How Not to Dress for a Job Interview

Attending interviews can be a pain-staking process, which we’ve all had to endure at some point or another. There especially comes a period in most people’s lives, when they will attend job interview after job interview, to no avail. This is especially true now, more than ever, with the recession, as competition for jobs are even higher. So, how do you maximise your chances? Easy. Always, give off a sterling first impression… and how do you do that? Simple don’t dress incorrectly!

What you wear to a job interview is a visual representative statement of who you are. In other words, dress scruffy to a job interview and you will connote thoughts of laziness & tardiness, and on the other hand, put time and effort into selecting your attire and you will demonstrate that you are an intelligent worker with a lot to offer.

Choosing what to Wear

When you choose what to wear, you should be thinking about it according to the role of the job you are actually being interviewed for. For example, there is no point dressing in a tuxedo for a job in IT, and it would be foolish just to wear an open-necked shirt for a job interview in the government sector. Think about the role you are applying for, what it means and what it requires – then make yourself look like you’ve put effort into trying to impress them on top of that.

What Not to Wear

There are definitely faux-pas of interview attire. If you walk into the room when you are being interviewed and heads turn for the wrong reasons, you are in trouble. Here is a quick list of things you probably shouldn’t wear under most circumstances:

  • T-Shirts
  • Crazy coloured outfits / patterns
  • Outlandish attire
  • Jogging/ Sweat pants
  • Hoodies
  • Old, dirty trainers
  • Trainers in general
  • Anything with dirt on it (old jackets etc)
  • Body piercings
  • Eye-catching jewellery
  • Open toe sandals

What to Wear

credit: JonoMueller


The common practice for men is to wear a suit to an interview. The suit should be black, grey or blue – avoid outlandish colours. This will be accompanied by a belt, tie and a shirt which has long sleeves. The colour of the shirt should be matching with the suit, and of course be of a neutral colour. The shoes you should wear should be plain, preferably made from leather.


Women should be aware of limiting the amount of jewellery they wear – and perhaps avoid cheap looking items altogether. A plain colored suit accompanied for a woman is ideal. The skirt should not be too long or short. A haircut which is attractive, but not attention drawing is perfect. Make up should be applied, but not too much and be especially easy on the perfume. Heels should not be too tall.


On top of dressing right, you should also be perfectly clean. If you smell bad or just generally exude a dirty presence, the interviewer will not give you the time of day. Shower before an interview, do your hair, clean your teeth, trim your beard, hide tattoos, wear aftershave or perfume and remove body piercings. Bring some gum into the interview, but dispose of it before just entering the interview room – there is nothing worse than bad breath.

To maximise your chances of getting a job, follow these tips. Of course, being prepared for interview on an intellectual basis is a different kettle of fish – but as long as you have everything in order, you are giving off the best possible impression of yourself; preparing for success.

This was a guest post. If you are interested in contributing career-related articles to this blog, then reach out to us through our contact page. This sage fashion advice was brought to you by Agency Central. If you’re a current job seeker, check out the wide range of recruitment agencies on, who cover a vast amount of employment sectors within the UK.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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