Job Interview Attire For Women

When you attend a job interview, as a general rule you should always dress just slightly more formally than you would expect to on the job. Most job postings will list whether a job is business formal or business casual. Business formal jobs require suits. Business casual jobs do not. The same goes for the interviews. Some jobs require uniforms; for these jobs, dress business casual to your interview as well.

If the listing is for a job which is business formal:

  • Wear a two-piece suit which matches. Pants or a skirt are acceptable; pants should be creased. Skirts should cover your thighs completely; a good rule of thumb is to wear a skirt which ends at your knee or below. Slits to accommodate walking are fine, but they should be minimal to get the job done and not distracting. Sit facing a mirror before you select a skirt, since that’s how you’ll be seen during your interview.
  • Wear a tailored blouse with a conservative cut.
  • Safe colors for your clothing are black, grey, and blue. You might also get away with other colors, but avoid anything particularly bold or bright.

When the listing is for business casual:

  • You probably shouldn’t wear a suit. It could be seen as overdressed and inappropriate, and possibly even intimidating.
  • Don’t wear jeans. Do wear nice slacks. They don’t need to be tailored. You can also wear a skirt.
  • Wear a nice blouse. It doesn’t have to be completely formal. You probably want to wear something over top of it to make it more conservative and formal-looking, like a nice sweater. Anything with a business-type collar that is designed to mimic a suit is also appropriate.
  • If the job requires a uniform, the business casual guidelines apply to you as well. Look reasonably nice and well put together. It shows that you are a professional and that you respect the interviewer, even though you won’t be putting that much work into your appearance on the job.

General:

  • Jewelry is fine, but keep it conservative.
  • Makeup is good, but again, keep it conservative.
  • Wear comfortable, professional, close-toed shoes that don’t make a loud statement (no stilettos, platforms, etc.).
  • Hosiery should not have patterns, and should preferably be skin-tone.
  • Carry a handbag or purse which is conservative and matches your attire to a reasonable degree and isn’t fraying or falling apart. If you don’t have one, you may want to not bring one in with you at all.
  • Make sure your hair looks neat and well groomed. Keep hair clips or ties conservative.
  • Perfume or cologne is acceptable, but don’t slather it on.

If the job posting doesn’t give you an indication of the clothing you’d wear to the job itself, you may want to discreetly swing by the premises and look around at people in the office or the office building.

You could also do research online, or talk to someone else in the industry or in a similar job role, or so forth. This will help you figure out which guidelines apply to you.

Safe colors for your clothing are black, grey, and blue.

You might also get away with other colors, but avoid anything particularly bold or bright.

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