How to Dress Your Best for a Job Interview

Wednesday, June 12, 2024
A woman choosing her clothing for an interview.

Congratulations on securing a job interview! It's crucial to make a great first impression, and choosing the right attire is key. Here are some essential tips to help you select the perfect outfit for your important day.

When it comes to choosing your apparel, here are some general guidelines to follow:

Match your look to the hiring company or career field

You may have already done some research on the company you are interviewing with, including its products and/or services offered to consumers. However, exploring existing employees can also be advantageous. By reviewing the company’s social media pages or browsing through their employee directory, you can gain insights into the expected dress code. Look for individuals in similar positions to the one you are applying for and consider emulating their professional style for your interview. If you have connections within the company, don't hesitate to reach out and ask for any helpful tips.

If you can’t find a dress code for the hiring company, consider researching the typical attire in your desired career field. Professionals in finance often lean towards neutral colors like gray, black, and beige. On the other hand, those in fashion or childcare roles may have a more diverse color palette or a preference for creative patterns.

Avoid wrinkled clothing

There is no requirement to purchase new clothes for an interview, but it is important to ensure that your attire is clean, pressed, and free of wrinkles. For advice on getting rid of clothing wrinkles, check out this blog. Another option is to take your clothes to a dry cleaner for professional care.

Check your clothing for defects

Ensure that the items you choose from your wardrobe or purchase are free of holes, animal hair, or overpowering scents. It's important to consider any potential allergies or sensitivities that your prospective employers may have. The goal is to have the hiring manager focus on your qualifications, without any unnecessary distractions.

Dress with confidence and comfort

It’s important to not only consider the dress code of the company you are hiring for, but what will make you feel your very best! Avoid outfits that might make you feel self-conscious, that you know you will be tugging on and readjusting during the entire interview. You want to give the hiring employer your undivided attention, and you want the same in return. Outfits that might be considered revealing, or overly showy with logos and statements, will make it difficult for both parties to interact comfortably.

Match your clothes to the weather

Make sure to dress for comfort in different weather conditions. If it's hot outside, you might opt for a short-sleeved top and bring a cardigan for indoor use. For interviews during colder seasons, keep in mind that you may want to remove winter coats and layers once indoors. If rain is expected, don't risk it - bring an umbrella or raincoat to protect your prepared outfit.


Dress for Success offers a variety of job search tools for career-seeking individuals, including assistance with professional attire. Clients are invited to work with a personal shopper to select an outfit for their upcoming interviews. Once they’ve been offered a job, they can return to Dress for Success to choose a week’s worth of professional clothing. Learn more about their services.

While clothing is a major part of your interview look, there are other aspects of your appearance to consider as well. Keep reading for what else you can do to be prepared and feel confident going into your interview.

Check Tattoo Policies

Review the company's policies or guidelines regarding tattoos. If unsure, it's best to conceal any visible tattoos for added caution.

Minimize accessories and makeup

As previously stated, during an interview, it is important to showcase your qualifications and minimize any potential distractions. While subtle earrings or simple jewelry are acceptable, avoid wearing large, bulky pieces that could create noise or divert attention away from you and your interview pitch.

When it comes to hair and makeup, it's best to keep things simple and let your sparkling personality shine through. Having a hairstyle that effectively tucks away loose strands from your face will help you avoid the urge to continually fiddle with it and shift your focus from the employer. It’s also advisable to steer clear of new cosmetics that may cause undesirable skin reactions.


If you’re interested in professional and affordable cosmetic services for your big day, check out the Gateway Student Salon. Services are provided by GateWay students under instructor supervision. For locations and a full list of services provided, check out the Gateway Student Salon page.

Final Consideration: Virtual Interviews

There should be minimal differences between your in-person and online appearance. Approach a virtual interview as if it were face-to-face. Even though they may only see a smaller, possibly more pixelated version of you, it's important to bring a positive visual impression. 

Ensure that you have a professional-looking background. Opt for a room with minimal decor or a plain wall, or utilize a subtle filter on the interview video platform (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google video conferencing, etc.). Steer clear of backgrounds with any form of movement, whether virtual or live, such as ceiling fans. These distractions can take the employer's attention away from focusing on you.


Proper attire for your interview depends on the organization and role you're seeking, as well as what makes you feel most confident. Planning in advance will prevent any last-minute wardrobe dilemmas, so it's best to start preparing as soon as possible!