The Do’s And Don’ts Of Dressing For An Interview


You never get a second chance to make a first impression

Dressing for an interview is a very big deal which can pose very difficult sometimes. It is the first impression you give to your interviewer. You do not want to risk looking too shabby or too extravagant to your big interview. Hence, it is important to know how to strike a balance and make a good first impression.

It’s not enough to have what it takes to perform excellently well in your interview. You have to look like you have something good to offer by getting the attention of your interviewers at first glance. Once you ace your appearance by being mindful about your dressing for an interview, everyone would be interested to hear from you.

In some organizations, points are awarded for appearance. This is because it is the way a product is packaged that would determine the interest of consumers. In the same way, the outlook of an individual goes a long way in determining the interest of prospective employers.

What are the things you should consider when dressing for an interview or simply put, how should you dress to an interview?

There’s no one route rule to dressing for an interview.

The way you dress for an interview depends on;

1. The code of conduct of the organization you’re applying under

Every organization has its own guideline. What may be accepted in one organization might be frowned at in another. This is why it is important to research about the code of conduct or policy of the company you are applying under.

2. The type of interview you’re attending

Is it a college interview, a job interview, a promotion interview or a business proposal/pitch meeting.
Nevertheless, once you are able to understand the general rule of formal dressing, you wouldn’t find it difficult dressing for an interview of any kind.

I’ll be giving out both male and female tips on how to dress for an interview.

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General Rules of dressing for an interview

Make your research

You should research on the dress code most appropriate for the position you’re applying for. This is because some occupation requires more formal dresses than others. You do not want to risk wearing a business casual where you should be dressed a hundred percent formal or vice versa.

Embrace new styles

You should learn to move with trends, not just in your career but in the world of fashion because how you look also goes a long way in defining your career success. Nevertheless, you should be mindful of trendy styles that are not workplace friendly. In the formal world, you should stay away from ripped trousers or denims, nose rings or multiple visible piercings and clothes that reveal too much.

When dressing for an interview, stay away from ripped trousers, denims or clothes that reveal too much

Wear comfortable clothes and dress to suit your style

It is important to put your comfort into consideration as you dress to your interview. Be mindful about wearing things that are not very comfortable for you as it might serve as a distraction. If you are not very comfortable with neckties and suits or blazers, you can wear a cardigan on a formal shirt. Similarly, if you are not very comfortable dressing for an interview in heel, you can substitute with flats. The most important thing to remember is that sometimes, less is more.

You can do you and do good

Don’t overdo your style

As I mentioned earlier, less sometimes is more. Learn not to do too much and look too extravagant for the occasion. For the guys, a simple tie pattern would do. You do not have to dress with too much colors or too sharp colors. It can sometimes be distracting for the interviewer.

Female tips on dressing for an interview

How to wear your blazers

A blazer makes you look highly professional and when worn rightly, gives you a ‘boss lady’ appearance. It is a must in every lady’s wardrobe. If you opt for a blazer, you should be mindful of the color. It is advisable to pick blazers with neutral colors. It shouldn’t be too tight and the sleeves should sit around your wrist region.

How to wear your pants

Avoid pants that are too tight so you don’t get a ‘camel toe’ or reveal panty lines.

Choosing your shirt

The way you decide to dress; business casual or formal, will determine if you should wear button up shirts or other formal blouses. Nevertheless, it is better to stay away from too bright colors for your interview. You can match your blouse with formal pants or skirts.

Heels of flats?

Your comfort is the key determinant. Regardless of whichever foot wear you choose, it should be one that complements your outfit.

Makeup and hair tip

Do not do anything too loud. Nude makeup is the safest bet. For your hair, avoid bright colors and keep it simple but classy.

Avoid too bright hair colors

Tips For Business Casual

Avoid too tight jeans and sleeveless shirts. Also make use conservative colors.

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Clothes options for ladies

Male Tips on dressing for an interview

Choosing your suit

It is recommended to wear a two-piece dark shade suit, preferably navy blue or grey.

Grey and navy blue suit

Choosing your shirt

Light colored shirt would be a good fit for your suit, especially since it is bright colored. Also avoid unnecessarily busy shirts, especially vintage shirts as they are most appropriate for the beach.

Choosing your tie

Do not use too busy ties with distracting designs. A plane or striped tie would do.

Choosing your shoes

Use dark, brown or burgundy shoes as this is most appropriate for formal occasions.

How to style your hair

Get a clean haircut, preferably a decent and formal hairstyle.

For business casual

You can do a cardigan on a shirt or loose the first two buttons of your shirt with or without a blazer but you should ensure to tuck in either style you go for.

dressing for an interview
Business casual option for males

It is important to note when dressing for an interview that your appearance says a lot about your experience and personality before you get the chance to say anything. Make it count!

Also keep in mind that you’re never fully dressed without a smile.

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