Dressing Up for Interviews



Formal Business:


A clean, ironed suit is the best way to go. If this is not available, a suit jacket with coordinated trousers to match is the second choice. Tie with white, blue, beige or other light coloured shirts that compliment the suit. Dress in shoes either black or brown only. Dark socks.

Informal Business:

A sport coat with coordinated trousers is the first choice. If this is not available, trouser with shirt and tie is the next choice.

Suitable for what positions?

  • Retail sales
  • Teacher
  • Office clerk
  • Physical therapist
  • Artist
  • Financial manager
  • Medical assistant
  • Counselors
  • Security guard

Interview Dressing Do’s and Don’ts

The following are general guidelines for successful interview dressing:

  • Do wear clean, ironed clothes.
  • Do empty pockets beware of bulging key and tinkling change
  • Don’t wear loud, bright colours such as greens, red or purples. These colours can be used sparingly as accents or accessories.
  • Don’t wear jeans or t-shirts.
  • Don’s wear ripped jeans.
  • Do wear buttoned shirts, leaving only one or two buttons open at most, not showing chest.
  • Don’t wear sports clothes with emblems. Avoid clothing with large designer labels.
  • Do wear a tie if possible. Make certain that it is knotted firmly, not loosely around the shirt collar.
  • Do wear traditional daytime fabrics. Avoid wearing satins or leather.

Make-up (For Ladies): look prettier and highlight your best features;

  • Match foundation to skin tone for a natural look, apply lightly, Blend into neck area so that there is no visible line.
  • Smoothen the skin and eliminate facial shine, face power can also be worn with or without foundation.
  • Eye makeup applied to the natural brow line is the most attractive. If you do wear eye make up, matching or blending with your natural colour will be the most appropriate option.
  • The highest part of your cheeks deserves the blush, apply softly and then blend it in.
  • Wear lipstick to compliment the colour of you outfit. But do stay away from extremely dark or bright colours or bright reads and fluorescent colours.
  • Do not wear highly decorated and long nails on a job interview. If you have nails professionally manicured, request a natural look that a clean and conservative length (about ½ inch) and natural colour.
  • Avoid wearing red nail polish, it can be sexually intimidating.
  • A natural color nail polish is preferable

Hair : conservative yet attractive style for the interview;

  • Style hair so that it is away and out of your face.
  • Hair colour should not be more than one or two shades darker or lighter than your natural hair colour. Unnatural colours (burgundy, green, etc) must be avoided.
  • No gels or wet looks please! Get look good in evening parties and casual get-togethers but are absolute no-no’s work place.

Accessories Do’s and Don’ts

  • Do wear clean, conservative, and polished, rather sparkling formal shoes.
  • Don’t wear more than two rings.
  • Don’t wear any body piercing paraphernalia (Specially in case of ladies; earrings, nose rings danglers, or eyebrow rings are absolute no-no’s)
  • Don’t wear baseball caps or sunglasses.
  • Don’t wear athletic shoes, no matter how clean and new. They are considered inappropriate for an interview.
  • Don’s wear chains or necklaces, if you have to wear one, make sure that it is not visible.
  • Do wear complimentary and stylish ties. This is one piece of garment that can be eye-catching.
  • Ladies! Please don’t wear sandals, rather opt for shoes those are closed from the front. Ideally, your toes should not be visible in a formal dressing, so next time when you go shopping, do remember these points so that your formal wardrobe is ready for your next interview.

Your outer appearances plays a vital role in making or breaking that “first” impression on your perspective employer. You must take time and think carefully while choosing your wardrobe, make-up kits, accessories, perfumes, deodorants etc as they are going to communicate about your approach towards life and profession.

Every minute detail is going to matter a lot, beginning from the person hygiene to the final look in the mirror before you leave for your interview. Dressing Sense and choice of clothing, style, pattern, fabric and fall tells a lot about your choice. Reflect your refined and sophisticated personality through your selective choice. These things need not necessarily have to be expensive, but for sure, they need to be elegant with a professional touch.

Colour holds lot of importance in workplace, as discussed earlier in this chapter; it needs to be complimenting the professional set-up. You can opt for colours and shade that are vogue, but mind it, they should not be very vibrant and loud. Last but not the least, don’t forget to breath with confidence and wear your lovely smile!