What should I wear for an Interview?

What should I wear for an Interview?

As Universities’ academic year closes, it means only one thing – lots of young people will be applying for jobs. 

So if you’ve sent off your CV, application, and what you thought to be a fantastic covering letter boasting about how excellent you are, next thing you know, the phone rings and you’re invited for an interview. Great, now you go into a flat spin as you have to focus on preparation for all those difficult questions and lastly but not least, what you should wear!

Most successful job candidates agree, that preparation really pays off. Like with exams, this is not a time to hope you can wing it. If you are fully prepared you will have already researched the company during the application process and at least understand its products and services. so now is the time to work through the job specification sheet, with a fine tooth comb.  Have you been able to answer every point inside and out? What areas might you fall short on and how can you convince them that you can learn these skills quickly and easily? Recruiters are working to perfect person specifications a little like the correct answers for an exam, but thankfully, there is a little room for movement, particularly if they like you.

Once that part is well underway You should definitely take a little time to consider good reasons ‘why they should hire you’, and what you want from the role. Remember you are interviewing them about the job too. If the job ends up being a good fit you will hopefully spend many years of your life there. It is a long day once you are out at work so it makes all the difference if you make sure its the right place for you too. Grab a notebook and jot your ideas down. Practice really does make perfect, so ask a friend or relative if they can spare some time and get them to fire typical questions to you over and over again.

Now the dilemma arises what should I wear for an interview? Which might be what you typed into google to find this piece in the first place? The wrong choice of clothing could compromise your prospects. Plus, the more comfortable you feel about what you are wearing the better you will perform. And no one likes the last minute panic of looking in the wardrobe for something to wear – especially when you discover that you forgot to iron.


Here are a few guidelines and tips from Ellie at Distinctive Wash, who is graduating from Manchester business school this year. And, it makes perfect sense to us that planning what to wear for an interview, will definitely help to avoid a fashion faux pas.

What to wear for an interview

What to wear for an interview

What should I wear for an interview?

Research and take note of what others in that business wear to work. Even if it means standing and watching as they walk into work, from 50 feet away one morning. If they’re all wearing conservative suits, then make sure you adopt a similar approach. Or if they’re an advertising agency known for adding a little flair, then a splash of colour might be appropriate. Don’t overdo it!

Try on your interview outfit. This may sound silly but so many of us do the time-consuming bit of deciding and researching what to wear, but never try it all on together before the time of the interview. You wouldn’t want to suddenly realise sat waiting to go into your meeting that you bought blue tights instead of black, or that your suit trousers look like ankle bashers once you’ve put your shoes on! Men, go outside or stand near a window with plenty of natural light, to make sure the tie matches with the shirt you want to wear. Don’t forget the brown belt with brown shoes.

Take the time to walk around in your footwear. It’s not necessary to purchase a brand new pair of shoes if you have current ones that fit comfortably and look suitable. It is essential they are reasonably clean. Bear in mind too, that new shoes need to be worn in, otherwise, you’ll be limping by the time you’ve walked from the station to your interview. Blisters on your feet aren’t a great start to the day. This goes for men’s shoes as much as women’s.

Don’t wear:-

Poor fitting or uncomfortable clothes. If you don’t feel comfortable in what you’re wearing then down goes your confidence as well as your looks. It doesn’t want to be the very first time you’ve ever worn a suit, as they are restrictive, compared to college or university attire. And, being buttoned up and in a tie and jacket is a huge change to jeans and t-shirts. Too tight and you’ll be sat there feeling awkward and similarly ladies, remember you aren’t dressing for a date. Skirts that are too short can give off the wrong impression, and cause a distraction from your excellent skills. Likewise, an overly loud shirt or suit for a man might be wrong, unless you are interviewing for a fashion brand. You want to be remembered for the right reasons.

Clothes with too casual a look. Some workplaces opt for casual dress these days, however, even if you are aware you’d get away with jeans in the workplace you’re interviewing for, you’ll be better represented by dressing to a high standard and opting for chinos or cotton twill trousers or skirt instead. Personally, I’d never wear jeans, shorts, t-shirts, hats, flip-flops or obvious branding. Also, loud and vibrant colours such as yellow are best to steer clear from as they can be distracting…. best to keep your fun side, for once the job is yours!

An excessive number of accessories. Jewelry that makes that jingly sound isn’t going to impress your future boss. It’s best to stay conservative.

Lots of fragrance. Again, remember this isn’t a date! Despite the temptation of wanting to spray yourself in lots of your favourite scent for the big day, DON’T! As well as being distracting, there is the possibility of others having an allergy or sensitivity and you wouldn’t want that to be part of the reason you weren’t successful. There’s one thing I’ve learned since working for Distinctive and that is that when it comes to quality fragrance, less is more. Stick to being clean and a simple spray of deodorant – as long as neither you nor your clothes smell bad you’ll be fine.

So really it’s about using common sense, but lastly, remember that a little clothes preparation does go a long way. Make sure that shoes are clean and polished, plus that clothes have been washed and ironed. You might not be used to ironing, so have a few practices beforehand, as it makes a world of difference between looking well groomed or literally like ‘you’ve fallen off the bus.

What you choose to wear reflects something about you – so choose right, go out there, and find your dream job. If you look great and feel great, there’s a much better chance of you relaxing and putting your best self across! Being Distinctive takes a bit of preparation.

Tell us how you are getting on with applications. If you or a young person you know, is faced with upcoming interviews and you feel doing a wash with Distinctive might help them out, please share this article and email  We will do our best to help.