Interviewing 101: Dressing for Success

First impressions matter. Before you head out to your next interview, spend time thinking about what you’ll wear. No matter what kind of job you’re applying for, you should always err on the conservative side. Put together one interview outfit consisting of a suit, shirt, shoes and jewelry, and wear it for every interview.  It’s better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

Need to snag some inexpensive interview attire? Get in touch with your local Goodwill to find out about voucher or other assistance programs that may be available in your area. If you already have some pieces in your wardrobe, stop by your nearest Goodwill store to complete your outfit. While pricing varies by location, you can usually get a two-piece suit for $10-20. 

Interview Attire for men

  • Business suit in dark blue or gray
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Black lace-up shoes and black socks
  • Conservative jewelry
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Interview Attire for women

  • Suit in navy, gray, black, or camel
  • Hem no shorter than the knee
  • Polished shoes with a low heel
  • Long-sleeved blouse; no sheer fabrics or low necklines
  • Conservative jewelry
  • Functional hair jewelry only
  • Portfolio or briefcase

What NOT to Wear: The Interview Edition

  • Avoid extreme hairstyles in interview settings.
  • Sportswear is too casual for an interview — you’re best to keep it on the court!
  • Women should keep jewelry and other accessories at a minimum.
  • Bright, clashing colors make this outfit a no-go for his next job interview.
  • Tank tops are too revealing for the office, and ripped jeans give the wrong impression.
  • Hawaiian shirts are fun, but the patterns and colors are a little too flamboyant for an interview setting.

Personal Grooming Suggestions to Consider

  • Do not wear perfume or cologne.
  • Hair should be neat and conservative.
  • Fingernails should be clean and manicured.
  • Women: Wear natural-looking makeup.
  • Women: Fingernail polish should be a conservative color.

Additional Appearance Guidelines

  • Shoes must be polished.
  • Keep all jewelry conservative.
  • Do not wear sunglasses indoors.
  • Do not wear hats indoors.