Wondering what to wear for your next interview? Before you select an outfit and walk out the door, here’s a list of 15 things women should never wear to an interview!
So, you just got a call about a killer job interview that you’re hoping to nail. Your resume is top-notch, and you’ve practiced answering typical interview questions what feels like a hundred times in the mirror. All that’s left to get ready is deciding what to wear.
Dressing for an interview is anything but a simple task. Should you shoot for business casual or keep things professional? Believe it or not, your outfit can make a considerable impression. From your ability to act businesslike to how much you care about the job at hand, your clothes can tell it all. Not to mention, a distracting ensemble can easily steal the spotlight from your super-cool personality and awesome work ethic.
With that in mind, for the rest of this guide, we’re going to reveal 15 things women should never wear to an interview.
Hopefully, these tips will help you avoid any faux pas and put your best foot forward.
Let’s get started!
1. Casual Clothes
We all love a good pair of yoga pants.
If you’re anything like me, you probably never take them off.
And, with the recent work-from-home culture that society has graced us with, forget about the diamonds. Yoga pants are truly a girl’s best friend.
But, when it comes to interviewing with a professional organization, it’s best to, unfortunately, leave them in the closet.
Refrain from wearing graphic tees, hoodies, jeans, and sneakers.
While casual can mean something different for everyone, you want to avoid it in an interview setting; you don’t want to seem like you aren’t serious about the position.
Even if the company boasts a relaxed space, opting for professional attire is your safest bet.
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While it falls on the same spectrum as casual clothing, wrinkled attire should always be avoided when it comes to interviews.
Wrinkles are super distracting and convey carelessness and sloppiness.
Even if you notice the slightest wrinkle, plug in the iron and put in the elbow grease; it’s certainly worth it in the end.
3. Flashy Clothing
Distracting the interviewer will only allow them to remember your wild ensemble rather than the killer qualities you have to offer.
Unless you’re applying for the fashion industry, try to keep any fashion-forward garments at home for the day.
You should keep colors subtle and avoid extreme patterns. However, flashy doesn’t always mean bold colors and sequins.
It’s also crucial to keep things low-key and avoid political, offensive, or racially inappropriate clothing.
If you’re on the fence about whether an article is a bit too flashy, skip it and opt for something else.
4. Excessive Jewelry
Like I said before, diamonds aren’t always a girl’s best friend, especially in an interview.
It’s important to mindful of even the smallest details; we’re not trying to blind the interviewer.
Instead of your favorite bedazzled hoops, try out a classic pair of stud earrings that won’t distract but will still complement your outfit. Also, try to keep your necklaces and bracelets to a minimum.
Even in today’s modern workplaces, facial and body piercings are generally considered inappropriate, especially in corporate settings.
Although it’s annoying to do, take them out if you’re hoping to make a good impression.
5. Holey Jeans
Holes are the new black.
In today’s fashion world, there are hardly any jeans on the market without them. Let’s be honest; even with our grandparents constantly asking us where the rest of our jeans went, we love what little denim remains.
But, in the case of an interview, jeans should be avoided—particularly holey ones.
Although they’re super cute, and our knees always get a nice tan, leave the holes up to Shia LeBeouf.
You’re not dressing for a casual brunch with the girls, so try to opt for something more professional, like a pencil skirt or slacks.
And watch out for holes in tights as well—they can be sneaky, but your interviewer will definitely notice.
6. Ill-Fitted Clothing
Just like wrinkles and casual clothing, it’s not appropriate to show up to your interview in your roommate’s blazer that’s two sizes too big.
To imply that you genuinely care about landing the job, wear clothes that fit you well.
Avoid baggy clothing that looks sloppy, and especially save your super-tight dresses for the club.
Shoot for attire that enhances your physique and appearance, but always keep things business-appropriate.
7. Bold Makeup
Makeup is an amazing thing. But, when overdone or done poorly, a smokey eye can quickly become a disaster.
Try to go for makeup that is subtle yet accentuates your lovely facial features.
Skip the makeup blunders by avoiding excessively dark eyeshadows and bright lipsticks.
If you plan to wear makeup, go for more of a natural look to keep undivided attention on your astonishing personality.
8. Strong Perfume
Smelling good is always necessary, especially when you’re hoping to impress an important person.
However, heavy or too strong perfume scents can have the opposite effect.
The interviewer may have an allergy or reaction to particular fragrances, so it’s essential to take things easy when spritzing.
A good rule of thumb is to ensure that they see you before they smell you—you don’t want to be remembered for your perfume and your perfume only.
9. Dirty Clothes
Just like baggy or wrinkled clothing, dirty and stained clothes should always be a no-go.
If you’re unable to toss your shirt in the wash before heading to an important interview, the employer will most certainly put you down as careless and unprofessional.
Not to mention, a gross and dirty smell will get you thrown off the roster pretty quickly.
Your feet are under a desk; what do your shoes matter, anyway?
Believe it or not, your footwear plays an important role.
Your interviewer will elevator-look your entire outfit, from your hair to your shoes, the moment you walk through the door. So, opting for sandals is a far too casual choice.
And any other casual shoes, including sneakers, will only imply your negligence for details.
Save your flip-flops for the beach, and if you want to wear an open toe, make it dressy.
11. Dated Clothes
Vintage is in; however, if you head into an interview wearing a pantsuit that’s been sitting in the back of your closet since 1998, expect the dust to speak for itself.
When dressing to impress, you certainly don’t want your outfit to reflect that you haven’t been in the workforce for over ten years.
Try to keep things fresh, and if necessary, buy some new, modern clothes that will help you look polished.
And don’t forget about the shoes.
If your year-old pumps are excessively scuffed, grab some new ones to ensure you look your best—the goal is to look professional from head to toe.
12. Plunging Necklines
Low-cut necklines have a time and a place, and it absolutely is not at an interview. Although nobody is responsible for the thoughts of others, it’s important to avoid sending the wrong message about yourself as a woman in the workplace.
That said, too much cleavage or midriff is off-limits in an interview setting.
When in doubt, keep your outfit conservative.
Bad hair day?
Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.
And, on any ordinary day, a hat would be a stellar choice.
But, wearing a hat to an interview is absolutely out of the question.
Any type of hat, beanie, hood, or headphones should be kept as far away from the interview room as possible.
You don’t want a future employer to assume that you’re uninterested or too bothered to take your hat off for such an important meeting.
But, of course, wearing headwear in the case of religious or cultural purposes is totally and completely acceptable for an interview.
14. Uncomfortable Clothes
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a super cute top, only to find out that I hate wearing it because of how scratchy or annoying it was.
And I know I’m not the only one.
Professional clothing can be particularly tricky because it’s not always the most comfortable.
But, it’s essential that you wear something that you feel your best in—that includes physically.
Fidgeting around in your seat to fix an uncomfortable wedgie is a distraction, not to mention embarrassing.
Try on your planned outfit and wear it for a bit to get a feel for its level of comfortability.
If there is an expectation that you’ll be squirming the entire time, skip it and go for something else.
15. Clothing That Doesn’t Vibe with the Company Culture
While it may seem like it isn’t that big of a deal for an interview, your clothing should embody a similar style to that of the company’s culture.
You should typically aim above what you expect.
But, if you’re too overdressed, it could lead to feeling self-conscious and deter you from putting your best foot forward.
What’s worse is dressing down when you’re entering a super professional work environment.
Regardless of where you’re interviewing, always do your research on the organization before jumping in blind, so you can have a better idea of what is appropriate attire.
When it comes to important interviews, your outfit can have a significant impact on your success. Nonetheless, whatever you wear should only enhance your best features and make you feel comfortable enough to showcase your experience and ability to fit the position perfectly.