Step 3: Dress for Success

When choosing an outfit for your upcoming interview, be conservative! Don’t wear tight or revealing clothing, and do your best to cover up any tattoos or piercings, even if it’s allowed by the company’s dress code. Stick to appropriate attire, because the point of the interview is not to be remembered by your looks, but by the level of professionalism and the skills you have to offer.

Watch our video about professional dress or read the guidelines below in order to learn how to dress properly for your interview:

  • A tailored suit: Be sure the suit fits properly! There are places that will hem or tailor the suit to fit you precisely. If you choose to wear a skirt, be sure the length is at least to your knees. Appropriate suit colors include black, grey, or navy blue. If you want to add some color, do so by choosing to wear a brighter colored blouse or dress shirt. Lastly, be sure your suit is ironed. Wrinkles don’t make a good impression. Don't know how to use an iron? Learn how.
  • Tie: If you choose to wear a traditional tie or bowtie, be sure it coordinates with the rest of your outfit. Here's a quick video with tips.
  • Shoes: Dress shoes or flats are a perfect choice, but be sure to shine or polish them if necessary. If you prefer heels, choose a moderate pair. Make sure you can walk comfortably in your shoes before the day of the interview.
  • Jewelry: Limit yourself to two pieces or less. Avoid any jewelry that is noisy and distracting. Remove any ear, face, or tongue piercings prior to the interview.
  • Hair: If your hair is short, make sure it’s neat. If your hair is long, pull it back and away from your face, preferably in a ponytail. Any facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Makeup: If you choose to wear any, use soft and natural shades.
  • Nails: Should be short, neat, and clean. Remove any chipped nail polish if need be.
  • Wear deodorant or antiperspirant: Do NOT wear any perfume or cologne. The smell of either of these may be offensive to your interviewer, best not to take any chances.

Polish your look

  • Get opinions from a professional audience about your interview outfit. Be sure to ask your parents, your grandparents, or any other professionals you know.
  • Being on time is always in style. Arriving late to your interview may hurt your chances at getting the job. If possible, drive to the interview location beforehand, time how long it takes to get there (allow for traffic if necessary), and stake out the parking situation.
  • Don’t smoke before the interview. You don’t want them to smell you before they see you!
  • Bring a leather padfolio with several crisp copies of your resume, your business cards, a notepad, and pens.