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9 Tips on What Not To Wear to an Interview (What to Wear)

When you attend an interview, how do you dress? An important part of getting a job is making a good first impression, and part of making a good impression is how you dress.

It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on your wardrobe, but putting in some extra effort pays off in the long run.

Finding out what not to wear to an interview is part of the crucial interview preparation process that will help you land the job of your dreams. Regardless of how well the interview goes, a poor first impression caused by a poor dress choice will disadvantage you. 

This article offers 9 suggestions for what not to wear to an interview, including dos and don’ts, as well as advice on appropriate interview outfits and preparation strategies.

Advantages of Knowing What Not to Wear to an Interview

As a job seeker, knowing what not to wear to an interview is very important. Wearing something appropriate and professional helps to show an interviewer that you take the interview and position seriously.

Additionally, demonstrating that you pay attention to details shows thoughtfulness and meticulousness, both essential qualities for many jobs. Knowing what not to wear can also save you a lot of disappointment and confusion.

For example, you may feel that an interview went well and you’re a perfect fit for the position, only to learn later that you didn’t get the job. 

Asking yourself the following questions can help you determine if you need some advice on what not to wear to your next interview:

  • Did your outfit fit into the general dress code of the office, including the interviewer’s?
  • Did you feel comfortable in your outfit?
  • Did your outfit promote a sense of confidence in your capabilities and responses?

If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions, consider making changes to your interview clothing.

Things You Should Not Wear to an Interview

Before your next interview, take some time to plan your interview wardrobe with these suggestions on what not to wear:

Short skirts or dresses are also too casual for a professional setting. If you wish to wear an alternative to pants, ensure your choice comes to the top of your knees or longer. Remember that a skirt can ride up a few inches when you are seated, making it shorter. 

While you may be allowed to wear these if you are hired, presenting a more conservative first impression can be wise until you are more familiar with the dress code standards.


While many professional settings allow employees to wear jeans, especially designer jeans in good shape, it’s not recommended to wear denim to an interview. Denim implies a level of casualness that the prospective employer may not condone, or at least not when first meeting.

Instead, if you wish to wear slacks, wear a comfortable pair of dress pants. Check that they don’t have any stains, holes, or loose seams and are comfortable when seated.

Too Many Accessories

Too many accessories can be distracting for the interviewer and exhibit a lack of judgment to a prospective employer before they have a chance to learn more about you. Accessorizing can be a fun way to infuse your wardrobe with personal touches, but over-accessorizing is usually inappropriate for an interview. 

Novelty accessories, such as a holiday tie or scarf, are equally unprofessional and best avoided. Instead, choose either stud or short earrings and a subtle necklace, and wear only one or two rings per hand. For those wearing ties, dress shirts, and pants, ensure your tie clip, cufflinks, and belt are not flashy or bulky.

The last thing you want to do is distract an interviewer from listening to your answers, especially if your qualifications are perfect for the position.

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T-shirts are typically not formal enough for a job interview. Even with a blazer or cardigan over top, they can look unfit, worn, and, at worst, wrinkled. 

A button-up shirt or a short-sleeved shirt in a nice fabric such as silk can make excellent alternatives. While a blazer or cardigan can finish a look off nicely, ensure the shirt underneath is ironed and clean in case the interview room is warm, and you need to remove a layer.

Bright Makeup

For most interviews, it can be best to be cautious and tone down bright makeup, such as bright red lipstick or shiny eyeshadow, until you have a better sense of what the organizational guidelines are. Bright makeup can be distracting during an interview and rule you out as a candidate if your responsibilities include attending conservative board or other executive meetings where this look is inappropriate.

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Heavy Perfumes or Cologne

An abundance of artificial body scents can be distracting and show a lack of thoughtfulness. For example, an excess of perfume and cologne may cause headaches and other uncomfortable reactions in some people. To demonstrate an awareness of and consideration for others’ health and safety, avoid wearing much if any, body scent to an interview.

Casual Sneakers or Open-toed Shoes

While open-toed shoes and casual sneakers may be practical in warmer months, they can also be too informal for a professional interview. Even if worn with socks, open-toe shoes and sneakers are considered too casual for any gender at an interview. Instead, opt for closed-toe dress shoes, such as Oxfords, flats, nice dress boots, or low heels. Also, check the condition of your shoes a day or two before an interview, so you have time to apply shoe polish and give them a shine if needed.

Too Tight or Flair Clothes

Whether too small or too large, clothes that don’t fit you well can give the impression you don’t care enough about the interview to make more effort. With first impressions being so crucial in an interview, try to have a tailored outfit or two put aside for interviews at all times. If your clothing size fluctuates, have an outfit that is stretchy or adjustable to your size at the time of the interview.

Busy Patterns and Bright Colors

Having too many brightly colored clothes or busy patterns in your interview outfit can distract the interviewer. Ideally, you want to encourage interviewers to focus on your qualifications rather than your wardrobe choices. Therefore, if you choose a pattern, opt for a subtle one or wear solid colors that look professional and well put together.

How to prepare your interview outfit

Once you’ve ruled out what not to wear to an interview, it can be a lot easier to make confident wardrobe choices. Following these preparatory steps a few days in advance can help ensure your wardrobe is an asset at your next interview rather than a hindrance to your success:

  1. Plan your interview wardrobe

Choose your interview outfit a few days before your interview, so you have time to make changes or even go shopping if nothing you own works.

  1. Check for tears and stains before the interview

Arriving at an interview and discovering a noticeable tear or stain on your outfit can be frustrating. A clean and well-maintained outfit makes you look attentive to detail and well put together.

  1. Iron or steam your outfit

Excessive wrinkles show a lack of preparedness and seriousness and don’t make the best first impression in an interview. Freshly pressed clothing is an easy and inexpensive way to upgrade your appearance.

  1. Add some personality

While you can choose mostly subdued colors for your interview outfit, it won’t hurt to add some personality by wearing some small, favorite earrings or a favorite, tasteful tie.

  1. Save certain items for interviews

By only wearing special formal wear to interviews, you can keep your clothing looking new for longer. Consider hanging them up in a separate section of your closet.

Looking great at a job interview can be extremely helpful when trying to make a positive impression. Whatever role you’re applying for, you should aim to look smart and professional. You don’t have to wear something too formal unless the company requires it.

In most settings, business casual attire will work just fine. However, do away from clothes that are too casual, sandals or flip-flops, poorly fitting clothes, and bright, flashy outfits and accessories.

Lastly, don’t forget to wear a smile. It makes you look more confident and helps set the tone for a successful job interview. Regardless of where you are in your career, always check Intelregion Jobs for legit Job Opportunities.

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