Interview Attire: What To Wear & Not to Wear to a Job Interview 

Male in suit at job interview

If you’ve been invited to a job interview, your resume and cover letter have already sold your experience. A company is interested in hiring you. Great work! 


Now, you’re on to the interview, and it’s time to put your best foot forward to explain why you are the right person for the job. That means showing up with the right attitude, energy, and interview attire.  


Let’s look at what you can wear to an interview to make sure your personality, professionalism, and experience stand out — not your clothes — so you get the job.  


What to Wear to a Job Interview  

When it comes to interview attire, you can’t go wrong with sticking to the classics. Even when interviewing for a casual job or company, you will always look professional with any of these clothing options.  


  • Suit  
  • Shirt and tie  
  • Blazer 
  • Dress pants 
  • Dress 
  • Blouse  
  • Dress shoes 


As you choose interview clothes, don’t equate expensive with professional. You don’t have to break the bank to look polished. Simply choose the right styles, and avoid the following interview attire mistakes. 


What Not To Wear to a Job Interview  

When you go to a job interview, you want to stand out — not your clothes. Avoid wearing items that shift the focus of the interview from you to your distracting, inappropriate, or unprofessional appearance. Don’t wear any of these items to a job interview.  


Shorts: Living in a warm climate like Florida doesn’t make wearing shorts (or short skirts) to a job interview acceptable. Even dressier, bermuda-style shorts aren’t appropriate for job interviews. Stick with dress pants.  


Flip-flops or sneakers: Interview attire includes what you wear from head to toe. Leave the sneakers and flip-flops at home. Opt for dress shoes, and take time to clean or polish them before your interview so you look even more competent and professional.  


T-shirts: Even if you’re interviewing at a “cool and casual” company, avoid wearing a t-shirt to your interview. (This includes wearing one under a blazer.) Once you begin working at a relaxed organization, you may be able to opt for more casual clothes (if it’s part of the company culture and standards), but keep it professional until you land the job.   


Strong scents: Choosing what to wear to an interview goes beyond clothing choices. Also consider the scents that you bring into the meeting. Avoid using any personal products with a strong odor, and don’t put on any perfume or cologne before your interview.  


Half an outfit: If you have a virtual on-screen interview, you might think you can get away with just dressing the part on the top half of your body. But, don’t opt for sweatpants on the bottom and a dress shirt on top. It could be very embarrassing and unprofessional if you need to stand up and expose your sweatpants or loungewear.  

Related: 9 Ways To Nail Your Next Remote Job Interview 


Anything distracting: The reason you want to pick the right interview attire is because you want the interviewer to focus on you, not your clothes. Choose clothing that won’t distract the interviewer from listening to what you have to say. Avoid distractions such as:  


  • Large, statement jewelry  
  • Too much makeup  
  • Exposed tattoos  
  • Body jewelry 
  • Clothes that are too tight  
  • Flashy patterns or colors  


Something uncomfortable: Just as you don’t want the interviewer to be distracted, you don’t want to be preoccupied during an interview. Avoid ill-fitting, itchy, or uncomfortable clothing that may cause you to be more focused on what you are wearing than what is happening during the interview.  


Related: How to Update Your LinkedIn Profile When Looking for a Job 


Get Tips for Interview Attire and More  

Choosing the right interview attire is just one decision that can help you on your journey to a new job. For more tips about how to change careers, find the right job, land an interview, and get hired, use resources from CareerSource Central Florida.  


We offer career seeker services such as workshops, training programs, and one-on-one coaching to help you manage your next career move. See how we can help you on your professional journey. Request your appointment today.