What Should You Not Wear to a Job Interview?

Calendar Icon
May 4, 2020
Edited by
Clock Icon
min read

The first decision you have to make before an interview is, what should you wear? Below we will focus on what you should avoid wearing and some tips on the best options when it comes to picking out your interview outfit.

What should you wear to a job interview?

Obviously, candidates want to make a good first impression when they are interviewing. It's best to err on the side of caution and look like a professional.

Even if the office has a casual environment, it's a good idea to overdress for your interview. Make sure you pick a simple yet clean outfit that you feel comfortable and good in.

Both men and women can wear a suit to a job interview. However, it's not always necessary. Here are some examples of appropriate business attire for both men and women.

Tips for what a man should wear to an interview

  • A black or dark-colored suit
  • Use your judgment when it comes to wearing a tie
  • Dress pants and a blazer
  • A sweater in a muted or dark color with nice pants

Advice for what a woman should wear to a job interview

  • A suit
  • Business dress with a sweater or jacket
  • Dress pants and a nice shirt
  • A simple skirt with a clean shirt

Choose clothing that matches your personality and fits your body type. You want to give off a positive appearance without dressing too flashy.

If you could wear it to a social event, is it right for an interview? Everyone feels good in a great outfit, so search for something that makes you feel like the hiring manager should hire you.

What should you not wear on a job interview

You want to get your interview outfit just right, so make sure your attire is not what the interviewer remembers most about you.

Think about clothing you look good in and also what makes you feel good. Here are some items you should avoid wearing to your next job interview.

  • Bright colors
  • Shirts that have slogans or phrases on them
  • Clothes that do not fit you well
  • Clothing or shoes with rips or tears
  • Ripped jeans
  • Shorts
  • Clothing that might be too revealing or short

Your interview outfit shouldn't be distracting to those conducting the interview. If it's your first time at the company, avoid wearing jeans. While denim has become acceptable, some offices still frown upon it.

Take notice of what the other employees are wearing. This will help you decide what to wear to follow-up meetings.

Your style says a lot about the person you are. Find outfits that are polished but still let people see your personality. If you have visible tattoos, you may want to cover them as much as possible during your first interview.

Women should avoid wearing heels that are too high and hard to walk in. Your makeup should also be subtle.

Final thoughts on what to avoid wearing to a job interview

Make sure your outfit is professional and also one that you look good in. If you are going to get a new outfit, keep it simple and something you would expect a candidate to wear. If you are unsure, ask a friend for their opinion on your outfit.

Show them a few options since you may have more than one interview. Don't overthink it though.

At the end of the day, you know how a professional should look when interviewing. If you follow these tips, you will be looking your best at your new job in no time!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can wearing too much perfume or cologne negatively impact my job interview?

Yes, it's advisable to avoid wearing strong scents to a job interview. Overpowering perfume or cologne can be distracting or even cause discomfort to the interviewer, especially if they have allergies or sensitivities. Stick to minimal or no fragrance to maintain a professional impression.

Is it appropriate to wear casual shoes, like sneakers, to a job interview?

Generally, casual shoes such as sneakers are not recommended for job interviews. Opt for clean, polished, and professional footwear like dress shoes or conservative flats. Your choice of shoes should complement your outfit and not detract from the professional image you aim to project.

How do I choose the right colors for my interview attire?

When selecting colors for your interview outfit, aim for neutral or subdued tones such as navy, gray, black, or beige. These colors convey professionalism and are less likely to be distracting. Bright and loud colors can be perceived as unprofessional, so it's best to save them for less formal occasions.

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.

We help you find
the career dream.