Personal Development

A Guide on What Not to Wear to an Interview

1. Overly Casual Clothing

Even if the company has a relaxed dress code, you should still dress professionally at your job interview. As such, you should consider ripped jeans, baggy shorts, tank tops, tracksuits, and other types of casual clothing a no-no, unless you have been specifically told otherwise prior to the interview.

2. Garments that feel uncomfortable

If you’re constantly fidgeting during the interview because your shoes don’t fit or because your shirt is too tight, you aren’t going to make a great impression on your prospective employer. You might also fluff the interview questions if your mind is focused on your outfit and not on the person sitting in front of you. 

If you buy a new set of clothes for the interview, make sure you choose the appropriate sizes. Try different items on while you’re in the store and walk around a little to check for comfort. If buying new shoes, take the time to get used to them when you’re at home, as they will start to feel more comfortable the more you wear them.

Instead of going to your local clothing store, it might be a good idea to get your clothes professionally tailored so you can be assured of a good fit. You will then have peace of mind about your outfit before the interview so you will have one less thing to worry about before the interview day itself.  

3. Flip Flops or Open Toed Shoes

Flip flops and open-toed shoes will certainly feel very comfortable but they don’t present a professional image. Instead, choose slip-on dress shoes in a color that matches your outfit. Be sure to give these a good polish prior to interview day so they don’t appear dirty or scuffed when you’re sitting in front of your potential employer. 

4. Denim

Jeans and other items of denim clothing are usually frowned upon so wear something more appropriate, such as any item of clothing that would normally be associated with a business suit. 

If the company you are applying to has a casual working environment, you might not need to look too formal. However, it’s still wise to look professional, so you could opt for the ‘business casual’ look and blend elements of casual and formal attire within your interview outfit. This could include a pair of non-denim trousers or a skirt that isn’t usually a traditional part of a business suit. 

5. Too Much Make-Up

Unless you’re applying to a clown school, go easy on the make-up! You can still wear a little if you want to enhance your appearance but go easy with the lipstick and eyeliner as too much can be distracting for the interviewer. 

If you do wear make-up, choose softer shades that are within a close range of your skin tone as these will blend into your face and not prove off-putting to the people sitting in front of you.

6. Flashy Jewelry

You want to dazzle the interviewer with your personality and professionalism and not the pieces of jewelry you hang around your neck or arms. 

Choose pieces that complement your outfit and not stand out from it and be sure to avoid anything that could be noisy, such as bangles, as these could prove to be a distraction when you’re being interviewed.

7. Hats

It’s advisable not to wear a hat to an interview as the interviewer might assume you have something to hide about your appearance! They might also think you care more about your sense of style than the job you are applying for. 

The exception is if you’re wearing headwear for a religious or medical reason but in all other cases, avoid avoid avoid! 

8. Body Jewelry/Exposed Tattoos

Body jewelry and tattoos may be distracting for the interviewer so it’s best to remove your piercings and cover up your tattoos before you go into the interview.

Some companies prohibit piercings anyway so it’s wise to check the policy of the company you are applying to, as you may be asked to leave your body jewelry at home if you manage to secure a job with them.

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