How to Dress for a Job Interview

Job interviews are nerve wracking enough as is. It feels like you have to think about a million things all at once, and how you’re going to dress is just one more seemingly superfluous stressor to deal with. It might be the last thing on our minds, but we have to remember that it’s still important – our outfit is one of the first things our potential employer is going to see, so it’s crucial that we present ourselves well.

The way that you dress for an interview is going to be dependent on the nature of the job that you’re applying for. There are three environments to consider here: formal business, casual business, casual and worker.

Formal business environments require, you guessed it, the most formal attire. These will be jobs like lawyers and bankers.

Casual business environments will be a little more relaxed but still require a bit of dressing up – nothing over the top. This often includes IT and customer service jobs.

Casual environments (like hospitality work) will sometimes have uniforms that you will be required to wear once you get the job, so dressing the part is less important. That being said, you don’t want to go too casual or think that your outfit is entirely unimportant. You still want to look polished to make a good impression.

Worker environments are jobs that involve manual labour such as working outdoors or at a manufacturing plant. Once again, don’t let the fact that you don’t have to dress up allow you to slack in your presentation. Dressing nicely and appropriately is always a good thing, no matter the nature of the job. Try to look at what everyone else who works there is wearing and dress just a little nicer to make a good impression.


Here are some tips on what exactly to wear in each of these environments:

Formal Business

  • A solid colour two piece suit – you can opt for subtle pinstripes if you prefer that over a block colour
  • A light button up dress shirt to go underneath
  • A subtle tie – avoid bright colours, patterns and bowties
  • Polished dark dress shoes
  • Matching long socks – black or navy is preferable
  • Cover up tattoos and remove any piercings
  • Clean shave and make sure hair is well groomed and cut short or tied back if it’s long

Casual Business

  • Chinos or trousers – light colours are always good (e.g. khaki)
  • Collared button-up shirt – if you’re going for khaki pants light blue pairs well
  • Avoid jeans and tshirts
  • No open-toed shoes – dress shoes are still a good option here
  • Clean shave and make sure hair is well groomed

Casual

  • Avoid ties unless they’re part of the company’s regular uniform
  • No sneakers or open-toed shoes
  • Shave and make sure that your hair is tidy
  • Make sure that your nails are clean, especially if it’s a hospitality job!

Worker

  • No suit and tie, but you don’t want to wear worn out clothes either
  • A nice pair of jeans and a belt work well
  • Solid colour shirt with no graphics – it should fit well, not too tight or too loose
  • Tidy hair and a well groomed beard
  • No hats
  • Closed-toed shoes

Dressing well shows that not only do you take the job seriously, but you take yourself seriously as well. Follow these tips and you can be confident in your look – all that’s left to do is wow them with your skill. Good luck!

This entry was posted in Style

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