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Choosing that perfect interview outfit!

Choosing the most appropriate attire for a job interview can be quite stressfully, if you are anything like myself I like nothing more to be comfortable and frequently opt for clothes that are work casual but knowing the culture of the company is very important prior to making the decision of what to wear. Wearing the right clothing can make all the difference for your interview and will hep you relax more and appear more competent and self-assured.

It is a good idea as part of your interview process to understand the culture of the company you are preparing to interview for. This will help you to understand how you should present yourself to your potential employer. Dressing the part is equally as important as writing your cover letter or CV in my view. The interview is where all your hard work and graft will finally pay off and you get an opportunity to really demonstrate to your interviewer why you are the best person for the job.

Unfortunately, there is no hard and fast rules here, that’s why knowing more about the company and culture is useful prior to the day.  If you know anyone that works for the organisation this may be a good place to start your research.  If you have had a telephone interview or a conversation with a member of the recruitment team it may be useful to ask how employees dress in the office or shop floor. 

It only takes a few seconds for an interviewer to decide how they feel about you, so make sure you are showered, clean, fresh and dressing for your audience it will help you relax and enable you to focus on what you want to articulate to the interviewer and you will come across more self assured and confident, dress to impress and for success.

No matter how strong your experience or how polished your interview technique is, you should never underestimate the importance of a sharp interview outfit or appropriate attire for the interview with that company.


Find out what your interviewers will be wearing!

No matter what your personal style is, you don’t want to look uncomfortable or out of place hence why researching company dress code is so important.

If you wear a suit and the interviewer is wearing jeans, for example, you’ll probably feel out of place and it might even look like that you don’t understand the company’s culture.

Find out what’s appropriate by looking at what employees are wearing in their LinkedIn profile photos (usually a good indication of what they consider professional) and checking out what people are wearing on the company’s ‘About us’ page.


If you find that people at the company wear a variety of things or the dress code is casual it is recommended to keep it really simple, opt to wear something you always feel confident and comfortable in wearing in the workplace for meetings or conferences that have worked for you before.


Interviewers are looking for a candidate who gives off the impression that they have it all together. Always avoid wearing any more than two or three different colours together. This is the easiest way to make an outfit look thrown together and not well thought out or prepared.

Your bag, umbrella and socks are all part of your look, therefore make sure they’re smart enough that they don’t let the rest of your outfit down.  Another consideration is the season and the weather and also the room you’re interviewing in could be really warm or absolutely freezing. To be prepared for every eventuality, wear two layers: a shirt and jacket in spring and summer and a coat in autumn and winter. If it’s warm, the shirt will look good enough by itself but if the air conditioning is on, a blazer will look sharp and keep you warm. Look for layers made from silk (for women), and merino wool, both of which are light but insulating.


It’s important to polish your shoes, make sure your nails are clean and neat, iron your shirt and trousers, and keep perfume and makeup to a minimum, your hair should be freshly washed and neat and tidy.  Long hair is recommended to be tied in a ponytail or a bun as it may become dishevelled in the breeze or wind, and you may not have time to comb or brush it through prior to the interview. It’s all ultimately about showcasing your best self so you should get rid of anything that distracts (or detracts) from the impression you are wishing to provide to your interviewer.


For men:

A crisp white button-down shirt; chinos; brogues or boots; and a textured blazer. Wear your smartest coat on top and take off if you become too warm.

By sticking to simple basics, you’ll ensure your interviewer focuses on you, not your clothes. This outfit is classic and mature and shows more personality than a suit.


For women:

A blouse in a block colour or a crisp white shirt; dark skinny jeans or cigarette pants; brogues or loafers; and your contingency layer of choice, like a well-tailored blazer in a boyfriend style or with a nipped-in waist (and in a different colour to your trousers).

For the shirt, choose whatever fabric makes you most comfortable. Crisp white cotton is timeless, and silk or chiffon can be more flattering if you’re curvier.

Why this works: It’s simple, refined, and not distracting. Combining separates shows some personality, but the tailored jacket looks professional.



Research Tips

  • Research dress codes for your position and industry sector

  • Dress for success but don’t overdo it.Check out company website.

  • Talk to employees you may know.

  • Ask the recruiter or the line manager if you have had a telephone interview what the dress code is

  • Check out Interviewers on their LinkedIn profiles or through other networking means.

  • Polish your shoes, wash your hair, iron your shirt.

  • Keep make up and perfume to a minimum.

  • Long hair tied up.

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