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What to Wear to a Job Interview

What to Wear to a Job Interview

So you’re getting ready to graduate and you’re looking for your first job or internship. The hardest part has been accomplished, you’ve landed the interview and now you’re freaking out because you have no idea what to wear. An interview is your opportunity to make a good impression on your potential employer. Therefore, the expression “dress for success” is an ultimate must.

1. Consider the industry in which you’re interviewing. A job at a law firm and a job as a graphic designer are completely different, and your clothing should reflect it. While interviews are mainly about discussing yourself and why you’ll make a great addition to the company, your personal appearance also plays a very important role. In an interview you’re marketing yourself as a product, so you want and need to have the best image possible.


2. No facial piercings or visual tattoos. Although these creative pieces of works showcase your artistic expression, your employee may not find them appropriate for the workplace.

3. Keep colors conservative. Blue, black, grey and white are safe color choices. Nothing too vibrant, bright or distracting. Try to stray away from browns, oranges and reds. If you’re going into a creative or artistic occupation dark purples and yellows are acceptable.



For women:

  • Don’t wear too much makeup and keep a simple hair style, like down straight, or a little wavy.
  • Don’t wear too much perfume, because you don’t want your scent to be overbearing.
  • Accessories should be kept to a minimum. Consider the five piece jewelry rule, which includes maybe earrings, necklace and possibly a watch.
  • If you’re wearing a skirt, be sure the length is below your knees. Try and sit before the interview to see if it rises too high.
  • Shoes should be closed and no higher than three inches.

For men:

  • Be well groomed. Have a nice and clean facial cut.
  • If you have leather shoes, make sure they’re shined. If you have suede shoes, make sure they’re brushed. And if your shoes are fairly old, have the soles redone at a shoemaker.
  • As for jewelry, a nice watch will suffice. Men shouldn’t wear earrings during interviews.
  • Shoes should also be closed toed.


Consider asking what to wear. In many traditional industries, like finance or accounting, business professional dress will be appropriate: A conservative suit, shirt and tie if you’re a man, or a conservative suit if you’re a woman, with a splash of color. In other industries such as advertising, public relations, graphic design and information technology, what to wear might be less clear. In that case, you should ask about the company’s general dress policies when you’re initially contacted about an interview. Asking what to wear actually shows respect.

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When in doubt, the conservative approach is always the best approach. Although being overdressed may be uncomfortable, it is still better to be overdressed opposed to under-dressed. Dress for the job you want.

It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to buy several suits for different interviews at the same company. In many circumstances, you can get by with one suit combined with different items and variations you wear with the suit each time. Invest in a nice pants suit and you can dress it up several different ways by switching up the colors of your shirt and accessories.


These helpful dress tips for job interviews and internships will lead you down the right path for claiming your desired occupation.


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