The first impression is the most important, especially when it comes to job interviews. The more professional and reliable you look upon a first meeting, the more likely you are to get called back, but even more important is looking like you belong with the rest of the team.


Find out whatever you can about the typical workplace attire where you're interviewing. If you can get the name of your interviewer, look him or her up as well. The industry is usually a good indicator of what employees are expected to wear. Start-ups and tech companies will typically be the most casual, while Fortune 500 companies will be the most formal.

Even if you're interviewing in a place where jeans and t-shirts are commonplace, it's still a good idea to air towards business casual instead of showing up in everyday clothes. If you can't figure out what level of dress is expected, choose business professional just to be safe. Few interviewers will judge you for looking too nice.

Whether jeans or dress slacks, always remember your pants! -American Images Inc
Whether jeans or dress slacks, always remember your pants! -American Images Inc

What is business casual?

Men should wear shirts with collars, preferably with a solid color instead of a print. Polos and golf shirts are acceptable, especially for a job where you'll be expected to do physical labor or work outside. Wearing a v-neck sweater over your shirt will give you a more put-together look.

Women have more options with shirts as long as they aren't revealing or cheap-looking. Blouses, buttoned shirts and sweaters are the best choices. Patterns are fine as long as they aren't distracting.

Both men and women can wear khakis, corduroys or dress pants in neutral colors. Women can wear skirts and dresses if the hem falls to the knee. Avoid clothes that are either too loose or too tight; tailored and body-skimming is best. Men should wear the usual formal leather shoes, and women should opt for flats or modest heels. You can use jewelry and other accessories to show off your personality, but avoid anything overly casual or unconventional, like gauges or necklaces with feathers.

What is business professional?

The rules for business professional are pretty straightforward. Women should wear dresses with formal jackets, business suits or pants suits with low, closed-toed heels. Jewelry should be very minimal and modest. Men should wear a business suit and tie with formal leather shoes, and make sure that their socks match their pants.

Also pay attention to your hairstyle. For women, it's generally a good idea to wear a neat updo, like a bun, a French twist or a sleek ponytail. Men's hair should be neat and styled with gel or pomade.

Like most things, figuring out how to dress for an interview gets easier with practice. When choosing your outfit, just ask yourself, "Would I hire me?" and answer yourself honestly.

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