What to Wear to an Interview for Men and Women
Shoes Hard-soled, hard-toed. The best colors are black or brown.
Ties Conservative: black, brown, navy, or red. A solid color or a simple pattern is best. Avoid ties that are too wide or too narrow. No potentially distracting artsy or modern patterns. No pastels or flashy colors. No bow ties.
Suits Matching business suits are best. If you do not have a tailored, well-fitting business suit in gray, black, navy blue, or brown, you may, as a second choice, wear pants (other than jeans) with a shirt, tie, and complementary jacket.
Shirts The only type of shirt acceptable for men at a job interview, in my opinion, is a button-down shirt with a collar. White or light blue, or a shirt with very narrow and light pinstripes is best. T-shirts and turtlenecks are too casual, however tempting it may be to wear them.
Jewelry Avoid wearing more than one ring per hand. Don’t wear a pinky ring.
Scents Other than the soap from your shower and (preferably) unscented deodorant, do not wear any colognes or aftershaves. It’s surprising what a strong reaction people have to scents! They either love them or hate them. Don’t take the chance you might be wearing the same cologne as her ex-husband!
Hair Again, the rule of thumb is conservative. No matter what the length or style of your hair, it’s worth investing a few bucks for a haircut before stepping into the competitive world of interviewing. Do not wear a hat. If you have long hair, tie it back neatly, or consider, for now, having it cut.
Shoes Wear pumps with a medium-sized heel. Do not wear high, excessively spiky heels or boots. Black, brown, taupe, or navy is fine. Avoid flashy shoes with bright colors like red or glittery gold. No tennis shoes, open toes, or sandals. Flats may be OK for an extremely casual workplace, but low pumps are preferred.
Dresses or Suits In the workshops I teach, I always have at least one woman who says, “I wore pants to the interview and I got the job!” That’s usually the case, these days if you are wearing a nicely tailored pant suit with an attractive blouse, but if you feel comfortable in a skirt and matching jacket, I recommend it!
Hair and Makeup Keep it simple! Don’t allow long or wavy hair to hide your face. Consider having a touch-up color, wave, or trim. Wear lighter or less makeup than usual. Do not apply too much foundation or eye makeup. If you use hair spray, you might consider an unscented brand. Any sort of perfume-like smell from hair spray, body lotions, cologne, or perfume can be disturbing to some interviewers…