What to wear to an interview - outfit dos and don'ts

Getting your look right can help boost your interview confidence and employability. Here are some oufit dos and don’ts for choosing what to wear to an interview.

Looking sharp can really help you in an interview setting, not just with making a good impression but also with feeling comfortable and confident. Picking what to wear can be stressful, especially if this is your first interview, but don’t worry. Our easy-to-follow tips will make you look like a pro and give off a great first impression.

Do be comfortable

The most important thing to remember when picking what to wear to an interview is to choose something you feel comfortable in. This is a big moment and you want to be in clothes you like which fit well. If you haven’t worn that dress or suit for a while, try it on to make sure it’s still the right one for you.

Don’t wear loud colours

When it comes to colours it’s often best to stick to solid, traditional colours like black, grey, brown and navy. You may think a sunshine yellow top will show off your bubbly personality but that’s not the way to impress your interviewer. Stick with the old reliable colours to look professional. Let your words and interview body language do the shining instead.

Do aim higher

A general rule for dressing for an interview is to aim a level above what you’re applying for. If you’re applying for a position waiting tables, dress in clothes that would be appropriate for the manager to wear. Even though you might not be that formal in the role it’s best to show how professional you can look and maybe give the employer a glimpse into your potential for promotion.

Don’t overdo it

Avoid eye-catching, bold items of clothing and jewellery. Bold items can be distracting to the interviewer and take attention away from what you’re saying. Things like ties with garish patterns should be avoided, as should wild patterns in your clothes. Just make sure everything fits together pretty well. It’s an interview, not a fashion show.

Do iron, man

It’s basic but don’t forget to make sure everything you’re wearing is smooth and crisp, tidy and neat. Make sure your shirt is ironed, your shoes are clean and polished, and everything else is sorted. You’ll look sharp but you’ll also show them how you much you want the job but putting in the top-drawer effort.

Don’t wear jeans and t-shirt. Ever.

The advert may say 'casual' or 'business casual' but t-shirts are still not advised. If you’re given the signal that this is less formal, you can go without a tie and maybe downgrade your shoes to something less businessy like flats or boots. But no trainers – that’s too far down the casual scale. And if you have any tattoos, cover them up. If you have visible piercings, take them out. This is your chance to show yourself in a professional light.

Do research

These guidelines will help you create a great interview outfit but in truth, each company is different so do your research. You might be applying to a creative agency where bright colours are the norm. It might be an interview for a sports role and you’ll need trainers as part of the interview.

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