Interview Attire – Get It Right 1


An interview is your opportunity to make a great first impression in person. No matter your work ethic, skills or potential; if you dress badly in an interview you vastly erode your chances of making a great impression. By wearing interview attire that does not reflect the tone of the interview, you get consequently less chances of landing the job you spent your time and effort getting the interview for. I have read stories about interview candidates wearing the most outlandish outfits in order to make an impression on the interviewers. Granted, they must have made an impression; but not necessarily the good kind.

Business Suit for Interview

Be Your Professional Best During The Interview

Sometimes, it may not be clear what exactly you need to wear to an interview. In this case, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and dress more conservatively than you need to. If you find that your interviewer is dressed casually while you’re completely decked up in a business suit, you can ask them if they would mind if you took off your jacket. In most cases, they will be glad you’re reciprocating and being part of the general atmosphere, instead of sticking out like a sore thumb.

What Colors Work Well In an Interview (and What Don’t!)

What Works:

More Solids, Less Patterns

Patterns are distracting, so even if you opt to wear something patterned, make sure it is subtle. Wear solid colors so that the interviewer can concentrate on you and what you bring to the table, and not what you wear to it. Dark colors work well.

Avoid Bright Colors

Again, you do not want to be remembered for your attire.  If you wear a very brightly colored suit or dress, you will almost certainly be remembered for your colors. Neutral colors always work best for a job interview. White is also an excellent color for a a shirt or blouse that you wear underneath your blazer or jacket.

Read what different colors say, on the About website.

Know What Employees Wear

Try and do a little research beforehand to understand what constitutes daily work-wear at the company you’re interviewing at. Colors are as important as the sort of clothes you wear. Conservative office environments call for serious, neutral or even dark colors.

Women’s Interview Attire (courtesy About.com)

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Interview Attire (courtesy About.com)

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

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About Tarun

Tarun is a Chemical Engineer with a passion for helping people succeed in their careers. He spends his work week as a consultant to industry. In his free time he's usually formulating his next article for GradsUp.