Job interviews are never easy, and it's true that the first impression is the most important. Whether you like it or not, your interviewer will begin to make assumptions about you the moment you walk in the door based on the women's clothing you're wearing. Luckily, you can make the best impression possible by following these tips about how to dress for your interview.
Prepare your outfit the night before. The last thing you want is to be rushed when you're getting dressed and ready for your interview. Get ready for the meeting in advance by laying out the clothes you're going to wear the night before. Make sure everything fits well and is clean and ironed. Check your shoes to make sure there aren't any scuffs. This way, you'll feel confident in your appearance and yourself when you leave the house, rather than rushing to find a pair of stockings without a run on your way out the door.
Research the company's dress code. Not all job interviews call for a pant suit. In fact, being overdressed can sometimes be just as detrimental as being underdressed. The best way to know how to dress for your job interview is to research the company's dress code and then dress to match or just surpass what employees wear to the office every day. For a formal workplace, a skirt suit is ideal, and you'll want to choose closed-toe shoes. A skirt and blouse are more appropriate for a business casual office. For a very casual workplace, plan on dressing up a little for the interview. A button-down shirt and pair of trousers or a skirt and cardigan are perfect. If you decide to wear open-toe shoes to an interview at a casual place, make sure your pedicure looks great.
Avoid anything too flashy. Unless you're interviewing for a job in the apparel industry, you want your resume to speak louder than your fashion choices. Avoid bold, bright patterns, chunky jewelry, and any other statement pieces that will take attention away from you and what you're saying. Instead, look for clothes in solid colors and classic cuts over bold patterns and trendy styles. The same goes for makeup and perfume. You don't want to overwhelm your interviewer, and some people are even allergic to fragrances; the subtler, the better. Once you're hired and you've gotten to know your new workplace a bit, you can bring your personal style back.
Take a second look before you leave the house. Sometimes you miss the little things, like lint on the back of your sleeve or a button you didn't fasten on your shirt. Once you're ready to go, take another look in the mirror and make sure everything is in proper order. Knowing you look your absolute best will boost your confidence and help you be at ease during your interview, not to mention save you from an embarrassing moment during your interview.
Looking for men's job interview outfit tips? Read our guide on how men can dress for success.
Published April 28, 2010
Updated April 1, 2015