How to dress for a formal interview

Ever heard the saying: “you are addressed the way you are dressed”? This is certainly true during an interview. If there’s anything you want to do during an interview, it is to leave the best impression possible in your recruiter and you want to do this fast as well. Hence, you need to look good for any interview.

In recent times, more companies have made a shift from the convetional suit-and-tie look for their staff to more of a business-casual look, however, one still needs to take care in dressing for an interview. If at anytime you are not sure of what is acceptable in the company where you have an interview, calling the HR officer to confirm is a very good option here. One thing to note is that regardless of whether a more corporate look is the norm or a business-casual look is the way to go, the bottom-line is to always look good and neat! Look presentable and welcoming. Here’s a tip on what your dressing should look like for a more corporate job interview:


For Women:

  • A good looking dark-toned suit (usually in grey, black or navy blue)
  • A suit skirt (knee-length is appropriate)
  • A matching shirt (blue or white is advised)
  • Limited jewellery
  • Conservative shoes (covered without showing toes or heels)
  • Hosiery where appropriate (usually should match skin tone)
  • A well-packed hairstyle (a little ponytail or long and sleek or loose curls or pin one side or a short and stylish look)
  • Light makeup and limited amount of a perfume (a deodorant is more advised than a cologne)
  • Trimmed nails
  • A bag that can take your resume and other items neatly.
  • Have a good mouth breath (you can go along with some mint to keep your breath fresh all along)

For men: 

  • Suit which dark tones such as grey, black or navy color
  • Full-length pair of trousers
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • A belt whose colour matches your shoes
  • A deodorant (you would want to avoid colognes due to the fact that your recruiter may be allergic to that fragrance or you just don’t want to dominate the whole room with your cologne)
  • Nicely trimmed moustache and/or beards
  • Avoid aftershaves
  • Have a good bathe and maintain a good breath (some mint can help you keep your breath fresh all along)
  • Good tie (not too shouty or extreme in look)
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • A good pair of socks
  • Little or no jewellery
  • A portfolio or briefcase or a strap-bag

For a more business-casual look, perhaps doing without your suit and tiemay be a good option and instead, you may match your shirt with a sweat shirt instead. For ladies, a good blouse on some nice khaki pants is a go to option here, you can also add a nice pair of loafers or a pair of low-heeled shoes.

For a completely casual look, a sweat shirt on nice looking jeans is not a bad option for men, you may however want to avoid random tee-shirts with offensive graphics. For ladies, a good blouse with jeans and some scarf to touch may just do the trick here, oh yeah, don’t forget the boots too!

Regardless of the acceptable dress-code at the company, it is important to remember that you are up for an interview and you should go the extra mile to look better than you would even after you have resumed your job.

We hope we have been able to do some justice to this topic and till we meet again, make sure whatever you do is profitable!