Is it OK to Wear Jeans to a Job Interview?

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May 7, 2020
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min read

How you dress for an interview affects the first impression you give to a company. In today's business world, things have become more casual. It's not uncommon to see managers and c-level executives wearing jeans.

But is it acceptable to wear jeans to an interview? It's not a simple yes or no answer. Below we will discuss when it might be appropriate to wear denim and when you should leave it in your closet.

Can you ask about a dress code for an interview?

You always want to make a good impression when you are interviewing. It may look bad if you ask if there is a dress code for your interview. We recommend erring on the side of caution and overdressing.

Even if the company's website says that they are casual or business casual you can never go wrong with an outfit that is professional. All pre-interview questions should be related to the position and your future career. Save asking about the dress code for when you get the job offer!

When can you wear jeans to an interview?

Women can get away with wearing jeans to a job interview easier than men can. There are dressier and neater jean options for women. A safe bet is a very dark wash of denim or a black pair. If you chose to wear denim like this, make sure they have a polished fit.  Men can also wear a dark or black pair of jeans with a blazer if they think it's appropriate.

Always wear a dressier top if you are wearing jeans for your interview. You can also pair them with dressy shoes and a blazer.

Wearing a jacket of some sort gives a more professional feel, even while still wearing jeans. Dressing the part can also help you feel more confident in the interview — a tip for anyone struggling with impostor syndrome.

Before choosing your attire, try to find out if the office has a dress code. Sometimes the company website will mention culture. If they are laid back and casual, your interview outfit could include jeans. 

Use what your past companies have said if you are interviewing in the same industry. Chose an outfit that you are confident in and love the way you look wearing. Candidates who feel good present themselves better.

When you can't wear jeans to a job interview

Recent college graduates should avoid jeans when they are interviewing. If you don't have much experience, you want to put your best foot forward.

One way to impress the interviewer is to dress professionally. You can never be overdressed.

If you are interviewing at a formal workplace, wearing a suit is your best option. You do not want to look too casual.

One way to ensure you are dressed properly is to play it safe with a suit, button-down shirt, and a tie. Women can wear suits or business dresses.

Even if the company's website says they have a business casual environment, you should stick to more formal attire. Think about wearing slacks or khaki pants as an alternative. If the office is more casual, you can leave the tie and jacket at home.

However, never wear a t-shirt to an interview. It's important that you still dress professionally even if you aren't wearing a suit.

Final thoughts on wearing jeans to an interview

Most people like the way they look in a great pair of jeans. Although it might be nice to wear them on your next job interview, make sure it's the right time for your favorite denim. Do a quick search on the company's website to decide if jeans would be appropriate.

You definitely want to avoid being too casual. It's always safer to dress more formally for a job interview. If you still need fashion help, turn to a mentor or good friend.

Regardless of what you decide to wear your, clothes should fit well and look neat. You never want to look like you just rolled out of bed.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should I consider when deciding if jeans are appropriate for a job interview?

When deciding if jeans are suitable for a job interview, consider the company culture, the industry standards, and the specific role you're applying for. Research the company's dress code policy and observe the attire of current employees if possible. For creative or tech industries, smart casual attire including dark, well-fitted jeans might be acceptable, whereas for more formal sectors like finance or law, traditional business attire is typically expected.

How can I style jeans for a job interview to make them look more professional?

If you choose to wear jeans to a job interview, opt for a dark wash with a straight or slim fit, free of any rips or heavy distressing. Pair them with a tailored blazer, a crisp button-down shirt, or a smart blouse to elevate the look. Finish with clean, closed-toe shoes and minimal accessories to keep the outfit polished and professional.

Are there any types of job interviews where wearing jeans is a definite no?

Yes, there are certain job interviews where wearing jeans would be inappropriate. Interviews for positions in corporate environments, law firms, banks, and other traditional industries typically require formal business attire. Additionally, any interview that specifies a dress code beforehand should be adhered to strictly, and jeans would not be suitable if formal wear is requested.

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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