Job interview attire
Once you’ve submitted the perfect resume and job application, there’s one last hurdle to clear before you get your dream job: the interview. Now, you’ll need to pick out one of the most important outfits of your life— and wear it confidently.
While a classic suit is a popular go-go option, the suit itself isn’t your only decision. You’ll also need to choose a dress shirt, blouse, footwear and accessories to match. And if you’re facing a commute or mixed weather conditions, be prepared to change the outfit accordingly.
What to know about choosing outfits for job interviews
How dressed up should I be for a job interview?
If you’re interviewing for your first job, or it’s been a while before you were interviewed, it’s a good idea to brush up on the different types of business attire. More often than not, most interviews call for either business casual or business formal attire.
Business casual: Business casual includes slacks, khakis, blazers, sweaters, pencil skirts and low-heeled or flat footwear. It’s acceptable for many types of interviews, including in offices that dress smart casual or business casual.
Business professional: Business professional is the dressier style of the two. Popular pieces include structured dresses, dark-colored suits, dress shirts, blazers, ties and heeled footwear. It’s typically expected for interviews in the financial and legal sectors.
How to dress for Zoom interviews
Zoom interviews call for a special focus on what you wear from the waist up. Here’s what usually works best:
- It’s common to wear dress shirts, blouses, polo shirts, blazers or sweaters.
- Opt for flattering colors and simple prints, and do a test run beforehand to see how they appear on camera.
- Limit yourself to jewelry and accessories that won’t reflect too much light. Otherwise, they may be distracting to the interviewer.
- While Zoom only shows participants from the waist up, it’s smart to wear a suitable pair of jeans or slacks just in case you stand up while you’re still on camera.
Best colors to wear to interviews
The best colors to wear to interviews are black, gray, blue and white. For patterns and prints, simple is the way to go. Think thin stripes and subdued patterns. Overly busy patterns, like some florals, paisleys and animal prints, might be too bold or distracting. Simple, neutral colors and patterns keep the focus on you and your talents, not your outfit.
Think about the commute and weather
Before you finalize your interview outfit, consider the commute and weather. Depending on a few variables, you may need to change your outfit, or at the very least, invest in weather-appropriate accessories.
- If you need a coat, stick to structured, classic designs like pea coats or trench coats. These styles’ clean silhouettes complement business attire well.
- A travel umbrella can protect you from an unexpected drizzle, plus it’s easy to carry inside a work tote or laptop bag.
- When weather conditions include snow, ice or heavy rain, be sure to adjust your footwear to styles that offer more protection and better traction. Chelsea boots are winter-friendly and never go out of style.
Best clothes to wear to a job interview
A classic pair of black pumps
A classic pair of black pumps, like this Calvin Klein style with a block heel, match most interview outfits, whether you’re wearing pants, a skirt or a dress. This pair has a contemporary vibe with an understated metal accent at the heel.
A navy blazer
Navy blazers present a polished, put-together look. The Tommy Hilfiger TH Flex Blazer has sophisticated details, including a high-quality wool blend, four-button cuffs and notched lapels.
A versatile pencil skirt
Pencil skirts are chic and classy, especially when paired with a dress shirt or blouse. This Calvin Klein pencil skirt, available in charcoal and black, is fully lined and has a sleek waistband.
A dress shirt
A crisp dress shirt always makes a good impression at interviews. The Croft & Barrow Classic-Fit Dress Shirt features a spread collar to accommodate wider knots and comes with a matching tie. The shirt is available in dozens of prints and colors to suit any style.
A structured tote
Travel to the interview in style with a professional bag, such as this structured tote available in 10 colors. It’s made of faux Saffiano leather and has elegant contrast stitching detail. The bag also accommodates laptops up to 15.6 inches.
A quality tie
A dapper tie can pull together an entire suit. The Perry Ellis Oxford Solid Tie is an understated option available in over 20 colors, including classic choices like burgundy, navy and black. Its textured design adds a touch of personality.
A gray sheath dress
A gray sheath dress is easy to accessorize and pair with blazers and sweaters. The Apt. 9 Sleeveless Boatneck Sheath Dress is a fully-lined style with a hidden back zipper. The darts and seams give a professional, structured silhouette.
A pair of wingtip shoes
A pair of wingtip shoes takes any suit to the next level, especially this Nunn Bush Sherwood style with broguing accents. In addition to a sharp, tidy aesthetic, this shoe offers a memory foam footbed comfortable enough for commuting.
A notched-collar blazer
A notched-collar blazer, as seen in this one-button Calvin Klein blazer, pairs well with dress shirts and blouses. It also looks great with an understated sheath dress. The blazer is available in three interview-friendly colors: indigo, black and charcoal.
A pair of dress slacks
No matter how long your trip to the interview is, you’ll arrive looking your best with a fresh pair of wrinkle-free dress pants, like this Haggar style. It’s made with four-way stretch material that retains its shape and crisp lines all day. A flat front ensures a smooth, slimming fit.
A simple pearl earring
Pearl earrings are refined accessories that can be worn with virtually any interview outfit. This affordable Simply Vera Simulated Pearl Stud Pair is a smart, simple finishing touch to any look.
Sian Babish writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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