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What to Wear and What NOT to Wear to a Job Interview

June 29th, 2021

You have a job interview coming up. One of the many things you need to decide is what you are going to wear. It’s an important decision to make. Your appearance plays a big role in the first impression you make with the interviewer and the other people you meet during the interview process.

what to wear to a job interview

While male and female attire can vary slightly, the same general rules apply. You want to present yourself in a professional manner. You want to look the part and create the idea that you look like someone who fits seamlessly into the company culture.


Here is a list of 5 things to wear and 5 things not to wear on your next job interview:

What to Wear to a Job Interview

Dressing well for a job interview is about keeping it simple. Wear clothing that makes you feel good. Choose items that help you present the best version of yourself:

  • Blazer: A blazer is a classic option to wear on your next interview. You can mix and match it with many different types of shirts, dress pants, skirts, and ties. They are a diverse clothing option. It’s recommended you wear a solid colour.
  • Suit: This is one of the most common choices. The key is to make sure a suit is the right choice for the company. If it’s a more casual work environment, opt for another option.
  • Button-down shirts/blouses: Stick with button-down shirts. You can wear them with suits in formal settings and pair them with a blazer and slacks/skirt in more casual settings.
  • Clothing that reflects company culture: Always research the company culture before choosing your attire. Look on the company website and social media to get a sense of the clothing others wear.
  • Pressed and clean attire: Make sure your attire is freshly pressed and clean. Use a lint brush to remove any pilling and pet hair.

What Not to Wear to a Job Interview

Avoid making these job interview clothing mistakes:

  • Casual attire: There is a big difference between business casual and casual. Avoid pants with rips or tears, yoga pants, sweats, sweatshirts, and anything that is too revealing.
  • Dated clothing: Dated clothing can mean old or worn. You don’t want to come across as someone who is out of touch. Keep things modern. Make sure everything is ironed and clean.
  • Clothing that is too flashy: Looking good with modern attire is one thing, but you don’t want to wear something too flashy. Stick with standard colours. A pop of colour is fine, but don’t go overboard.
  • Too many accessories: Keep your accessories to a minimum. Wearing a watch or necklace is fine but avoid wearing too much. Keep jewelry, cologne/perfume, makeup, and other accessories to a minimum. Avoid wearing headphones or hats.
  • Casual shoes: Avoid sneakers, running shoes, flip-flops, and open-toed shoes or sandals. Stick to dress shoes.

Get More Job Interview Tips From Our Recruiting Blog

Job Interview Anxiety: How to Get Rid of Nerves Before an Interview

How Much Is TOO Much to Share in a Job Interview?

How to Nail the First Impression. 5 Tips for Starting a Remote Job Interview


IQ PARTNERS is an Executive Search & Recruitment firm supporting clients across the country. We help companies hire better, hire less & retain more. We have specialist teams of recruiters in Executive Search / Board & C-Suite, Technology, Media, Digital & Marketing, Accounting & Finance, Financial Services & Insurance, Cannabis, Startup, Data Science, Consumer, eCommerce & Retail, Operations & HR, Manufacturing, Supply Chain & Engineering, Legal & Professional Services, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Non-Profit & Sustainability, and Sales. Click here to view current job openings and to register with us.

Elaine Bellio

Elaine is a Director, Client Services with IQ PARTNERS with a specialty focus in recruiting for B2B & B2C Marketing and Sales across a number of industries. She has amassed a total of 18 years in sales, sales management, and recruiting at the agency level – selling both contingent and retained search – and has a deep understanding of the sales and marketing processes and what it takes to build a successful team.

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