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You’ve sent out your carefully crafted cover letter and resume and now you have a job interview! Congratulations! Make sure that you give your interview outfit the same time and attention that you gave to your cover letter. After all, that first impression is probably going to make or break the deal. Did you know that most HR executives know within the first 90 seconds if they will hire you or not? In this article, we’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of job interview attire.

DO:

  • Have your interview outfit ready to go at a moment’s notice.
  • You may not have a lot of notice between scheduling your interview and the appointment, so it’s really important that it’s tailored to fit you well, clean, and ready to wear. Have your suit, dress, or other business attire tailored and professionally cleaned. Make sure to give attention to every detail, such as your pants hem length or that your dress is not cut too low. A skilled tailor like Tad More Tailoring can provide guidance on the best fit for your body.

  • Dress to match or be slightly more conservative than the company dress code.
  • Check out how employees in the same or similar positions of the company are dressed, or simply call the HR department and ask what the company dress code is. You’ll want to dress to match this because you want to look like you ‘belong’ in the group right off the bat. This may mean that you have more than one interview outfit based on the different position levels that you are seeking. Be careful of dressing too casual however, even if the employees dress casual. A button down shirt and slacks is always appropriate and flattering for most people. Again, a proper fit can not be emphasized enough. When you have had alterations done so that your clothes fit you well, you feel comfortable and confident which could help you land this dream job.

  • Stick to solid colors with a touch of personality.
  • You want to be remembered for your qualifications, not your super loud print shirt or tie. Wearing solid colors brings the attention to you and what you say more than what you are wearing. A small accent or accessory that expresses your personality is great, but now is not the time to wear your favorite plaid pants. 

    DON’T:

    • Don’t assume that your appearance doesn’t matter. 

    Your first impression with someone is more than 90% based on visual cues. Taking the time to shorten your sleeves to the right length or alterations to improve the fit of your interview outfit shows that you care about your appearance. Since you are asking to become a representative of the company as an employee, they’ll want to know that you will send the right message.

  • Don’t wear anything uncomfortable.
  • When you are uncomfortable, whether you are too warm/cold, itchy, or your clothes are too tight, your reaction could send up red flags. The interviewer doesn’t know if you are acting distracted because of your interview outfit or because you are falsely representing yourself. This is easy to remedy by taking your suit or dress to a tailor to fine tune the details such as your waistband, loose buttons, or hem length.

  • Don’t overdo it. 
  • Avoid strong scents, super strong handshakes, and overly zealous or rehearsed replies to answers. Again, you want to be remembered because you are wonderfully qualified for the opportunity instead of for giving everyone in the room a headache from excessive cologne.


    Following these simple guidelines can make your job interview less stressful and allow you to show your best side to the interviewer. You will create a confident visual first impression that will have them wanting to know more about your qualifications. After you’ve been offered the job, don’t forget to get the rest of your wardrobe tailored for continued success!

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