What NOT to wear to an interview

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The big day is here. You’ve planned for weeks and conceived answers to every potential question you can think of. You’ve even driven to the office in the dead of night to make sure you know where it is. This job interview can not go wrong.

Then, just as you’re about to leave the house, you take one last look in the mirror and wince.

What on earth are you wearing?


Even the most thorough job interview pre-preparation and planning can be completely worthless if you turn up to the meeting looking like you’ve just fallen off a skateboard.

Let’s fix that before it happens. Here’s what not to wear to a job interview.

1. Overly casual clothes
Depending on the type of job you’re applying for, the dress code may not be that strict. We live in a world of communal beanbags and Google-influenced recreational areas, but you need to make a great first impression, regardless.

Don’t wear jeans, t-shirts, or loud, busy shirts and ties. Keep things respectable and simple. There’s nothing wrong with being conservative when you’re a stranger to the company in question. The laid back dress code will come if you get the job.

2. Ill-fitting attire
That suit has been hanging at the back of your wardrobe for a while now. Does it still fit?

Always try on your intended interview clothes before the big day. If they’re ill-fitting, you won’t look or feel your best, and it’ll show.

3. Distractions
The purpose of clothing during an interview (beyond maintaining your modesty) is to paint you in a professional, approachable light. Don’t wear stuff which talks louder than anyone else in the room; avoid garish colours, noisy jewellery and don’t cover yourself in aftershave or perfume. You wan’t all the focus to be on you, not your clothes.

4. …More distractions
Pick a blouse which is too low-cut, a shirt which is unbuttoned rather liberally or a skirt which is somewhat too short, and you’ll put not just yourself, but the interviewer in a rather awkward situation.

Before you leave the house, check you’ve struck the right balance between classy and professional.

5. Flip-flops
It’s hot outside, but that doesn’t give you carte blanche to stroll into the most important meeting of your life in flip-flops. They’re noisy and scream ‘I’d rather be somewhere else’. Always wear your best shoes to interviews and demonstrate you haven’t simply nipped in on the way to the beach.

6. A costume
Ok, take this with a pinch of salt, but in a world where bonkers interview techniques often rear their heads, you might be tempted to create a splash of your own and show you’re one in a million. Don’t. You will be one in a million. It’s just the wrong one.

Dressing appropriately for an interview is actually rather simple. It just requires common sense. And no flip-flops. Or costumes.

Dress like you want the job and respect those interviewing you and that dream job will be yours in no time.