The Best Outfits for Job Interviews

office attire

Ashley DeLeon

What's the best outfit to wear to a job interview? The answer will vary depending on the type of job and company you're interviewing with. You always want to dress to make the best impression, but the outfit you choose depends on whether you're interviewing at a company with a formal dress code, at a casual startup, or for an informal summer job or internship.

Dressing appropriately is important because the first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing.

If you wear a suit to an interview for a camp counselor, or a T-shirt to an interview at a bank, it'll send the message that you don't truly understand what's involved in the role. 

Find out what to wear (and what not to wear) for interviews at every type of company: 

Professional / Business Interview Attire

Business man and woman using a digital tablet and having a meeting, coworkers
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Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire.

For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down. For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate.

You can also incorporate some modern style trends into your outfit. All interviewees should consider color when selecting an interview outfit and avoid wearing anything too bright or flashy that will distract the hiring manager.

Interview Outfits for Women

Woman leaving job interview

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The more important thing to consider when you're dressing for a job interview is that you should look professional and polished regardless of the type of position you're seeking.

Even though your interview attire depends on the role you're applying for, no matter what the position, you should go to the interview looking neat, tidy, and well-dressed. Here's how to make the best impression at every interview you go on.

Interview Outfits for Men

Businesswoman welcoming man to meeting
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It can be challenging to put a professional interview outfit together. Here are some basic tips for men on how to dress for an interview, including what colors to wear, whether to wear a tie (and what kind), and more.

Non-Professional / Business Casual Interview Attire

Group of business people working on computer
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If you have a job interview in a more informal work environment, you might wear a business casual outfit. Business casual outfits are less formal than a suit, but they are also more professional and polished than, say, a T-shirt and shorts or a sundress and sandals.

Of course, make sure you know the dress code before you assume that business casual is acceptable. If you aren’t sure, call the office and ask the administrative coordinator, or contact the person who scheduled the interview and ask them for advice.

Always dress a bit more professionally than the average employee at the company. If everyone is wearing shorts and T-shirts, for example, you might wear khakis and a Polo shirt or button-down.

Casual Interview Attire

Start-up Team
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If you have an interview at a startup company, nix the head-to-toe formal business attire. You want to look appropriate and professional, but not too formal.

Rather than showing up in a black suit and dress shoes, opt for something that is relaxed but still presentable: relaxed-fit khakis, dark-wash jeans, and a nice top, for example.

College Job Interview Attire

College students
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Make sure to dress professionally when interviewing for a professional job or internship as a college student. It'll show that you'll know how to behave in a professional manner if you're hired. 

Less formal attire is acceptable when interviewing for campus jobs and more informal workplace jobs. However, you still want to dress professionally for most positions, even if they are entry-level. Review these tips for college women and college men on what to wear to an interview, as well as what to wear for an interview for an internship

Internship Interview Attire

Young woman using a smartphone
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Internships are an important part of career development, and as with any job, acing your interview is one part of getting the position you want. Making a great first impression–coming across as polished, professional, and attentive–is important when it comes to your internship search.

Here's what to wear for an internship interview based on whether the company environment is formal, casual, or somewhere in between.

Summer Job Interview Attire

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Are you interviewing for a summer job? Typically, these jobs are more casual and do not require professional attire. You can skip the suit. However, you still want to look polished and professional.

Here are tips on what to wear to make the best impression, including interview attire for male and female applicants, what to bring with you, and how to dress for a casual interview.

Warm Weather Interview Attire

Two women at a job interview

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Do you have an interview in the hot summer months? There are a few things you can do to look professional but still feel cool in a job interview.

Review tips on what to wear for a warm-weather interview depending on the work environment and type of job.

How to Choose Interview Accessories

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When wearing accessories to an interview, less is more. Choose accessories that will enhance your interview attire, not overwhelm it. 

Best Job Interview Hairstyles

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There are lots of ways to style your hair for a job interview. While some options are trendy and others are more traditional, remember that your hairstyle should not distract the employer. You will want your hair to be professional and polished, like your entire outfit.

Here are the best job interview hairstyles for short, medium-length, and long hair. 

How to Do Your Makeup for a Job Interview

Woman holding cell phone applying lipstick
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Like your hair, your makeup should not distract the interviewer. This is not the time for bold lipstick or a glittery eye shadow. Instead, keep makeup subtle and unobtrusive. 

Check out these interview makeup do's and don'ts before you get ready to interview.

What Not to Wear on an Interview

Business woman interviewing another woman
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When you are dressing for a job interview, image really is everything (or most of it). An unprofessional outfit can distract an interviewer from seeing your great qualities.

Here's what not to wear when you are interviewing for a new job.

Article Sources

  1. CareerOneStop. "Dress for Success." Accessed Feb. 19, 2020.