Interview Dress

Dress To Impress

Your appearance sends a powerful message to prospective employers, so dress accordingly. Remember, first impressions are crucial when it comes to job hunting.

At interviews, the best way to go is conservative. Even if the company's daily dress code is jeans and T-shirts, professional dress at an interview will show your respect for and genuine interest in the position. The following is a breakdown of traditional business attire for men and women:

Men's Traditional Business Attire
  • Suit: dark (suit means matching pants and coat)
  • Shirt: white, long-sleeved, and pressed
  • Tie: silk, color that coordinates with the suit, simple pattern, no flashy colors or cartoon characters
  • Shoes: dark, clean, and polished
  • Socks: dark (no white)
  • Jewelry: none
  • Hair: short, neatly combed
  • Grooming:
    • Nails should be short and clean.
    • Facial hair: clean shaven or well kept beard, mustache, or goatee


Women's Traditional Business Attire
  • Suit or dress: simple patterns, cool or dark colors, skirts not shorter than just above the knee-no thigh-high skirts or minis
  • Accessories: no more than 1-3 at one time, nothing distracting
    • Your earrings should be small.
    • Wear no more than two rings on each hand.
    • Make sure bracelets don't jingle when you move your arms.
    • Your purse and belt should be the same color as your shoes.
    • Wear skin-toned nylons.
  • Shoes: dark, clean, and polished
  • Hair: neatly styled up or down, natural-looking color
  • Nails: clean, neat, painted with mild colors, and not too long

Casual with Class

Some employers will suggest that you show up for the interview in casual clothing.

WARNING: This does not mean jeans and a T-shirt. Nor is this your time to show off your individuality. Casual dress for an interview means:

  • For men: Khakis or slacks, and a nice shirt (maybe a polo shirt).
  • For women: Khakis, slacks, or knee-length skirt, professional-looking, knit shirt or twin set.
It is better to be over dressed than under dressed.

Employers want to hire competent, friendly people, but they also seek those who will best represent their company's style; that is, people who dress appropriately and are well groomed. Once you have a job, differing levels of dress will be required depending upon the work environment. Sales offices of large firms usually go more conservative, while a design firm might be a little more trendy, or a high-tech company more casual. The best advice for clothing at the work place is to dress how the person whose job you want dresses: If the project lead wears slacks and a tie, while the other engineers wear jeans, go for the slacks.

No matter what stage of the job search you're in, keeping a professional look will pay off.