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How to Dress for an Interview

Woman looking through wardrobe Job interviews can be stressful; they’re 15-minutes to an hour strictly dedicated on being judged off of your qualifications, education, experience, personality, and yes—your looks. This doesn’t mean that beauty trumps brains, but it does mean that employers want to see you dressed a certain way that reflects their organization. In fact, 59.9% of employers know within the first 15 minutes of an interview whether or not they will make a hire. This of course will depend on the job field, but here are some basic guidelines to dressing for an interview.


This one may sound obvious but it’s a crucial to smell good for an interview. This does not mean you should douse yourself in cologne or perfume—in fact, you’re better off avoiding that altogether as some employers promote scent-free environments. However, washing your hair and body to ensure you are fresh-faced and radiant will surely shine through. After all, when you feel good you perform better!

Comb Your Hair

Employers will look to make sure that you appear professional and polished. This is where the fine details come into play; combing your hair, shaving, brushing your teeth, removing cracked nail polish and applying a fresh coat are all grooming techniques that should be addressed where applicable. For women, be careful with makeup application and try to appear more natural than you would for a night out. After all, if you do get this job you will need to maintain the appearance you had during your interview so you want to create an image that is easy to replicate on a daily basis.

Adhere to the Dress Code

The tricky thing about dressing for a job interview is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all scenario. For example, an interview as a driver for a trucking and logistics company will look a lot different than an interview for an administrative assistant at a big office. The most important thing in mind is to remember to look as professional as possible given the position you are interviewing for. If it’s a “business casual” dress code then be sure to dress more on the business side of things and keep the casualness to a minimum. If the dress code is strictly casual, then dark, fitted jeans with a plain collared shirt is appropriate as well. Now, if you are unsure of the dress code, simply ask! Employers often don’t mind and will actually like that you’re taking the time to ask about their work culture and environment.

There is no worse feeling than showing up for a job interview and immediately realizing you don’t fit in. Taking the time to prepare for an interview will pay off in the long run, and this includes how you look. You only get to make a first impression once, so make sure you appear to be what employers are looking for. Now, the tough part is actually landing the interview in the first place, so check out our tips for sending the best possible job application.