My name may not be Stacy and Clinton isn’t my best friend, but after having many first-hand experiences with interviews I can tell you that over-dressing is ALWAYS better than under-dressing. I don’t know about you but when I take the time to look good I feel good. Feeling good can lead to more confidence which is always a plus in an interview you’re probably nervous for. What follows won’t be what not to wear, but rather what are good things TO wear.
Gentlemen and Ladies General Tips:
No tanks or t-shirts
No sunglasses on the head
No facial piercings or visible tattoos
No ill fitting clothes
Tops: Dressy sweaters, collared button-down fitted (Oxford style) long-sleeved shirts. No dressy tanks unless a sweater is over it and one cannot tell it is a tank. A dressy sleeveless blouse under a dress jacket works well too – especially on warmer days.
Bottoms: Knee length skirt (darker colors usually work best), dress slacks (make sure they’re not too long). If you’re going to wear a skirt make sure you wear pantyhose with it. If wearing pants knee high pantyhose are a good choice. Hems on the skirts should be no more than one inch above the knee, and on dress pants should fit just to the bottom of your shoe and not dragging on the ground.
Shoes: Both flats and heels are okay. Your heels shouldn’t be the towering 4-5 inch heels that are in fashion, but classic 1-2 inches. They should generally be classic in color as well (black, navy, brown).
Makeup and Hair: Makeup should be natural and not overdone. Some eye shadow in neutral tones is okay, as well as a little blush and lipstick. Hair can be up or down so long as it is neat and out of your face. If you fiddle with your hair when it’s down it may be best to put it up or half up for an interview so you’re less tempted to play with it.
Accessories: Remember you are selling your personality not your jewelry. A simple watch or bracelet is good for the wrist. A necklace depending on the shirt you are wearing. Wedding/engagement/promise rings are perfectly acceptable but more than that is discouraged. Finally, one pair of earrings only.
Tops: A button-down oxford shirt in white is classic. However, another pastel color works just as well. A well-fitting suit jacket in a dark color such as navy or black should also be worn and buttoned. Your tie should be a neutral color with a basic pattern. It should not be bright or have any outrageous patterns. A bowtie would also be acceptable within the same guidelines. Don’t forget to tuck in your shirt!
Bottoms: The pants to match the suit jacket (a two-piece suit) which are tailored to fit and the hems reach just to the bottom of the shoe. PLEASE wear dark socks – you do not want to be the one wearing the white socks with the dark shoes and socks. Also make sure your socks match each other.
Shoes: Shoes should be dress shoes that are polished, not scuffed, and also in a dark color.
Hair and Accessories: As with the ladies the hair should be neat, trimmed and out of the face. If you wear an earring or have facial piercings take them out. In addition ensure tattoos are not showing. A belt usually in a similar color to the suit should be worn. Facial hair can be worn, but make sure it is trimmed and neat. As with the women watches and wedding/engagement bands are acceptable pieces to wear.
Final Tips: If you think of a classic “timeless” look you typically will be okay. Ensure your clothes fit you well, and don’t be afraid to get them tailored if they don’t. You want to be comfortable, but also looking sharp. Don’t be afraid to try things on and ask for opinions!
There are great pictures and resources on the internet if you want more information. The following link are 20 quick tips on what not to wear to an interview and are always good to keep in mind.
What not to wear for an interview – Career Builder