Whether a recent college grad or reentering the work force, read our tips on the best women’s job interview attire to wear when applying for any job.
Women: What To Wear To a Job Interview
There’s no arguing that job hunting can be stressful. Whether it’s your first time out or you’re trying to get back in the game, your choice of interview attire depends upon the type of job you’re going after and the work atmosphere.
The business professional is expected to look the part at all times. You can’t go wrong with a conservative suit that has a structured jacket and matching skirt or pant. However, you don’t want it to be one of those black power suits. Remember, you’re the one job hunting, not running the company. Stick with solid neutral colors such as dark gray or navy or choose a subtle pattern like a pinstripe. If it’s summertime, go with neutrals that are both lighter in color and weight. No matter what the season, a crisp white button down blouse will emphasize the clean neat lines of the suit. As for accessories, keep them simple with black pumps, little or no jewelry and a briefcase or purse large enough to hold your laptop or portfolio.
Business Casual Interviews
Working in a business casual environment allows you to dress down just a bit while still maintaining an air of confidence. Stick with a neutral palette but incorporate a touch of texture or pattern. An unstructured jacket, blazer with or without lapels, vest or cardigan paired with a tailored knee length skirt or pant are all appropriate and appear more casual than a suit. A dressy blouse—minus the plunging neckline—will draw the eye upward so your future boss will concentrate on your face.
Casual/Startup Company Interviews
Just because employees wear jeans in your future workplace that doesn’t mean you should wear them to your first interview. Khakis worn with a pullover sweater or patterned shirt say you’re ready to join the team without being over the top. Save the dark jeans for the second interview. You can even try a simple shirtdress or casual skirt but keep the hemline rule in mind. Express yourself with a statement bracelet or necklace and wear flats that are comfortable and keep the casual theme going. Skip the briefcase and take a small to mid-size purse that has a pop of color.
Things to keep in mind when picking out your interview outfit
- First impressions are everything so, research the workplace atmosphere before your job interview.
- Stick to a neutral palette then add pops of color or patterns according to the type of dress code.
- Always observe the just above the knee hemline rule. Save the short skirts for that big night out on the town.
- Skip the perfume altogether. You don’t want to overwhelm your interviewer or leave a trail of folks sneezing along the way.
- Go easy on the makeup—you’re not going on stage! A little mascara and neutral colored makeup presents a more natural look.
- Tame your hair! Constantly flipping long hair away from your face is super distracting. Wear it behind the shoulders, in a fashionable side bun or braid. Sleek ponytails never go out of style, especially with products available to discourage frizzy hair. Give short hair an edgy look with short sides and lots of volume on top.
- Summer interviews require choosing breathable fabrics like linens, cottons and silks to keep you cool. Be sure not to go too casual even if the company lacks a dress code. Please! No flip flops, tank tops or bra straps showing!
- Try on your outfit to ensure it not only fits well but also is clean and pressed.