What to Wear to an Interview

Worrying about how to dress for an interview can sometimes be more stressful than the interview itself. While dress codes are generally less strict than they once were, you still want to ensure it’s your experience that does the talking, while allowing your personality (and great sense of style) to shine through. Ted’s here with some sound sartorial advice to help land you that perfect interview outfit – and, hopefully, your dream job.

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What to Wear to an Informal Interview

If you’re interviewing for a retail position, or a role at a tech start-up, you can opt for a more casual interview outfit. However, this doesn’t mean rolling out of bed and grabbing the first thing you see. A casual job interview outfit could include a jumpsuit, with fresh, clean trainers, or other flats. If it’s a jeans sort of workplace, you should opt for a smart, dark pair free from rips, and consider teaming with a blazer to keep it professional. A T-shirt tucked into a midi skirt is a stylish option for a creative environment.

What to Wear to a Formal Interview

For corporate roles, smart interview wear is usually required. If you’re wondering how to dress up for an interview in finance or law, a suit is still a foolproof option for men and women alike. Save your jeans, trainers, and tees for the weekend, and try a checked suit with a mid-heel shoe and crisp white shirt. Other safe options are a structured dress, or a midi skirt and blouse combination. It’s vital you feel comfortable, so if you prefer, you can forgo your interview heels for a smart pair of flats and some tailored trousers.

Summer and Winter Outfits

Extreme weather can throw a spanner in the works, so do take the season into consideration. If you’re wondering what to wear to an interview in the summer, follow Ted’s previous recommendations in light fabrics and light colours. Facing a potentially sweaty commute? Pack a bottle of water and some powder or blotting paper. When it comes to winter interview outfits, it’s fine to layer up – just take a bag with enough room for your gloves and scarf so you’re not sitting with them in your lap. Ted’s words of wisdom: a floral midi dress is always a winner, whatever the weather.

Interview Outfit FAQs

Can you wear jeans to an interview? As mentioned, wearing jeans to an interview is fine if you’re confident that it’s a relaxed, casual environment where jeans are the norm. Not sure? Don’t risk it – you never want to be more casual than the person interviewing you.

Can I wear a dress to an interview? Wearing a dress to an interview is something some women are unsure about, but if that’s what you feel best in, go for it. Just ensure the length is appropriate – nothing shorter than just above the knee.

What should I bring to an interview? Firstly, the obvious: your CV. If multiple people are interviewing you, bring a few copies. You should also bring a notepad and pen, and any pre-prepared questions you might have. For creative roles, don’t forget your portfolio. You’ll probably be offered water but pack a bottle just in case. If you bring all that, plus your A-game, you’ll be well-equipped to impress.

What are the best colours to wear to an interview? When it comes to the best colour to wear to an interview, nothing’s set in stone. Rumour has it navy is the key to success, but black, grey, and white are also safe options for your interview attire. Wear colours and patterns if that’s what you feel best in, but if you want to go bright (e.g. pink, orange, or red) keep the silhouette conservative, or just use them as an accent hue – the key is to avoid anything which will distract from your sparkling personality and wealth of relevant experience.