Before you say a single word to the interviewer, you have already made an impression based on how you’re dressed. The guidelines given here are commonly accepted as appropriate for interviewing. The interview is not the time to try to set new standards. When in doubt, conservative is better than flashy and a suit is usually the safest bet.
"You want your responses to the interviewers' questions to stand out and be memorable, not the outfit you were wearing." - Dakota Bennett, UWB Career & Internship Specialist
Guidelines for interview attire
You want your experience and qualifications to shine. Your appearance should enhance your presentation, not overwhelm it.
Hygiene is important and so are first impressions
- Fresh breath (carry mints with you; be sure to spit out chewing gum before the interview)
- Make sure your hair is neat, for those with facial hair, this includes being clean shaven or having a neatly trimmed beard
- Keep nails trimmed neatly and if wearing nail polish, choose a color/style that is not distracting
Keep it simple
- Avoid strong fragrants and excessive accessories and make-up
- Choose solid colors rather than flashy patterns
- Bright ties bring focus to the face, but a simple pattern is best for an interview
- Wear polished close-toed shoes with socks high enough so no skin is visible when you sit down and cross your legs, socks and belt should match your shoes
- Cover tattoos, when applicable, if possible
Dressing for work
Relaxed workplace attire is becoming the norm. At many companies "casual Friday" has expanded to the rest of the week. Each company, season, industry, and geographic region will call for different fashion decisions; how you dress at the job may have very little to do with how you dress for an interview. After being offered a position, it's a good idea to simply ask your supervisor about the dress code when you're unsure of those expectations. Additionally, you can research how employees dress by reviewing their website or taking note of how folks were dressed during your interview.