What to wear to a job interview: In-Person and RemoteHays: Working For Your Tomorrowon June 20, 2024 at 10:56 am Career advice | Career tips


Securing a job interview is a huge win. However, deciding on the appropriate  dress code for an interview can be a little tricky.  

Whether you’re heading to an office or dialling in from home, here’s how to nail your interview attire and feel confident. 

What to wear to an in-person interview  

When it comes to in-person interviews, first impressions are everything. As a general rule of thumb, you should dress professionally. However, it is important that you still feel comfortable. 

Stick to these pointers to impress your hiring manager:  

Stick to classic career wear staples  

Business formal attire such as suit jackets, shirts, and blouses convey professionalism effortlessly. These choices are timeless and universally recognised as symbols of a polished appearance. 

Avoid bright colours 

Neutral colours like navy, black, grey, and white are smart, versatile and sophisticated. By avoiding bright or heavily patterned clothing, the focus will remain on your professional demeanour rather than your attire. 

Pay attention to details.  

Make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and fit well. Your shoes should also be well-maintained and polished, to complement your overall look and reflect your professionalism. 

Choose minimal accessories  

Keep accessories simple and understated. A nice watch or a pair of stud earrings can add a touch of personality without being overwhelming. Remember, less is often more when it comes to accessories in a professional setting.

What to wear for a video interview 

In the age of video interviews, what you wear from the waist up makes all the difference. Aim for attire similar to what you’d choose for an in-person interview. But keep in mind these few simple adjustments to ensure you look your best on camera: 

Opt for bright and light colours

Opting for colours that stand out on camera, like blues, greens, and soft pastels works well. These colours exude confidence and ensure you appear clearly on camera. This is especially important in varying lighting conditions or lower video resolutions. 

Avoid busy patterned clothing  

Busy patterns can be distracting on screen and may not translate well through video. Opting for solid colours helps maintain a clean and polished appearance that is suitable for a professional setting. 

Prioritise comfort 

Video interviews often involve extended periods of sitting. So it’s crucial to wear a top that is comfortable and fits well. Avoid anything overly tight or loose that could affect your comfort and on-camera appearance. 

Even in a virtual interview, attention to detail is crucial. Make sure your background is tidy and free of clutter. Position yourself facing a window or use a ring light for good lighting on your face.

What to wear to an informal interview vs. formal interview 

Dress code for an informal interview  

How does the dress code differ if you know that you will be attending an informal interview?  

Informal interviews are often more relaxed, but that doesn’t mean you should show up in your weekend casuals. Chinos or tailored jeans paired with a blouse, polo, or casual shirt are great options. Choose comfortable yet stylish shoes, avoiding open footwear like flip-flops or sandals.

Dress code for a formal interview  

For formal interviews, the goal is to present yourself as polished and professional. 

Wearing a suit is a safe bet. For men, this means a matching jacket and trousers with a shirt and tie. Women can opt for a tailored suit or a professional dress accompanied by a blazer. 

Choose a pair of polished shoes to complete your interview outfit, ensuring they are clean and well-maintained. As mentioned, stick to neutral colours and keep accessories to a minimum for a professional look. 

Final tips for interview attire 

Your outfit should make you feel like the best version of yourself. Here are some final tips to guide your choice of interview attire.  

Tip #1 – Research the company  

If you’re uncertain about the interview dress code, research the company beforehand. There’s typically information available about the organisation’s expectations. 

Alternatively, during your initial video interview, take the opportunity to ask the hiring manager about the company culture. Doing so can provide valuable insights into the most appropriate attire to wear to the interview. 

Tip #2 – Tailor your attire to the job type 

It’s important to note that dress codes can vary widely depending on the industry. 

Creative fields such as advertising, design, and tech startups often have more relaxed dress codes. In these cases, you can incorporate your personal style into your outfit. However, in corporate sectors like finance, law, or consulting, sticking to traditional business attire is typically advisable. 

Tip #3 – Err on the side of caution 

When in doubt, opt for a smarter rather than a casual look. It’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed, as a professional appearance demonstrates your seriousness towards the opportunity. 

Tip #4 – Be prepared  

Plan your outfit in advance, trying it on a few days before the job interview to make sure everything fits well and looks good. Check for any wrinkles, stains, or loose threads. Having your outfit ready ahead of time will reduce stress on the day of the interview and help you feel more confident and focused. 

Looking for more ways to ace your interview? Let Hays show you how 

Now you’ve got the perfect outfit, learn how to ace your interview questions with confidence.  

What does the interviewer mean when they ask these questions? What is an aptitude test and how do you prepare for one? “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”: How to answer this common interview question

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