Leicester College Blog

What to wear to a job interview


Planning ahead, ensuring that you look the part in a job interview is very important. No matter what job you are going for and whether the company has a relaxed policy dress code you should always dress smartly and professionally for interviews. Remember that employers pay greater attention to your body language and the way you dress than anything else. There is no point in turning up in your best suit if you have un-­‐polished shoes, unkempt hair or chipped nail polish! An employer makes a judgment in the first five seconds after you walk through the door.

Don’t ruin your chances by getting the basics wrong. Try and work out what to wear well before the day.  What you will wear will affect how you feel about yourself and so deserves serious thought. Apart from the need to feel that you look your best for the interview, you may need to have a coat or a suit cleaned, buy new items or have outfits ready for different kinds of weather. It is good practice to try on your outfit to see if it fits and see if it is in fashion, especially if you haven’t worn it for a while.

Do not overdress for an interview; your appearance should be smart and comfortable but not too flashy or too casual.


  • Shower or take a bath before you leave for the interview.
  • Don’t use strong perfume or aftershave (some people are allergic to these).
  • Ensure your nails are clean and well-manicured (yes, even men should have nails that look as though they are looked after).
  • Clean and tidy hair.
  • Try not to smoke before the interview
  • Try not to drink alcohol for at least 24 hours.

Everything should be smart and subtle.

Nothing should detract from YOU the interviewee.

Things to consider:

  • A two-­‐piece outfit/suit in a traditional colour such as navy blue, dark grey or black.
  • Shirt/Blouse – white or blue.
  • Shoes – black, brown or navy leather shoes these should be well polished.

Ask yourself:

How have you dressed for interviews in the past?

How did the clothes make you feel?

Were you happy with your appearance?

How would you like to alter your interview dress in the future?

Final thoughts…

Beware of dressing in a manner that makes you feel uncomfortable. Don’t try to give a false impression it will make you feel uncomfortable and nervous.

Remember to be yourself, wear something appropriate, comfortable and that you are happy with.

Remember you are there to sell yourself, your skills, abilities and experience relevant to the job you are applying for.

Useful Websites

www.youtube.com – Wealth of Career Videos many dedicated to job search and what clothes to wear

www.barclayslifeskills.com – A wonderful resources full of useful hints and tips on all aspects of employability.

https://www.monster.co.uk/ Monster Jobs – Monster will help you find the job that you deserve! Use Monster’s resources to create a killer CV, search for jobs, prepare for interviews, and launch your career: 

Follow the Careers Team on Facebook and Twitter.

By Sarfraz Ahmed

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