What to Wear to an Interview: A Fashion Guide for Women

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Sep 21, 2018

Sep 21, 2018 • by Rebecca Smith

Within the first few seconds of meeting, you and another person will have made fairly accurate judgments of one another.

You have an important job interview on the horizon, but you are wondering how you can make the most of those first moments.

You want to make the best first impression. How do you dress fashionably but conservatively for a job interview? If you're interested in finding out what to wear to an interview, here is a guide to help you make the best impression.

Play to Your Strengths

When you walk into that interview, you want to exude confidence. You will need to feel confident in whatever you choose to wear.

Think about the color palettes that make you feel most capable. If you hate the color red, don't wear it. If blue makes you feel at ease, consider wearing a blue blouse or suit jacket.

Not everyone feels comfortable in a dress or a pencil skirt. You may find that you feel more comfortable in a sleek pair of trousers and a blazer. Confidence will come easier if you are comfortable.

Give yourself and your cat a little fashion show. Before your interview, try on a few different outfits. This will help you find some of those strengths.

Keep in mind any dress codes you need to follow. If you are explicitly told not to wear jeans, don't wear jeans.

Button Down Shirts

Don't be afraid of a simple button-down shirt. These can offer an opportunity to accent and experiment with color. Try pairing a yellow button-down shirt with a more muted tweed blazer.

Try to keep your choices modest. Avoid revealing any cleavage. Have some fun here by experimenting with different fabrics and colors.

The World of Sweaters and Cardigans

Sweaters and cardigans are great ways to dress down any formal look. This can be a great option if you are shooting for something more business casual.

If you know your interview will be a little less formal, a sweater can be a great way to tone down an outfit.

The key here is to be mindful of the setting. Do some research to find out the typical dress code of the company with whom you're interviewing.

Skirts and Dresses

Wearing a skirt or a dress can be an opportunity to be a little more formal with the occasion. You can experiment with cuts and colors, but remember to keep it tasteful.

You should stay away from dresses that are too short or have a revealing neckline. If you choose a skirt, you can pair it with a matching suit jacket.

Accessorizing

Remember that you are going to a job interview and not a masquerade. When choosing what to wear to an interview, it can be easy to go overboard. You do not need to be glistening from head to toe with diamonds.

Jewelry

When it comes to accessories, a little can go a long way. You should avoid any large, distracting pieces of jewelry. This means no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets.

If you have any doubts, no jewelry is always better than excessive jewelry.

It is always best to err on the side of caution. Although you want to stand out from the crowd, you also don't want to blind your interviewer.

Additionally, you should remain light handed on the perfume.

Shoes

Shoes can make or break an ensemble. In an interview, you should stay clear of anything too ostentatious, like platforms or extremely high heels.

A heel in a neutral color, like black, always works well. If you do not enjoy wearing heels, you can always choose to wear a ballet flat, or something similar. In general, you will want to avoid flip-flops and sneakers.

Hair and Makeup

Try to stay true to who you are. Keep your hair simple.

Whether you like to wear your hair up or down, try to avoid any large clips or scrunchies.

The same goes for makeup and nail polish. Keep it light and natural.

What to Wear to an Interview: Getting Ready

The nuances of women's fashion are increasingly complicated. As a woman entering into the workforce, you want to be taken seriously.

The easiest way to be taken seriously is to have confidence.

If you dress more confidently, you will command the respect you deserve. Remember to have fun with it, though.

You don't want your personality to get swallowed up by the pressure to impress an interviewer. Be yourself.

Remember to Smile

A friendly face is much more approachable. Even if you are unsure about your choice of outfit, a smile can make you appear more confident.

Additionally, smiling will make you feel more confident.

Experiment a Little

Getting dressed in the morning should be exciting. It's your chance to show off your favorite features and make an impression.

Don't be afraid to get a little daring with color combinations and patterns.

You want to get noticed but in a good way. Stay away from any clothing items that might be too revealing or ostentatious. Bright, flowery garments might work against you.

Try new things confidently. Before an important interview, wear a potential outfit out to buy groceries. Take note of how others respond.

Fake It Until You Make It

Maybe you aren't a fashionista, but your skills are many and refined. You may be worried about what to wear to an interview.

First, remember that confidence is key. Even if you are unsure about a particular choice, don't let anyone know that. The clothes you wear to an interview may have a huge impact on the outcome. You'll want to dress confidently and be yourself.

If you enjoyed this guide, explore our site for more advice as you jumpstart your new career.