What Not To Wear To An Interview: 10 Things To Avoid

You want to make a good first impression when you go to a job interview. You got in the
door because your résumé stunned them. Therefore, your physical appearance ought to match your employment experience. It’s just as crucial to know what not to wear to an interview as it is to know the hard abilities that got you in the running. 

As much as you expect to be hired for your skills and resourcefulness, your appearance can sabotage your prospects before you ever sit down. Follow these guidelines to increase your chances of being called back for round two. An interview is not the time to make a fashion statement, so keep it simple. 

Making a good first impression is a huge part of gaining a job, and how you dress for
the interview is a big part of making a good first impression. While you don’t need to spend a lot of money on your clothing, a little more work will pay off in the long term. 

An interview suit should emphasize that you are a professional who is prepared to begin a new career. Allow common sense to guide you, and you should be able to avoid fashion missteps that could jeopardize your prospects of progressing to the next stage. It is critical in this market that you look well and that your appearance is appropriate for the position. 

The Importance of Your Job Interview Attire

There are a few powerful reasons what you wear to a job interview should be carefully
considered. The first is to make a positive impression on your interviewer and anyone else you meet at work. Because first impressions are so important, your look will reveal a lot about your personality and professional level. 

The culture of a firm is another reason you should choose your clothing carefully. You show you are a good fit for the organization, therefore dress in a manner that is like what current employees wear. 

Finally, you want to stand out as a top applicant with talents but also
avoid offending the interviewer with your clothing selections. Your professional talents and experience should be complemented and enhanced by what you wear. 

10 Things to Avoid Wearing to an Interview

It doesn’t matter if it’s your first or ideal job interview. It is critical to understand What Not to Wear to An Interview. Here are ten things you should never wear. Avoid these fashion don’ts before your next interview to ensure you don’t make any interview outfit

#1. It’s far too casual

Even if your interview is in a relaxed environment, you shouldn’t dress as if you’re heading to a backyard BBQ. “Flip-flops, wedge sandals, ripped jeans or shorts, tank tops, halter tops, sandals, strapless tops, skirts, and sportswear like yoga pants and sneakers are always improper for a job interview,” says Devereaux Walton, an etiquette expert, and publisher of TheModernLady.com. According to her, wearing casual interview attire may send the message to your future supervisor that you don’t take the job seriously enough to dress appropriately. Melissa Coleman, an executive recruiter, advises, “Always err on the side of overdressing.” “You can always remove your jacket, tie, or other accouterments.” 

#2. Clothing or shoes that don’t fit properly

When performing a job interview, you want to be as comfortable as possible, so wear well-fitting clothes that both enhance your appearance and are appropriate in a professional situation. 

It’s crucial to wear shoes that suit your clothing while also fitting comfortably. You will act uneasy during your job interview if you wear shoes that are difficult or awkward to walk in, so invest in footwear that you will enjoy walking in and wearing in the office. 

#3. Uncomfortable fittings

Those shoes may seem great, but they’re not worth it if they pinch your toes and cause blisters on your heels. “It shows on your face when your feet hurt,” explains Felicia Johnson of performance coaching firm Sevenfold Coaching. “It lowers your self-assurance, and you’re distracted throughout the interview because you’re worried about your feet.” 

#4. Too dissimilar to the corporate culture

It used to be that you always wore a suit for an interview, but nowadays, unless you’re looking for a job in a more formal profession, a suit can feel uncomfortable. 

“Why show up in a suit unless you’re going into the banking industry or the legal field?” argues Danica Kombol, CEO of social media marketing agency Everywhere Agency. “It’s a turn-off.” I believe that conducting some clothing recon is the best thing a potential hire can do. Look at the company’s social media pages to get a feel of how the personnel dress.” 

Another approach to learning about the culture is to go to a museum. “Drive by and park in the parking lot a few days ahead of time to watch what people are wearing,” says Mike Smith, founder of SalesCoaching1, “I’d advise you to dress at least one step higher.” 

#5. Too much perfume

You may not think perfume and cologne are on the list of “what not to wear to an interview,” but trust us when we say that the nose knows. Wearing fragrances, no matter how good you think you smell, can backfire.

While it is crucial to smell nice during your job interview, wearing heavy perfumes or colognes can be distracting and may exacerbate people’s allergies, so wear them sparingly or not at all on the day of the interview. 

#6. Excessively Revealing Attire 

“Even in our casual world, candidates for professional positions should dress conservatively,” says David Schein, head of graduate programs and associate professor at the University of St. Thomas’ Cameron School of Business in Houston. That entails paying attention to things like necklines, hemlines, and how your clothes fit. 

“If there’s even the slightest chance that something is too low-cut, short, or tight, adjust,” says Paul DeNigris, BAM Communications’ head of VC connections. “It’s best not to take chances like that since you never know who you’ll be interviewing with.” 

#7. There’s excess makeup on you

Makeup should be applied in such a way that it enhances your facial features. Wearing heavy makeup or bright colors might distract and detract from a great interview. While it is crucial to look your best, putting on a lot of makeup isn’t the best method to do so. Avoid using dark eyeshadow, bold lipstick, or heavy foundation to keep your look
natural. Stick to a light application of mascara, a dusting of powder, and a tinted lip balm for the best results. Aim to appear rejuvenated and awake without appearing overdone. 

#8. Clothing or jewelry with a lot of flashes 

Wearing clothing that exposes too much skin or your underwear is not a good idea. You should avoid wearing anything with an exposed midriff or a low-cut neckline. If you have tattoos on your arms or lower legs, hide them during the interview because they can be distracting. Also, certain businesses may have tattoo restrictions, so double-check ahead of time. For piercings, be cautious. The employer may prohibit nose rings and other facial piercings. 

Avoid wearing extremely flashy or trendy apparel unless you’re searching for a job in the fashion business. Avoid obtrusive jewelry, such as huge earrings, and opt for understated pieces that suit your ensemble. 

You should also avoid wearing extravagant necklaces or wearing over one bracelet. Bracelets or bangles that make a lot of noise could distract you during your interview. If you’re interviewing for a conservative company, cover your tattoos and piercings as well—at least until you have a sense of the organization. 

“However unfair,” says Roy Cohen, a career counselor and executive coach in New York City, “you will be judged primarily on your body art and not your skill.” 

#9: Using a Blazer to Upgrade The Rest of Your Outfit

While a blazer is a smart choice for practically any interview, pay attention to what you’re wearing underneath it. 

The deep-v made by the blazer’s lapel invariably results in a plunging neckline. If you’re going to wear a camisole or a shell underneath, make sure it’s long enough to cover your entire body. Layering with a button-down is, of course, a no-fail choice.   

This advice also applies to guys. Wearing a blazer on top doesn’t offer you the excuse to wear a weary t-shirt below unless you’re interviewing in an informal environment, such as a startup company. Put on a button-down shirt or a V-neck sweater to make an extra effort. 

#10. Hanging Headphones

While it’s fine to listen to music on your drive to the interview, remove your headphones before entering the office and stow them away until your appointment is called. 

You don’t want to be fiddling with tangled cords or wireless earbuds as you meet and shake hands with your interviewer if you don’t want to appear busy and inattentive. 

Take a moment to switch off or silent your phone when you’re removing your headphones so it doesn’t vibrate or ring during your interview. 

Dressing Tips When Attending An Interview

Wild Nail Polish: This is a brilliant suggestion for both men and women. Nails that are overly long or uncut are often a turnoff. Your nails should be well-kept and manicured. 

Jingly Jewelry: Limit yourself to two rings per hand and one earring per ear. 

Mules are a no-no, as are open-toed or backless shoes: Out-of-date shoes either be discarded or saved for future use. 

Bare Legs: Even in humid hot conditions, wear stockings – stockings can be in neutral colors. 

Out-of-Date Suits: These have lapels that are either excessively large (3 inches or more) or too narrow (less than 3 inches) (1 inch or less). Lapels can be altered by a skilled tailor.  

Men’s jackets are full-body and looser in style rather than tailored or tight. Hemlines should not be more than 3 inches above the knee in short skirts. To the interview, don’t wear capri pants or leggings. 

Leather Jackets for Men and Women: Even leather blazers are inappropriate for job interviews. They appear to be outerwear. 

Turtlenecks for Men: At least in the first round, a tie is preferred. Wear a collared shirt at the very least. 

Trendy or Printed Handbags: Purses should be understated and understated. 

Red Briefcases: Briefcases, handbags, and shoes should all be in good condition and of a conservative color. The nicest colours are blue and grey tones in varying shades.  

Wearing black to the interview may be perceived as overly solemn. If you do decide to wear black, make sure you have a complementary color close to your face to soften the look. Brown is still seen as a dubious corporate hue and should generally be avoided. 

Some Pointers on How to Dress Appropriately

Here are five suggestions for making a strong first impression on your interviewer: 

1. Plan ahead of time: If you have a few days till your interview, come up with a few conservative possibilities and decide if you need something new to go with your existing pieces. 

2. Shop with caution: Investing in classic business apparel, especially if you are just starting your job search, may be an excellent option. Find pieces with a classic style that may be paired with a variety of outfits. 

3. Get feedback from family and friends: If possible, get feedback on your interview dress from family or close friends. They can provide you with candid criticism and assist you in selecting apparel that flatters your body shape. 

4. Find out what the company’s dress code is: Inquire about suitable interview clothes by calling the organization where you are interviewing. They can help you make decisions based on the dress code regulation. Examine the corporate website for photographs of employees or observe what people are wearing as they leave the workplace or walk to their car in the parking lot. 

5. Dress in a way that helps you feel at ease: When you wear an outfit that is free of distractions and looks well on you, you are more likely to be able to concentrate on the interview and your responses to questions, allowing you to truly demonstrate your confidence. 


Show your personality and stand out with a unique shirt or suit colour.

According to 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals who participated in CareerBuilder’s recently published survey, blue and black are the best colours to wear to a job interview, and orange is the worst.

Sweater is fine for office, but definitely doesn’t work for an interview.

Choose Neutrals Over Brights

Blazer or no blazer, a minimum formal outfit is mandatory for an interview.


It’s just as vital to dress appropriately for a job interview as it is to dress inappropriately. Making the best first impression is as simple as dressing appropriately for the interview. 

“Send photos to your inner circle and ask them which one is more ‘you,'” says Ashley Adair, founder and Chief People Coach of Blue Shoes Leadership. “You’ll be shocked at how quickly your circle can figure out which option is better.” 

Remember that knowing what not to wear to an interview is only half of the equation; you must also nail the questions. 



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