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. We’re 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 elegant sandals or fresh, clean trainers, and a ladylike dress with a hint of print is always a smart choice, showing stylish flair while keeping things professional.

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 smart shirt with tailored trousers is a foolproof option. Save your jeans, trainers and tees for the weekend, and opt for smart heeled boots or courts with your (freshly ironed) outfit. Other safe options are structured dresses, or a 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.

Summer and Winter Outfits

Extreme weather can throw a spanner in the works, so do take the season into consideration. When it comes to winter interview outfits, layering up with knits and tailored jackets is a smart choice, and wearing tights with skirts and dresses is a polished way to beat the chill. When summer rolls around, follow our previous recommendations in light fabrics and light colours. Facing a potentially sweaty commute? Pack a bottle of water and some powder or blotting paper. A few final 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.