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INTERVIEWS / DEC. 17, 2015
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Looks Matter: The Job Interview Dress Code For Success

Job interviews are nerve racking affairs. If you’re lucky enough to be invited for an interview, you have to reveal all your professional achievements and history whilst judged on absolutely every single answer you give. Well, because that isn’t quite enough stress to deal with, let me just tell you that even your personal appearance might come under scrutiny during the interview process. But, worry not, because here at CareerAddict, we pride ourselves on being stress-relievers; here are some tips on how to dress for interview success.

See Also: How to for a Job Interview

Dress For The Job You Want

interview dress code

Interviews are nerve racking, dazzle them with your clothes!


As the tired old idiom goes: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. This is a great piece of advice, as the appropriate outfit can not only help you convey a sense of professionalism, it can actually help your confidence- crucial for a stressful interview. There is a little bit of a caveat but we’ll get to that later. Scientific studies have actually proven that people make a judgment about someone, in the first 30 seconds they meet them. This includes, obviously, your attire, unless you’re going to your interview naked, which is an entirely different corporate cardinal infraction. Beyond that, they have found that women that dress in a more masculine fashion, tend to have higher success rates during interviews than women that dress in a more feminine style.

Casual vs. Professional

interview dress code

Oh my God, I’m so glad I avoided my fishnet sleeves....


Although it should go without saying, even if the corporate culture is casual, it’s still a good idea to dress a bit more professionally during the interview. Remember that 30 second judgment? Well, it happens so fast because it happens almost subconsciously (well, instinctually actually) so, even if the person meeting you for the first time isn’t purposefully judging you on appearance, their stupid brain might be doing it for them. Don’t worry, later on when you get the job, you can put on shorts and flip-flops to your heart’s desire.

Power Up

interview dress code

Stripes or pattern, might still be a dilemma though.


Depending on the job you are applying for investing in a suit might be a great idea, but again this comes with certain caveats. One, if you are going to spend some money, it’s better if you invest in tailoring your suit, because people perceive others that wear tailored suits as more competent and organized. Be careful though, because although the power suit will help you look professional and organized, try not to dress better than the interviewer and avoid something that is extremely flashy or showy. Even though you want to make a lasting impression, you also want to show that you can take guidance and that even if you’re an individual, you play nicely with others (namely the management).

When In Doubt Dress Up

Ellen Page

Fear not, just dress right.


If you think your interview outfit is too casual don’t be afraid to dress up, it’s much more preferable to dress up than to be underdressed. This Monster article actually recommends you dress up two levels up from what you think might be ok. Finally, avoid perfume and over-accessorizing; a watch and a ring is OK, a daisy chain of eyebrow-rings, not so much.

See Also: Piercings and Tattoos – Should You Have to Cover Them For Work?

Are there any other recommendations that might help our fellow job seekers out there? Let us know in the comment section below!

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