girl sitting ready for her job interview

Help! What do I wear to a job interview?

So you’ve landed a job interview. Congratulations! Now it’s time to start preparing for your interview. Not only do you need to practice answering interview questions, but you also need to work out what to wear. Different job interviews require different outfits. What do I wear to a job interview? you ask. Here are our tips to have you covered.

Your potential employer is likely to make an assessment of you in the first 7 seconds. This means it’s important that you give a great first impression. How you dress and present yourself will shape the impression you give. You don’t want to be too underdressed otherwise the employer might think you aren’t serious about the job. Equally, you don’t want to be too overdressed either. You want to look professional but also prove that you will fit in with the organisation. You are aiming to wear the nicest version of what other people in that organisation wear.

But what if I don’t know what outfit is right for the type of job I am going for?

  1. Do your research. Learn about the organisation you have an interview with and dress to match their dress code. If you know someone who already works there or a similar organisation, ask their advice.
  2. Ask your employment services provider or recruiter (if you have one) what they think you should wear to the interview.
  3. If you are still unsure, it is better to overdress than underdress.

Young Woman Looking Through Clothing

What do I wear to a job interview in…

Here are our tips for what to wear for interviews in different types of industries:

  • HR, sales, and finance

For most office jobs, you should dress up for job interviews. Wear business formal, which means a suit with a jacket, dress pants or skirt and a collared shirt.

  • IT or a start-up business

For interviews where the environment is less formal, consider business casual clothes. This means chinos or trousers for men, and a knee-length skirt or slacks for women. Team this up with a button up shirt.

  • Building, manufacturing and trades

For job interviews in the building or trades industries, choose a polo shirt with your best jeans. If you are likely to get dirty or will be working outside on the job, don’t wear a formal suit.

  • Hospitality and retail

If you are going for an interview in hospitality or retail, find out if they have a uniform. Use the uniform as a guide for what to wear. For example, is it a polo shirt and dress pants? Or do they wear button up shirts? Even if there is no uniform, try to match what other employees wear to work.

Men's shoes, pants and shirt laid out for job interview

 

Don’t skip the basics

Don’t forget the basics when dressing for your interview. Check these off before you head out the door:

  1. Keep perfumes and colognes low key
  2. Apply natural looking makeup
  3. Iron your shirt or top and made sure it is tucked in properly
  4. Check your stockings don’t have any holes or runs
  5. Keep jewellery and accessories simple
  6. Clean or polish your shoes
  7. Remove nail polish
  8. Check for stains, missing buttons, wrinkles or spots on your outfit

 

Good luck with the interview, and don’t forget to share your interview tips in the comments section below.

Images: iStock

2 comments

    1. Hi Angie, thanks for your question. If you’re registered with an employment services provider you can ask them about using the Employment Fund to help you buy clothes for an interview.

      There are also organisations like Wear for Success that help people out with interview clothes. It’s based in Melbourne, and I am not sure where you are. But there are other organisations like it in other places.

      Dress for Success helps out women, and they are in most large cities around Australia. If you do a google search for Dress for Success Australia hopefully you’ll find something near you. Thanks again. Have a great day.

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