Mistakes to Avoid While Dressing For an Interview


Getting an interview spot for a position that you have applied for is a major step in the job search process. It makes you one of the contenders and means that the employer wants to know more about you. It is often said that the first impressions are the last impression. This holds particularly true in the case of job interviews as a big part of getting a job depends on the kind of the first impression you make. You may have prepared for the interview very well. However, what you wear to the interview will speak volumes about you even before you open your mouth.

Not dressing up appropriately is one the most common interview mistakes job seekers make. Now that doesn’t mean that your clothes, footwear, and accessories should be expensive. However, they should be sensibly selected to boost your professional presence and match your capabilities. Select your job interview attire that shows you really want the job.

Outlined below are a few tips on how to dress for a job interview:

Also read – How to Seal the Deal in a Job Interview


  1. 1.  Dress according to the industry

The way you should dress for an interview has changed over the years. There is no set uniform. It has evolved to a point where it is important that you match your attire to the kind of job you have applied for. For example, a woman who has been called for the interview for the position of a clothing stylist appears on the interview day wearing a navy pantsuit, hair pulled back into a low ponytail, no makeup, zero jewelry and flat shoes will have bleak chances of getting the job. The job role is all about the appearance. So, it is only natural that the hiring manager would expect the candidate to projects an image of creativity and knowledge of fashion through the kind of clothes, makeup, and accessories she is wearing.


  1. 2. Dress according to the weather

It can be especially difficult to decide your attire for a job interview during summers since the weather is hot. Wearing a heavy suit goes out of the question. However, that also doesn’t mean you can ditch professionalism altogether and put on some casual shorts or a skimpy dress. While you can ditch a heavy blazer or a wool suit, opt for a business-casual attire. Men and even women can go for tailored khakis and pair them with a crisp cotton shirt or a fine polo shirt.


  1. 3. Don’t wear bright colors

Avoid wearing overly bright or clothes with large patterns.  This can be excused for those in the creative fields such as advertising or the fashion industry.  Job roles which are more corporate in nature and require interaction with clients or professionals, it is best to stick with navy, black or gray colors. Women should avoid wearing dark eyeshadows and loud makeup. Similarly, men should avoid wearing a funny tie and better stick to paisleys or subdued stripes.


  1. 4. Take it easy on the perfume

It is best to avoid wearing a perfume or cologne altogether. However, if you must use then go easy on them and go for a light fragrance. You never know the interviewer may be allergic or hate strong scents. Whatever may be the case, the overwhelming smell of your perfume or cologne should be the last thing the interviewer remembers about you.


  1. 5. Footwear matters

Footwear is very crucial in your overall appearance. Putting on a pair of sneakers or an old pair of pumps certainly, won’t make you look polished or professional. Invest in a nice pair of shoes. Even if you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you will find great pairs of shoes easily during the sale season.


  1. 6. Keep accessories to a minimum

This goes for both men and women. Women should avoid wearing overly elaborate jewelry like chandelier earrings rather go for something understated and classic such as studs. Avoid wearing huge sunglasses. Men should ditch studs or any other facial piercing. They can stick to a wedding ring if you are married and a classy watch.


  1. 7.  The headphones have got to go

It is a great practice to listen to music during your commute to the interview venue. Music eases your mind and keeps anxiety at bay. However, don’t forget to take them off before entering the interview venue. Otherwise, you would appear very distracted and unfocused to the interviewer.  The last thing you don’t want is to be struggling with tangled cords when you first meet and shake hands with the interviewer.

There is an unspoken rule that states when a job seeker shows up for an interview, s/he should always look their best. Well-groomed and properly dressed candidates reassure the interviewer that dressing up appropriately is one of the essential elements of professionalism. Not only will it put the interviewer at ease, but also maximize your chances of landing the job.


Now that you know what you should avoid while dressing for an interview, take the quiz below to know how well you score.

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Categories: Interview Tips

About Megha Raizada

Megha Raizada is a professional writer with a keen interest in the global job market. She loves to keep a track of everything interesting happening around the globe. When not writing or browsing the Internet, you will find her creating furniture out of used tires.

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