work-clothesTips for dressing up an interview are all over the place and even though you may have been to many interviews it’s very often the case that you stand in front of your wardrobe and think, “I have nothing to wear for this interview.” Or, “Would this be appropriate?”

I remember my job interview many years back when I felt that uncomfortable twitch as I walked up to the reception area, I felt I was “too dressed-up”. I was just in a skirt suit with a well done hair-do and light make-up but even that looked out of place in that very casual work environment – none of the HR personnel wore a suit or formal wear and as I entered the lobby and saw everyone walk around, I felt out of place. Though slightly conscious, I was confident enough during the interview process and thankfully it did not hinder my getting that job.

It depends a lot on what type of job you are applying for. A trendy workplace would expect the interview to be at par with the dress culture at that place whereas a cool laid-back work place would snub your stiff suited appearance. It depends on how appropriately dressed you are for that particular work environment. Dress for success and showcase your confident self.

So when you are applying for an IT job in a casual workplace as the Silicon Valley, appear professional yet use some laid back professional separates for the interview. However when in the fashion city New York, your look could be entirely different.


Your Style and Comfort
A smart jacket or a vest on well ironed pants or skirts would look professional. Add style with light jewelry and emphasize on good hygiene. Spruce up your aura with good smelling, fresh well-combed and styled hair and there you go.
If you are uncomfortable in a tight skirt or a high heeled shoe, just don’t wear it. The idea is not to let go off your style completely and be a different person for the interview, but keep in mind if you have a flamboyant dress up style or someone who is used to dressing up as a teenager, it is better to be on the conservative side if you want to get that job and not be assessed on what you wore for that interview.

When you look good you feel better. But don’t forget that looking good also comes a great deal from what you feel within so exude a positive attitude and confidence and when coupled with a well groomed look, you are out there to get it all!
Note that it is not your attire that you are being finally judged for but it does represent a part of your overall confidence statement. How confident you feel in an interview comes from both states – external and internal. Next time when you are getting ready for the interview keep these few tips in mind.

See some examples of dress ideas for men and women on the Dress to Impress webpages on the WSU website.


Some No-Nos for the Interview

For Women

  • Revealing clothes
  • To much perfume – annoys many or distracts from the main objective of an interview
  • Too much makeup – again distracts and interviewer can get opinionated on your personality
  • Showing off your tattoos or body piercing
  • Excess jewelry
  • Chewing gums

For Men

  • Being too casual – no torn jeans and spiked hair unless the job demands so
  • Showing off your tattoos or piercing (again, unless the job required you to, though I wonder…)
  • Out-dated suits or excess jewelry


Infographic via Column Five Media:

What to Wear What not to Wear for an Interview