Interview attire is not that hard to choose. My first question to you would always be: What kind of job have you applied for and which company is it?
I would base my selection on this criteria and provide suggestions on outfits suitable to your interview.
In general, if you have applied for a job in marketing, advertising or PR, I usually would recommend to go for a trendier look in your interview attire. For a job in the financial industry like in a bank or an insurance company I would recommend to dress more on the conservative site. Some suggestions are below:
Interview Attire For Women:
Starting With A Skirt:
Try to keep the skirt at knee lengths. If it is shorter, you might send the wrong signals. If the skirt is longer than your knees it might look old-fashioned. Stay away from floral prints or from a pattern. I would go with a dark pencil skirt in the colour of blue, grey or black, which supports a sophisticated look in your interview attire.
Dark pants can look great. Make sure they are not too tight and they have the right lengths. You can check the right length if the fabric is just tipping on the front of your shoe, but not touching the floor behind your heel. You can adjust the lengths by wearing shoes with higher of a lower heel.
Some people don’t like to wear them and avoid them. But wearing them gives you a professional look and your legs will look longer and smoother. Always pick the stockings in a natural colour.
Wearing a dress is easy plus it has a great advantage of hardly seeing any sweat marks, as most of the times the fabric is darker and thicker than a blouse. I always like to wear a dark dress which you can pep-up with some trendy jewellery.
The blazer is a great piece of clothes, which you can always wear for your interview attire. If you meet your interview partner and you think you are overdressed, just take the blazer off, it will turn down your appearance.
The Shirt Or Blouse:
A nice shirt or blouse looks always great. Go for lighter colours. Make sure you wear a bra, which you can’t see through the fabric. I had once a candidate, who was wearing a nice, front button blouse. When we were sitting down, you could see her bra through the gap in-between the front buttons at bust height. Believe me, it was not the greatest experience. To avoid this in your interview, try to check your appearance in a mirror at home and check that everything is in the right place – this will save you from embarrassment.
Wear closed-toe shoes and make sure you can walk in them. Sometimes the interview is in a nearby coffee shop. Too often you can see candidates who have trouble walking to the nearby place as their shoes are new or not fitting properly. Don’t wear stilettos and don’t wear flats. Shoes with an average heel are perfect.
Jewellery – Spice Up Your Interview Attire:
Wear something trendy, like a larger necklace or some unusual earrings which complement your interview attire. But just one piece – otherwise you can end up looking like a Christmas tree. A nice piece can stand out and will reflect positively on you. Women who are wearing pearl earnings and diamond rings can sometimes look dated. I would recommend staying away from it.
Add A Slash Of Colour:
I really like candidates who dress a bit conservative but carry a bright orange or red leather notepad or handbag with them. This will uplift your interview attire, and it demonstrates a level of confidence, and success.
Sweaty Arm Pits:
Don’t worry, it happens to all of us. When nervous, we start to sweat more and wet spots around our armpits appear. The best way to hide them is to wear a dark dress or a blazer on top of your blouse or shirt. Try to avoid very fine fabrics like white or cream silk tops, as you will be able to see the moisture.
Interview Attire For Men:
As an interview attire for men I would always recommend to wear a suit in dark grey, dark blue, dark brown or black colour. Don’t compromise your outfit by wearing anything else. It just doesn’t look professional.
A Shirt Is A Must:
The shirt should be in a lighter colour like white or light blue. Some men prefer to wear a pale rose shirt – but I would recommend staying away from it. You never know who will interview you and how conservative your interview partner is. Never wear a dark shirt with a dark suit, it just doesn’t look good.
When wearing a suit, don’t forget to wear a matching belt to complete your interview attire. It will look sloppy if you take your jacket off and you don’t wear one.
You can pep-up your outfit by wearing a great tie. If you’re not sure how to pick one, keep the colour simple and in one tone. For a conservative look go for a darker one, for a trendier look chose a more colourful one. Check out this website for more information on how to tie a tie.
Shoes And Socks:
Dark business shoes are preferred including matching, dark socks. Again, if you have applied for a job in a more creative environment, you could go a bit crazy in the socks department. Stripy orange, red or blue socks are quite trendy and can stand out.
It is always recommended to wear a watch. Stay away from other jewellery like a golden necklaces or wristbands.
Don’t Go Wrinkly:
Make sure you bring your clothes to the dry cleaner beforehand or get the iron board out and do it yourself. Wrinkled clothes are not looking good and have a negative impact on your interview attire.
Still Not Sure On Your Interview Attire?
If you are still not sure on your interview attire, it might be a good idea to have a coffee in a coffee shop near by the office you’ve applied for a job. People from the office will come to the coffee shop during lunch or a morning and afternoon break, and you will be able to see how they have dressed. In general, people hire people who “fit and blend in”. So, if unsure, and you really want that job, visit the coffee shop a couple of days before to help you decide on your interview attire. But be careful on Fridays, generally people dress down, as it is leading up to the weekend.
If you have further questions, check out the prepare for an interview section.