Preparing for a job interview can be scary. Your answers and body language can play a major role in how the interviewer will see you. On top of that, your outfit also says a lot about you.

Understanding what to wear in which interview will make your interview process go way easier. Business casual or business formal have specific requirements, and depending on what company you want to work for, the dress code will vary.

So, what should you wear to an interview? This article will give you all the answers you need, and you’ll learn how to dress and what to avoid wearing. 

Let’s dive straight in! 

Key Takeaways

  • To decide what to wear to an interview, research the company, check whether the interview is online or in person, and consider the weather on the interview date.
  • The most common dress codes for men and women are business formal, business casual, casual and worker.
  • The main thing to remember when deciding what to wear to your interview is to keep both yourself and your outfit clean and polished.
  • When choosing an outfit for your interview, avoid wearing shorts, jeans, see-through materials, and complicated designs.

What to Wear to an Interview—Checklist

Style is individual, and nobody can tell you what to wear. However, a dress code can be combined with your personal style to satisfy both your and the company’s requirements. To reach that middle ground and come up with the best interview outfits, see the checklist in the following section: 

#1. Research the Company 

Different companies have different dress codes, so it’s important to research them to know what to wear to your interview. Look up their website or visit the establishment to see how the company’s employees dress. 

One important rule of thumb here is to dress one formal level up more than the other employees. If they usually dress casually, opt for business casual, etc.

Besides that, you can also contact the interviewer to ask them about the dress code beforehand.

#2. Interview Location and Colors

Ask beforehand whether your interview will be held online or face-to-face. If your interview is online, the main focus should be what you wear above your waist. 

In most cases, you should wear business casual attire. This means anything from button-down shirts or blouses paired with a suit blazer or a cardigan. 

Regarding outfit colors, opt for a shade of gray. Gray is considered the perfect color as it shows professionalism and is easy on the eyes. Besides that, it also won’t contrast with or fully match your background.

#3. Take the Weather Into Account 

Taking the weather into account should also go hand in hand with the dress code. If it’s fairly hot outside, it’s best to opt for thin, silky shirts or, if you’re a woman, a knee-length skirt. 

No matter how hot it is, avoid wearing see-through shirts and shorts at all costs. If it’s not super cold outside, choose long-sleeved shirts, blazers, and cardigans. For colors, if it’s warm outside, wear bright or pastel colors, and if it’s cold, opt for black, dark gray, and navy.

#4. Dress for the Role

Last but not least, keep the role in mind when you decide on an outfit. The dress code will differ depending on the job you’re applying for. 

That’s why it’s important to dress for the role given. If it’s a more serious financial role, dress more formally, whereas if it’s more of an easygoing small business role, you can dress more casually.

What to Wear to an Interview—Women 

 In the section below, you’ll find a checklist regarding what interview outfits to wear for women:

#1. Business Formal what to wear to an interview

The standard of all standards—business formal—is the number one dress code that companies prefer. This is especially true for financial and banking jobs. To make a good first impression, it’s best to dress a bit more formally than your usual style. Some styling tips for business formal are:

  • Keep your makeup minimal and simple.
  • If you like wearing skirts, it’s best to wear a dark-colored one.
  • Check whether your skirt is knee length even when you sit down.
  • Don’t wear heels that are higher than 6 cm.
  • Avoid strong perfumes, as they can be distracting.
  • Put your hair up in a ponytail.
  • Cover up your tattoos and piercings if you have any.
  • If you decide to wear tights, make sure there are no holes in them.
  • Wear fitted suits instead of baggy ones.
  • Keep the clothing design simple with minimal color.
  • Avoid flashy jewelry.
  • Keep a laptop case or small-sized bag instead of a large one.

#2. Casual Business what to wear to an interview

The casual business dress code is considered the middle ground between formal and relaxed and is usually required for IT jobs. To properly follow the casual business dress code, all you need to do is:

  • Check whether your outfit is considered a block color.
  • Opt for a button-up shirt.
  • Avoid low-cut shirts.
  • Cover up your tattoos and piercings if you have any.
  • Check whether your tights have any holes if you decide to wear them.
  • Pair dresses with a well-fitted jacket.
  • Keep your hair up in a ponytail.
  • Opt for a knee-high skirt.
  • Your heels should be anywhere from 2 to 6 cm.
  • Add some of your personal flare with accessories.
  • Opt for a smaller sized bag

#3. Casual what to wear to an interview

Usually, the casual dress code is the perfect fit for jobs at small businesses, boutiques, or cafes. Although many see the casual dress code as the most relaxed one out of all of them, it’s still important not to wear an outfit that is considered too casual. 

To find the middle ground, you can: 

  • Opt for dark colors.
  • Jeans are allowed.
  • Opt for cardigans.
  • Avoid wearing too much perfume.
  • Pull your hair back.
  • You can opt for both knee-high and midi skirts.
  • Cover all of your tattoos and piercings if you have any.
  • Wear flats and avoid high heels.
  • Avoid low-cut shirts.
  • Add one or two accessories to show a bit of your personality.

#4. Worker what to wear to an interview

If you are applying for an outdoor job, wearing a formal suit is not a good idea. It’s best to keep it casual while remaining clean and tidy. To help you out, you can follow these tips for the worker dress code: 

  • Make sure you have covered your tattoos and piercings if you have any.
  • Avoid low-cut and tight shirts.
  • Opt for a shirt with a minimal design.
  • Avoid wearing any hats.
  • Style your hair neatly.
  • Wear a belt with your jeans.
  • Avoid wearing heels.
  • Opt for jeans with no holes in them.

What to Wear to an Interview—Men 

The most common dress codes that you at to decide what to wear to an interview as a man can be:

#1. Business Formal what to wear to an interview

Banks and finance jobs will ask you to dress neatly. This is referred to as the business formal dress code. To properly dress for the business formal dress code, you can:

  • Opt for a two-piece suit.
  • Wear a dark and solid-colored suit.
  • Opt for a single-breasted suit.
  • Wear a tie instead of a bow tie.
  • Match your socks.
  • Don’t wear strong perfume.
  • Cover your tattoos and body piercings if you have any.
  • Contrast the dark suit with a light-colored shirt.
  • Iron your clothes well.

#2. Casual Business what to wear to an interview

IT and creative jobs will usually ask you to opt for a casual business dress code. It’s the perfect mix between casual and formal. To create an outfit that is casual business, you can:

  • Wear leather shoes.
  • Jeans are allowed but not preferred.
  • Opt for trousers or chinos.
  • Match your socks to your outfit.
  • Keep your face clean-shaven.
  • Tie your hair if it’s long.
  • Cover your piercings and tattoos.
  • Opt for a button-up shirt.

Since these types of jobs are more lenient to the dress code, they will also appreciate any item that will show your personality a little. 

#3. Casual what to wear to an interview

Usually, small businesses, boutiques, or cafes have a uniform already. When it comes to the interview, it’s a good idea to be a bit more casual. 

However, it’s still important to show that you have put effort into your outfit. If the job you’re applying for is asking for a casual dress code, follow these tips:

  • Wear dark-colored pants.
  • Opt for a button-up shirt.
  • You can also wear a polo shirt.
  • Don’t wear jeans.
  • Don’t wear a tie.
  • Keep your nails clean.
  • Don’t put too much perfume on.
  • Stay clean-shaven and keep your hair neat.
  • Cover your tattoos and piercings if you have any.

#4. Worker what to wear to an interview

If the job requires outside labor, it’s not a good idea to suit up for your interview. An everyday, casual yet clean outfit is the best option for the worker dress code. To master this dress code, you can: 

  • Avoid wearing shorts.
  • Opt for jeans.
  • Make sure your jeans have no holes in them.
  • Check whether any of your clothes have stains in them.
  • Pair a belt with your jeans.
  • Keep your hair neat.
  • Cover up your piercings and tattoos.
  • Opt for a casual shirt or t-shirt.
  • Avoid tight shirts.
  • Don’t wear shirts with graphics.
  • Avoid wearing a hat.

What to Wear to an Interview—Dos and Don’ts 

As previously mentioned, there’s no determining factor on what you should and shouldn’t wear. However, research has shown that 55% of first impressions are determined by the way you dress. Not only that, but the way the interviewees’ dress is the deciding factor between two candidates. 

So, it’s a good idea to follow some tips on what to wear to your interview to impress the recruiters. To help you out, let’s go through some do’s and don’ts on what to wear to an interview:

Do’s 

  • Keep your makeup light and minimal.
  • Make sure that every piece of clothing is well-ironed.
  • Check if your clothes fit comfortably (not too loose and not too tight).
  • Always dress a bit more formally than the company requires.
  • Make sure your clothes are new.
  • Opt for simple patterns.

Don’ts

  • Very colorful and different patterns of clothes are a no-go.
  • Avoid wearing heavy makeup.
  • Don’t wear heavy perfume.
  • Don’t wear wrinkled clothes.
  • Don’t wear open-toe shoes like flip-flops.
  • Don’t wear shorts and jeans.
  • Don’t wear baggy clothes.
  • Don’t wear see-through clothing.

Final Thoughts 

That’s a wrap!

Getting your interview can be tricky, but it doesn’t have to be. After you do some research on the company and check the job description, you’ll be ready to pick an outfit for your interview with ease! 

Make sure that your outfit is the proper length, covers distractions such as body tattoos, and fits the company’s dress code. Besides your clothes, it’s also important to take care of your hygiene, so slick your hair back and keep your face and nails clean as well!

And you’re all set! We hope this guide has helped you find the perfect outfit, and we wish you good luck with your interview!