What’s the best interview attire for women? Well, the answer to this varies depending on the company and type of job you are applying for. It is said that one must always “dress to impress,” but the kind of clothes you choose generally depends on whether you will be interviewing at a firm with formal dress code, at an informal summer internship/job, or a casual work studio or startup.
Choosing proper interview attire for women is essential because an interviewer would make the first judgment as per what you are wearing and how you look. If you end up wearing a formal suit to an interview at a casual startup, or a tank top or T-shirt to a formal interview at a bank, it will give a message to the interviewer that you are not aware of what is involved in your job role.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything from general rules of dressing up for an interview to what color and hairstyle to choose to look your best for any type of job interview.
General Rules For Picking What Clothes to Wear For an Interview
Suppose you’re working in an IT firm that annually hosts Awards events to recognize their best employees. For this year’s event, the HR team sends you a dress code to wear a “cocktail casual” outfit but you have no idea what that means.
Being a woman, you must be wondering what dress to wear, what color to pick, what length is appropriate, etc. Then you’ll again be confused with the word “casual” with the cocktail dress. So, what should you do?
Well, it’s not that complicated as you may think. When selecting the right outfit for any special event, it is typical to over-analyze. But choosing something comfortable yet chic is the best way to leave a good impression on others.
When it comes to the interview attire for men and women, you must follow one rule to “never look out of place.”
You’d rather wear a suit to a workspace full of jeans and hoodies than wearing a T-shirt into an office with people full of pantsuits and polished leather shoes.
If you are dressed “too formal,” it is easier to dress down by removing your blazer, loosening up your hair, etc. But if you are dressed “too casual” for a formal interview, it’s not possible to dress up right in a jiffy.
Another thing to keep in mind is that get in touch with some employees of a company or search online about the work culture of an organization where you’re going for a job interview.
So, these were some basic rules to dress up for a job interview.
In the other section, we’re about to talk about what exact clothes to wear at different job interviews to help you understand certain company cultures and the dress codes they generally follow. This will help you make sure that you are wearing suitable interview attire for any job.
Attire for an Internship Interview
Internships are essential for learning new things and developing one’s career. So, to nab a position to kickstart your career, you must dress top-notch.
The internship interview attire for women in 2020 largely depends on which company you are applying for.
If an organization is formal, choose black pants and a white shirt to look formal and stylish at the same time.
If a company is a new startup, you can be more casual and creative with your look. However, your outfit still must appear smart and professional without looking stuffy.
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Attire for a Business Interview
Formal attire makes you look polished and professional no matter what position you are seeking.
This means that for business interviews, you must always look well-dressed, neat, and tidy.
Generally, a business dress code is basic and conservative.
So, keep your latest fashion trends saved for the weekend hangouts with your friends and wear something that’s office-appropriate.
A pencil skirt or tailored pants with a solid color shirt and blazer is an excellent choice.
When it comes to picking the right colors, choose dark grey and navy because both these tones are subtle and more approachable compared to black.
Attire for Casual/Informal Interview
What’s the proper interview attire for women for a casual or informal work environment?
For such an office environment, you can wear business casual outfits that are less formal compared to a proper suit.
However, they make you appear more polished and professional than a T-shirt, jeans, or a sundress and casual sandals.
Obviously, you must know the dress code before deciding that business casual is acceptable. If you’re in doubt, call the office to confirm the appropriate dress code from an administrative coordinator or the person who scheduled the interview.
Try to dress more professionally than other employees at the firm so that you make a good first impression. For instance, if everyone in the office wears a T-shirt and shorts or jeans, you may wear khakis and a button-down shirt.
If you’re going for an interview with a startup company, you want to appear professional and appropriate but not very formal.
So, instead of wearing a formal black suit and polished leather shoes, opt something more relaxed and presentable – like relaxed-fit jeans, khakis, and an elegant top.
Attire for a Formal Interview
Wondering what’s the best interview attire for women at a company with formal dress code?
In such a case, they can dress up in a pantsuit partnered with a collared shirt and high heels to make you appear powerful and professional.
For sharp and sophisticated aesthetics, choose neutral colors, such as white, grey, and black for formal interviews. Besides, you may even consider a traditional strip or check pattern or block hues.
Attire for Skype or Video Interview
If you have your interview scheduled via Skype, the rule “dress to impress” is still valid.
After all, you still want your interviewer to have the best impression of yourself. So, stay away from those sweat pants or loungewear. If your interviewer sees them by any chance, your impression will be ruined for sure.
You must even stay away from the distracting clothing pieces, such as large patterns, chunky jewelry, low-cut tops, or very loud colors. This is because such vibrant hues or distracting attire can look a little too much for a video or Skype interview.
So, it’s best to avoid vibrant colors like magenta and red – as they may look extremely bright on a video call. It’s best to stick to cool tones, such as sky blue and navy to look fantastic.
Attire for Summer Job Interview
Are you looking for a summer job? Usually, these jobs don’t require a professional outfit and are more casual. So, you may skip your suit for such interviews. However, to appear professional and polished, your outfit needs to have some balance.
You may pick an outfit that allows you to stay sweat-free and cool during the interview. Your best picks would be the garments made out of lightweight fabrics. You may even choose a dress or skirt to beat the soaring summer heat while making you look sophisticated.
However, stay away from too much skin show, as it can appear unprofessional. Also, pick light-colored clothes over dark shades for that perfect summery vibe.
General FAQs About Appropriate Interview Attire for Women
Following are the frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding what ladies can wear for an interview:
1. What Color Outfits Should I Prefer for an Interview?
With the right colors, you can convey professionalism and confidence. So, you need to pick the appropriate hues for your interview outfit. Generally, grey, black, and navy are the popular choices for dresses and suits, whereas white is preferred for shirts or tops. Neutral colors, like beige and pastels, are also great for office environments.
However, the bright hues like red, magenta, and orange must be avoided. If you want to wear some different colors than black and navy, pick pale shades like light blue or light pink.
2. Can You Wear Jeans to Your Job Interview?
Mostly, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing your denim or jeans to your job interview.
This is because jeans may appear very casual and underdressed, especially when you’re entering a formal or business environment.
You must prefer jeans only if a particular company’s work culture is extremely casual. Still, you need to pick dark wash jeans in a slim-cut without any rips. Further, pair it with a formal blouse, chic blazer, and a good pair of heels.
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3. Can You Wear a Dress for Your Job Interview?
While it is essential that whatever you wear for a job interview must look conservative and professional, it surely does not mean that you cannot play around with color. A chic dress in deep red, aqua blue, or muted turquoise is a great option for your interview wardrobe.
If you are wearing a statement dress, avoid wearing any other jewelry or accessories and let your dress speak for itself. If you want to wear a bright colored dress, make sure that it’s cut and design are modest.
Always keep in mind that your dress must have an appropriate hemline and neckline. So, avoid wearing low-cut necklines and short dresses.
For many interviews, a formal dress can be the best outfit for you. However, you need to be a little careful about how you style it for the office. Plus, the length of your dress must be up to the knees for projecting sophisticated and professional appearance.
To play safe, stick to neutral colors for any formal office setting. Finally, team up your dress with a dainty necklace or bracelet and a nicely buffed pair of back heels or black ballerina flats.
4. How to Style Knitwear for Interviews?
To style your knitwear for a job interview, you can pair a button-down shirt or a blouse with a V-neck sweater. You may even dress up your top with a black skirt or dress pants. For dressing it down, choose dark wash jeans or khakis if you are going for an interview at a casual startup or company.
The best thing about formal wear and V-neck pullover is that it’s very easy to style with very few pieces. So, even if you have only three simple button-downs or blouses and two to three sweaters coordinating with the blouses or shirts you can create so many different office attires. All you need to do is mix and match your sweaters and shirts with different bottoms and you’re good to go.
When styling knitwear, don’t be scared of prints. While it’s recommended to avoid some flashy or too bright prints, like animal prints, a simple two-tone print can make your simple outfit appear more interesting yet professional for a job interview.
That’s a wonderful way to style your office-wear, especially for a formal work environment. If you want to wear boldly printed knitwear, just limit it to only one print and keep the rest of your attire very minimal and subdued.
5. How Should You Wear Your Hair For Your Job Interview?
Just like your attire, it’s essential to choose a professional and sleek hairstyle to suit the job profile you are applying for. From neatly combed loose hair to a sleek bun, there are so many hairstyle options for different hair lengths.
So, no matter what hairstyle you pick, just make it neat and simple. By doing so, you will look more polished and professional for any job interview.
Before you start looking for the best business attire women for an interview, you need to research about the company’s work culture and preferred dress code.
Even if you’re going for a casual interview, you still need to look smart and sophisticated.
So, opting for a pencil skirt and blouse is a good option here.
On the other hand, a pantsuit and a blazer is a great option for a formal or business interview.
Do keep in mind all the aforementioned tips and tricks to style up your best and convey professionalism through your interview attire.
Video Credit – Jodie Fox
Featured Image Credit – Abestfashion.com