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Exactly what to wear at job interviews

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You can dress for success!

One of the first things people notice when you arrive at a job interview is what you are wearing. Are you absolutely sure you are dressed appropriately?

Do your interview clothes flatter your appearance and fit both you AND the character of the company? If not, your attire could be giving the wrong impression about you.

So what is the key to picking out the right interview attire?  

Go through your closet a few weeks before an interview to try on two or three outfits that you think might work. 

Ask yourself: Does this suit ...

  • Look professional?
  • Make me look like I made an effort?
  • Look good on me and fit properly?

If you have not had an interview in a while, you may find that your current interview clothes just don't cut it due to outdated styling, size, and /or wear and tear, stains, etc. Either get necessary adjustments made by a professional tailor and/or dry cleaner, or shop for a new suit. 

When shopping, try on several styles and sizes to find a suit that is both flattering and well fitting. Men should get a specially-altered suit or have one tailored to your size. 

The day before your interview, polish and clean your shoes and iron your clothing. Hang your clothes somewhere outside the closet but away from where they could be knocked off the hanger, which could undo your hard work. Remember that not pressing properly is visible to the interviewer and makes it look like you can be lazy or not willing to go the extra mile to get the job.

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One strong option: Wear a dark suit, white shirt, polished black dress shoes, and a light blue tie.
When looking to nail down that professional impression, wear a suit, shirt and tie. Some companies have a more leisurely dress code, but error on the side of being overdressed. Doing so shows that you can wear attire that, if the company has outside clients or customer meetings, portrays a positive image both individually and for the company.

Make sure your suit fits and is measured and tailored correctly. Regarding color, black and gray tend to be the main and best choices for men. A white shirt is simple and can work well with any plain colored tie. A light blue tie is calming and distinctive. Or, opt for a powerful royal or navy blue tie, but avoid such colors when paired with darker or more vibrant-colored shirts.

To complete the ensemble, wear black dress shoes that can be polished. Slip-on loafers are popular because they are simple and sleek without being too exuberant, but brogues (wing-tips) are equally complimentary to any man looking to stand out professionally.

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A winning combination for women: A black suit, polished dress shoes (with a medium heel) and an attractive blouse.

The professional woman
To look professional, a suit with skirt (preferred) or slacks works well or a suit jacket, blouse and skirt. While a traditional black, navy or gray suit is appropriate, blouse colors and patterns can be more flexible than a shirt and tie for men, so even a passionate red blouse can be impressive.

Some women may be able to wear a dress, as it still offers a professional look as long as it is knee-length and not too loose or flowing. If wearing a skirt or dress, wear pantyhose or tights, preferably in a nude or dark color without a pattern.

Shoes should be black and plain, such as a pump or sling-back style, yet professional with a small-to-medium-height heel.

You CAN dress well and feel confident at your job interviews. Prepare now!

Guest post and by Mark F., representing House of FraserPhotos courtesy of House of Fraser, the leading, national premium department store in the UK and Ireland. International delivery is available.

Do you agree with Mark about what clothes to wear to job interviews? Share your opinion or clothing suggestions here or on the LinkedIn discussion board that might have brought you to Getajobtips.com. Thanks, Kathy

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