What to Wear to a Job Interview

Dress for success.

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.

These statements are repeated often for a reason. You may be the best worker ever but if you dress inappropriately for your interview, you probably won’t get a chance to prove your worth. If you get lucky, maybe the hiring manager will just advise you on what to wear for your first day of work.

I wouldn’t suggest you take that chance, though. Times are hard. You don’t want to lose out on securing those coins simply because your interview attire was inappropriate.

Don’t worry. I won’t tell you to only wear solid navy, grey or black. This is a fashion blog after all! The trick is to dress professionally while still incorporating elements of your personal style

Prepare for your interview

You need to do some research. What do women in your industry typically wear to work? What do they wear at the company where you’re going for your interview? You may actually want to observe them as they enter or leave the office. Many businesses allow employees to dress more casually on Friday so go early in the week when people are at their sharpest.

Don’t just look at their clothing. Look at their shoes and hairstyles as well. Just make sure you don’t look suspicious! If you see one or two people who take way more creative license than the others, don’t take that as a sign that you should do likewise. You don’t know their story. Interviews are not the time to experiment.

Tailor your outfit to your industry

If you’re interviewing for a job in the legal field, the ladies probably dress on the more conservative side. You’ll probably need those sober colours here. If your outfit needs to be on the boring side, try for handbags with unusual shapes and shoes with interesting textures. Don’t underestimate the power of a well-fitting suit or simple dress.

Conservative Interview Outfit

by Inmywardrobebarbados

Click any item to purchase.

You don’t want to wear the outfit above if you’re interviewing for a creative job like graphic design or advertising. You want to show off your style and your ability to use colour well. Jazz things up with pops of colour or bolder prints.  The same applies if you’re interviewing for a job in a clothing or shoe store. You’ll still want to be well-covered but your managers will likely appreciate a sense of style. Colourful shoes or handbags should go over well. Skirts can have interesting details but shouldn’t be too tight. Printed blazers can be worn with solid slacks or dresses.

Chic work style

by Inmywardrobebarbados

Bolder, more colourful office looks

by Inmywardrobebarbados

Click any item to purchase.

Maybe your interview is with a company where people wear uniforms. You can still take your cues from what workers wear. Uniforms are a key part of a company’s branding so they will tell you whether you should aim for sensible or fun and stylish. Look at the colours and cuts of the outfits as well the prints or lack thereof.

Think about hair and makeup

Put down those dramatic strip lashes and that bright Juvia’s Place palette… unless you’re interviewing for a makeup-related job. If that’s the case, do the most and show off those skills!  Otherwise, keep it simple and understated. Don’t cake on foundation or go heavy-handed with blush. Try to keep your hair colour and style on the conservative side as well. Subtle highlights will be acceptable in most fields but you may not want to wear blue braids. 

Your interview is not the time to overdo it. You want to wow your potential boss with your knowledge and skills while looking professional and well put together. You’ll be much more confident if you’re not stressing about what you’re wearing.

Post Author: Natasha Beckles

Natasha Beckles is a freelance copyeditor, writer and content creator. She has over a decade's experience in both traditional and online media. In addition to blogging about fashion and travel, she uses the written word to help brands and individuals tell their unique stories.

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