Interview Attire: First Impressions Count
A huge part of making a good first impression is dressing for success. A 2009 study in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin found that factors ranging from clothing style to posture may play a role in how impressions are initially formed. The first few seconds make up the biggest part of an overall impression someone has when meeting for the first time. Attire matters.
Men’s Interview Attire:
Is it more formal or business casual? You may not know, but it is best to err on the side of conservative attire. It is better to be overdressed than under-dressed for an interview. If you do not know, men should always default to wearing a suit.
- Suit in a solid color such as navy or medium to dark grey
- Solid black may be too formal
- Earth tones may be too casual
- Save the pattern suits and the velvet suits for other occasions
- White long sleeved button down shirt or pale colors that coordinate well with the suit
- Leather belt and tie
- Dark socks and conservative leather shoes
- Portfolio or briefcase
- Neat, professional hairstyle and nails trimmed
- Limit your jewelry or do not wear jewelry
- Limit amount of aftershave or fragrance
Visit our Men’s page for some great outfits, suits, shirts, shoes, and ties to ensure you fit the grade for your interview.
Women's Interview Attire:
In general, fashion for women is more complicated and a bit more challenging for women than for men. Women also need to consider the appropriate accessories, the appropriate purse, the appropriate shoes and scent.
Like for men, it is best to err on the conservative side when it comes to dressing for an interview. Default to a suit. Women have an option to wear Blazer Jacket with dress Suit Skirt or with a dress Suit pants.
- Blazer Jacket: navy, black, or dark grey
- Suit Pants: in navy, black, or dark grey
- Suit Skirt: just below or just above the knee
- Coordinated blouse
- Solid colors in white or pale colors work best
- Avoid low cut blouses or tanks
- Conservative shoes
- Limited jewelry
- No dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets
- No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry
- Portfolio or briefcase
- Neat professional hairstyle and clean, neatly manicured nails
- Neutral colored pantyhose, if the corporate culture requires it
- Light make-up and limited amount of perfume, if any
Visit our Women’s Clothing page for some great clothing options to help you make an amazing first impression.
It can be a hard, sometimes impossible, to overcome the first bad impression
- Stick to basics with choosing colors, patterns and styles
- Ensure your outfits fits well and are free of stains
- Prepare your outfit the night before, so you don’t have to spend time getting them ready the day of the interview
- Be sure to polish your shoes
- Limit the amount of fragrance. Too much of scent can be overwhelming and you want to be remembered for your interview not your scent
- Have a firm and confident handshake without overpowering your interviewer
Visit our Jobs & Careers page for more tips on interviews and great resources to find your dream job.
There are so many opportunities out there! Be sure to read our 50,000 Great Jobs post.