What To Wear To A Job Interview In 2022 | (For Men & Women)

You finally did it — you got a job interview. Your job search may be finally coming to an end. But now, the panic starts to set in. Not only will you have to prepare for challenging interview questions such as Why do you want to work here?” but you also need to figure out what you’re going to wear.

Now, the biggest thing to consider is where you’re interviewing at. A bank will be OK with business casual, but you wouldn’t want to go to a kid’s camp wearing a suit and tie.

Needless to say, choosing interview attire can be overwhelming and complicated. But we’re here to make it easy. Below, you will discover some of the best options for interview attire, whether you’re a woman interviewing to be a corporate manager or a man applying for a junior accountant position.

What To Wear To A Job Interview (For Men)

Regardless of where you’re interviewing, the goal is to make a great first impression. And yes, the first thing the hiring manager will look at is your clothing. If you look absurd or unprofessional, you might lose the potential new job before you even open your mouth.

That is why interview clothing is critical. You don’t want to be over-the-top with loud colors, but you also don’t want to look overqualified for the job.

In most cases, business casual is going to be your best bet. It’s right in the middle of being overdressed and underdressed and will work for almost every situation.

Remember: if you’re going somewhere fancier or laidback, you can always dress these looks up or down to accommodate. If you’re ever unsure, don’t hesitate to call and ask for the dress code to make sure you get it right.

— Long-Sleeve Collared Shirt

A long-sleeved shirt will always be more professional than a short-sleeved option. Collars are also essential as they show a sense of classiness and professionalism that all businesses will appreciate.

Colorwise, you have options. It’s best to go with a neutral shade that isn’t too dark or light. For example, navy blue is a great pick for business formal, while a light blue or pale white can work in casual dress establishments.

Make it formal: Cover your long-sleeve collared shirt with a suit jacket.

Make it casual: A polo shirt or dress shirt will work fine, but make sure it has a collar.

— Dress Pants

A pair of chinos, trousers, or khakis are excellent choices for a business casual outfit. Stay away from jeans, even if the company culture is informal. Although they may allow jeans when you’re employed, you should always dress a tad more formally than the current employees.

— Light Shoes With Matching Belt

Create a streamlined interview outfit by ensuring your shoes match your belt. A light pair of brown oxfords or leather shoes with a matching brown belt will always create a professional style that works well in virtually any company, from high-end offices to small start-ups.

— Wear A Tie Darker Than Your Shirt

 The tie is going to pull your look together. But that doesn’t mean you should go with bright colors that pop out at the hiring manager. Instead, opt for a tie that’s darker than your button-down shirt.

What To Wear To A Job Interview (For Women)

When it comes to women’s interview attire, the same rules apply. Don’t wear anything that’s ultra flashy or shows too much skin, such as a low-cut top. Opt for professionalism and a sleek look from head to toe. Here are some tips to get it right.

Not sure what the work environment is like? Again, you can call the employer to discover the company dress code, so you don’t look under or overqualified. You can also check the company website to see what employees are wearing and go from there.

— Professional Top

A solid-color blouse or button-down shirt is going to be your best option. A higher neckline is recommended over something low-cut.

If you prefer to wear a dress, that’s fine too. Make sure that the top or dress is long enough. Opt for neutral colors, such as navy blue or light blue.

Make it formal: Wear a blazer or tight-fitting jacket over your top or dress to create a formal interview outfit.

Make it casual: Interviewing at a casual company? Throwing a cardigan over your look is 100% professional and comfortable.

— Dress Pants

Dress pants are a good option for an interview. The dress pants should match effortlessly with your blouse or button-down shirt. You also have the option of going with a pantsuit, which comes with a matching pair of dress pants and jacket or blazer for a smart casual appearance. This makes your look standout at business-like and professional without worrying about mismatching.

Not a fan of pants and prefer something a bit more trendy? Pencil skirts can be just as professional as dress pants, whether a casual interview at a local hot spot or something more elite. Skirts (and dresses) should always be knee-length or lower.

— Closed-Toe Shoes

It’s best to avoid open toes unless you’re sure the company dress code will allow it. The safer option is to wear closed-toe shoes. You can wear flats, loafers, dress shoes, or heels. Be careful with heels, though. Heels should never be taller than 3.5-inches.

— Accessorise With A Leather Bag

Complete your job interview outfit with a few subtle accessories. For example, a nice pair of earrings and a simple necklace are great options for formal attire. A leather bag is a superior pick if you’re bringing a purse along for the ride. Leather bags have an err of masterfulness that will complete your job interview attire.

What Not To Wear To A Job Interview

By now, you pretty much know what you’re going to wear at your next job interview. But there might be a garment or accessory that you’re unsure about. Well, just as there are many interview tips for what to wear to a job interview, there are just as many tips for what not to wear. Essentially, avoid these like the plague:

  • Flip-Flops. It’s pretty clear why flip-flops shouldn’t be worn at a job interview. They are far too casual, not to mention they can be sloppy, noisy, and overall unbecoming. Do not wear flip-flops, even if you’re applying to be a lifeguard.
  • T-Shirt. Again, it all comes down to being overly casual. Show the hiring manager you really want the job and can look the part by avoiding any outfits that promote a way too casual look.
  • Bright colors. Some businesses like to see a bit of personality, so adding some color can be OK. But going with extremely flashy and bright colors from head to toe is unprofessional. Try to keep colors neutral at all times and make sure your garments are matching.
  • Too much scent. Yes, you should spritz some cologne/perfume before your interview to smell good. But it shouldn’t knock the recruiter off of their seat. Keep it minimal. Don’t bathe yourself in your favorite fragrances.
  • Too much skin. This goes for men and women. Make sure your interview attire fits appropriately, and there is no skin showing whether you’re standing or sitting down. Try on your outfit beforehand to make sure it fits comfortably and covers your body in different positions.
  • Too much makeup. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup, but it shoulder flatter — not overwhelm — your face. So, unless you’re interviewing to be a face painter, try to keep your makeup to a minimum.
  • Stained/Distressed clothing. When it comes to job interview attire, the goal is to look your best and be professional as possible. Double-check your look for stains and holes. Even items with minor marks should not be worn to your next job interview.
  • Messy hair/face. Men and women should ensure their hair looks good and is appropriately groomed. Don’t show up with a dirty face, either. Men should pay extra close attention to their beard, mustache, or other facial hair. A quick trim and grooming are recommended.

Strategies To Improve Your Chances Of Getting Hired

You’ve nailed your application and cover letter, and you’re confident the hiring manager will approve of your interview outfit. What now? Is that all you need to think about? Nope. Job interviews are all about strategy, and here are some added ways to enhance your technique and improve your chances of getting hired:

  • Prepare. You know you’re going to be asked some tough questions during the interview. The best thing to do is prepare for them. Search for common interview questions and rehearse your responses with a trusted friend or family member.
  • Ask questions. Yes, you should always ask the interviewer questions. This shows a keen interest in the job and company, and recruiters like to see that.
  • Know the job and company. Do your research before the interview date comes. Knowing the ins and outs of the job and company will prove that you really care about the position and aren’t just looking to make a few bucks before walking away.
  • Act professional and confident. It’s not just about looking the part, but acting the part, too. Confidence goes a long way in all areas of life, including interviews. Make sure you’re smiling and speaking in a clear voice that’s not too loud or low.
  • Prove your worth. How will you benefit the company? That’s really what it comes down to. Stick to why you should be a part of the team and let the recruiter know.
  • Follow-up. Has it been a few days since the interview? While you don’t want to contact them and be annoying relentlessly, there is nothing wrong with sending a quick “Thank you” note to the hiring manager. This shows that you’re still interested and want the position, and you’re not giving up.

The Bottom Line

Your interview attire is the first impression at a job interview. It can go well or not so great. As long as you focus on creating a professional look, i.e., a long-sleeved collared shirt and dress pants for men and a pantsuit or pencil skirt, blouse, and blazer for women — you should make a great first impression. Remember not to look the part, but act it, too. Be confident in yourself and prepare beforehand to finally end your job search for good.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I wear to an interview for a job as a retail manager?

Interview clothing for a retail management position shouldn’t be too far off from the attire listed above. For example, men should wear dress slacks, a button-down shirt, and a tie, while women can wear a pantsuit or wear something a little less formal like a knee-length skirt and blouse.

What should I wear to an interview if it is hot outside?

If it’s hot outside, try to find lighter interview clothing. For example, stay away from 100% cotton and heavy wool that can make you feel hotter and even make you sweat (which is a big no-no during a job interview). Choose thinner button-down shirts and pants. Women can wear knee-length dresses with thin hosiery.

Tip: Don’t get dressed until right before your interview. On the way to the interview, make sure you’re getting enough cold air (if possible). Avoid biking or walking to the interview. If you don’t have transportation, it may be best to go with a rideshare service like Uber.

What should I wear to an interview over Zoom?

Plenty of people are opting for Zoom interviews in this day and age, but that doesn’t mean you should slack on your interview attire. It may be even more important to nail your style over Zoom. But how?

You should stick to the same attire as above. Wear something that is business casual. While it might be tempting not to wear pants, please wear them. You never know if there will be video camera mishaps that end up revealing your pantless self. Save yourself the hassle and dress up from head to toe.

But don’t just think about the clothes themselves. Think about how the clothes will look over video chat. For example, you don’t want super busy patterns that will take away from the conversation. Make sure you have ample lighting and a neat and clean background, too.

Last but not least, make sure you’re adequately groomed! Since the recruiter will only see your hair, face, and top portion of your body, it’s essential to look your absolute best. Don’t slack on the grooming department just because you’re at home.