10 Great Interview Outfits For Women | (2022 Trends)

People sitting and waiting for a job interview

Most people are well aware that the job interview outfit is the first impression for employers. That said, getting the call for a job interview can be overwhelming. What should you wear? More importantly, what shouldn’t you wear?

If the recruiter just gave you a jingle and requested you come in for an interview and you haven’t a clue what to wear, don’t panic — we’re here to help.

Below, you will find some of the very best interview outfits for women, regardless of whether the company loves business casual apparel or prefers a more structured, refined, and classic appearance.

Job Interview Outfit Basics

Performing a decent amount of research on the company and company culture is recommended before your job interview. That way, you can better understand what employees wear.

For example, a trendy boutique might prefer a laid-back, casual dress code with plenty of personal style, while a bank might require a professional look complete with a blazer.

However, regardless of the company culture, you should always present yourself professionally. Show up with clean clothes and your hair and makeup done nicely with a smile on your face.

More importantly, here’s what not to wear:

  • Any ill-fitting clothing. Even the most relaxed job opportunities don’t want you to show up in a pair of dark wash jeans that are way too baggy, a t-shirt that is three sizes too small, or low-cut tops that are far too showy.
  • Flip-flops/Sandals. The quickest way to nix that good impression is to show up in flip-flops or sandals. They are simply way too casual. Not to mention, most of these types of footwear make an impossibly annoying sound. No hiring manager wants to see or hear that!
  • Stained/Ripped clothing. If you don’t notice or don’t care about stains and rips on your clothing, how will you ever be a productive member of the company? Double-check your attire, front, and back, to spot even the faintest stains or rips.
  • Excessive makeup. Unless you’re applying to be a face painter or work at a makeup shop, I would highly recommend against overdoing makeup. Keep your makeup to a minimum, more natural look with neutral colors.
  • Too much perfume. No, you shouldn’t show up with a green fog hovering above your head. But you also shouldn’t smell like a fragrance bath. A squirt on the neck and wrists is all you need to be pleasant — not unbearable.
  • Piercings. Although some jobs won’t mind if you keep your piercings in, it’s best to show up without them — just in case.

Selecting Proper Interview Attire

A smartly dressed woman sitting at her computer

Certain situations will be trickier than others, especially if you find yourself in a Zoom interview or going to an incredibly upscale establishment. Here are a few tips for these uncertain situations:

— Video / Virtual Interview

When it comes to video interview attire, things get complicated. They’re not going to see your bottom half (most likely), but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should avoid wearing a nice pair of pants or a pencil skirt.

Put the main focus on your face and upper half. Don’t wear anything too busy or detailed, as this can overwhelm the camera. Pay extra close attention to your background, too. No hiring manager wants to see a messy or distracting background.

— Casual Interview

A casual interview can also be problematic. You don’t want to show up too fancy, but you also don’t want to look like you just crawled out of bed.

For a casual company culture, the best option is a pair of nice-fitting, dark wash jeans. You can pair it with a flowy blouse, especially if you opt for skinny jeans. You can also wear a regular t-shirt with a cardigan. Flats are perfectly fine for casual interviews.

— Formal Business Interview

Are you applying to be the head of a Fortune 500 company? You’ll need to head in the opposite direction and choose exceptionally formal interview clothes.

The best option is a conservative two-piece suit with a blazer and pencil knee-length skirt for these situations. You can also go with the classic women’s pantsuit. Stay away from bright and bold colors. Navy blue, black, and khaki tend to be the best options. Very low heels are the perfect pairing.

10 Examples Of Great Interview Outfits

A group of smartly dressed office workers smiling

Now that we’ve covered some of the less common interview outfits, it’s time to focus on the more prominent situation: business casual and business formal. Almost every company will be satisfied with a business casual look. Unfortunately, people squirm when they hear the term, not knowing what business casual actually is.

Well, that’s why we’ve created this must-see list of the ten best interview outfits to consider. There is something for everyone on this list, whether you prefer a more classic look or like to step out of the box while remaining businesslike and classy.

— Classic Black Dress With Tights

Black dresses aren’t just for date night; they’re helpful for business formal interviews, too. However, you’ll want to keep the LBD in the back of your closet — for now, anyway.

An interview dress should be cut either right above or below the knee. They should always be paired with tights for a more professional appearance. A higher neckline and chunky/longer sleeves also create a stunning look.

If your dress has tiny sleeves or is sleeveless, you can always toss a fancy blazer over your look.

— Button-Down Shirt & Dress Pants

The classic button-down shirt and dress pant combo is always an excellent option for any interview (male and female). This smart casual look is great, but if you choose a lighter color, make sure that it isn’t see-through and shows your undergarments underneath.

— Patterned Blouse & Black Pencil Skirt

For some people, neutral colors and boring pantsuits won’t cut it. If you want to add some pizazz to your interview wardrobe without “crossing the line,” you can opt for a decorated blouse paired with a pencil skirt.

— Pantsuit Or Two-Piece Skirt Suit

Women of power are seen repeatedly in suits designed for women. Think: Hilary Clinton, Kamala Harris, and even celeb superstars like Zendaya and Julia Roberts. What do these extraordinary ladies have in common? Success.

There is something so undeniably professional about a suit. So, if you’re looking for business attire to wear to your next business formal interview, consider a pantsuit or conservative two-piece skirt suit.

The colors can vary, depending on where you’re going. As mentioned earlier, an incredibly formal establishment will cater to neutral colors. If the place is casual, you can get away with fun colors like lavender, pink, and white.

— Sweater & Midi Skirt

If you want to channel your inner Pam Beesly, consider her classic sweat and midi skirt look for your upcoming interview. This trendier and more stylish combo works best in business casual situations than business formal.

Your sweaters can have some fun yet professional detailing on them. Just make sure that your lower half is in a neutral color to offset the design.

— Bold Dress

When it comes to your interview dress, don’t think you’re stuck with the classic black piece. You can opt for knee-length dresses that have dominant and bold colors, such as:

  • Red: The most dominant color on the spectrum. Showing up in a deep red dress is a power play that will make you stand out effortlessly — no jewelry or other zhuzh required.
  • Blue: Undeniably the most visible option, a royal blue dress is not only complementing but will set you apart from the competition.
  • Yellow: Yellow is a color that shows energy. So, if you want to look like the next busy bee of the office that will get things done right and on time, consider a bright yellow dress.

— Collared Shirts & High-Waisted Pants

Snazzy collared shirts can work well with high-waisted pants and a belt to cinch at the waist. This is a fashion-forward option, but it is undeniably businesslike and ready to take on any interview challenge, from simple startup companies to worldwide networks.

Just make sure that your collared shirts are tucked into your high-waisted pants. Otherwise, this one-fancy attire can appear sloppy and lousy.

— Shirt, Cardigan, & Cropped Pants

If you’ve done your research and are confident that your next interview takes place in a casual to business casual location, this is the look for you.

There are limitless possibilities with this combo. However, the structure remains the same.

Start with dress shirts in neutral colors. Cover with a cardigan that complements the garment underneath. Finish off with cropped pants that hit just slightly above the ankle. Cropped pants provide a more relaxed look while still maintaining professionals.

— Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits have recently hit the scene, and there’s a wide range of options to choose from. That said, you have to be extra picky when finding a jumpsuit for an interview.

The jumpsuit needs to be professional and fit well (think: Jessica Alba in that black number).

Pair the jumpsuit with some low to mid-height heels for the best finish.

Bonus Tip: Jewelry

While we have the interview attire out of the way, one thing that can still cause some confusion is which jewelry to accessorize with. The basic rule of thumb is this: you want to be assertive during the interview, but your jewelry should be the most assertive thing about you.

That said, it’s best to stay sleek and simple with your accessories. A pair of earrings — studs or otherwise small in stature — is perfectly fine. The earrings can be paired with a complementing, small-scale necklace. Avoid stacking necklaces as this can be garish and distracting for a hiring manager.

It’s also best to avoid multiple bracelets, too. While a single bracelet can work for your outfit, wearing more than one will cause excessive and annoying clinking. This will take away from the interview, as the recruiter struggles to hear you speaking over the jingling of bracelets.

The Bottom Line

Finding an interview outfit can be challenging, if not entirely overwhelming. But with this list on your side, you can conquer any interview without question — whether it’s a business casual, business formal, casual, or formal business.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should a female absolutely not wear for an interview?

Females should absolutely avoid wearing anything too showy. While it’s okay to show off your curves in a professional and classy manner, wearing clothing that is too tight, too low-cut, or shows off your undergarments are absolute no-nos.

What is the best outfit for a woman to wear to an interview?

While all of the options on our top ten list are considered excellent choices, you can’t go wrong in any situation with the button-down shirt and dress pants combo. It’s snazzy yet not too formal or informal to cater to different types of businesses.