Keep your phone on silent and out of sight
  • No sunglasses on your head
  • No extreme or inappropriate attire

Notes for women

  • If you’re wearing a dress during colder seasons, hosiery might be necessary
  • Wear appropriate shoes – mid-height with no scuffs
  • If you wear nail polish, try a neutral shade and make sure there are no chips
  • Avoid flashy or distracting jewelry
  • No extremely form-fitting clothing

Notes for men

  • Wear a necktie with a conservative pattern
  • Wear dark socks that cover up to the calf
  • Make sure your facial hair is neat and trimmed
  • No short sleeve dress shirts

If you’re not sure what to wear to your interview, it is OK to ask! Do you have a fashionable friend or family member, know someone who works in the same industry, or have a trusted advisor at a job training program?

Seek advice and don’t be afraid to reach out to the employer directly. You might call and say something like, “I have an interview with ______ in the ______ department for a position as a ______. Could you please tell me what would be appropriate attire for this interview?”

What is business casual?

In today’s workforce, many companies have initiated a business casual dress code. Business casual can mean different things depending on the company. Once hired, your employer will explain the dress code.

It is best to overdress for an interview. You want to make a great first impression. Slightly overdressing can show that you are motivated and professional.

Great colors for a job interview

Did you know that the colors you wear can affect how people perceive you? Colors can be associated with different feelings. Here are some ways people recognize colors and personality traits.

Blue is a great interview color. It is often associated with traits such as calm, trustworthy, friendly, team player, and confidence.

Black is a classic color that can be associated with leadership and authority.

Navy is another staple color that invokes feelings of authority and confidence.

Gray can be associated with logical and analytical thinking, sophistication, and power.

Brown is a good color for pants and is often associated with dependability and calmness.

White can lighten up a dark suit and is generally associated with being organized, clean, and truthful.

Neutral attire makes you the focus of your interview and helps to avoid distracting hiring managers. You can add small pops of color to accent your outfit. Overall, a clean, conservative look can help you show employers why you are the best fit for the position.

Are you over 55 and need help finding a job? VANTAGE Workforce Solutions can provide you with paid job training and an individual employment plan to help you successfully find employment. Call 330-253-4597 or visit our SCSEP Page for details. Eligibility requirements apply.

*The information in this article is intended solely to provide general information on matters of interest for the personal use of the reader, who accepts full responsibility for its use. This article should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, medical, or other competent advisors.

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