What to Wear to an Interview

Since first impressions greatly influence a hiring decision, the manner in which you present yourself can make a big difference. Always be clean, neat, and professional. You are a prospective employee—dress the part!

For Men

  • For a formal business interview, it's recommended that men wear dark or gray suits in solid colors or subtle pinstripes. Your dress shirt should be a solid color, preferably white, cream, or pale blue.
  • Your tie options are broader, though you shouldn't wear a bold, flashy tie to an interview. Go for subtle colors in solid, stripes, or small patterns.
  • Be sure your shirt is ironed.
  • For a less formal work environment, you should be ok with a blazer or sport coat, or wear a dress shirt and neutral pants.
  • Be sure your shoes are professional looking, clean and polished.
  • Be sure your hair is cut and combed neatly.
  • Do not use cologne or aftershave.

For Women

  • For formal business environments, women are encouraged to wear dress suits in neutral colors.
  • Blouses should not have frills, ruffles, straps, or low necklines. Do not show cleavage or your waist (no midriff shirts). Be sure your shirt isn't wrinkled.
  • For less formal work environments, dresses or coordinated skirts and blouses are appropriate.
  • For shoes, basic pumps with a medium to low heel are appropriate (or flats). Be sure they're clean or polished.
  • Do not wear dangling earrings or bracelets. Stud earrings and a gold or pearl necklace would be fine.
  • Go light on makeup.
  • You may choose to pull your hair back so it's out of your face.
  • Don't wear perfume.

Final Tips

When preparing your interview clothes, always consider your audience. If you're unsure, a simple rule of thumb is to dress conservatively. It's best to dress slightly more formally than you would if you worked at the organization, and it's better to be too formal than too casual.

If you know it's a fairly casual workplace, safe interview attire for most men is dress pants and a button-down shirt. For women, it's dress pants or a skirt with a nice blouse or sweater. The more formal the workplace, the more formally you should dress.