Dressing For Success At Your Job Interview

By Canadajobs.com Staff

Have you got a job interview coming up and you're not quite sure what to wear?

Here are some tips to help you achieve a professional, polished look.

Stay Away From Scents:

Many offices now have a scent-free policy prohibiting workers and even visitors from wearing perfumes, colognes, and very odorous deodorants. Even if they don't, you should refrain from wearing scents when interviewing. This goes for men and women. Many people are irritated by odours and others might have mental associations with certain odours. A perfume can quickly remind them of someone they dislike. You want to be a blank slate, where only what you have to say, your experience, and your skills do the talking for you.

Dress Comfortably:

You don't want to look uncomfortable and ill at ease in what you're wearing. That being said, you should have a polished professional look. You've heard the expression "Dress for the job you want to do." You should go one step further. You should dress for the job that you want, but a touch more dressy. A good standard for a management job interview is a nice traditional dark suit, with a clean, pressed dress shirt and co-ordinating tie. Remember to wear comfortable dress shoes with dark dress socks. If you don't wear suits often, try on your outfit a few days in advance to make sure everything still fits from the last time you wore it.

For women, the same standard applies. Remember that you want to project a professional image. A good standard to go by is a nice fitted suit jacket in a neutral color like navy with either matching pants or skirt with an unfussy neutral blouse. Your shoes should be classic and just blend into your outfit. Don't forget plain pantyhose.

It's important to be comfortable as this helps you look confident and successful.

Don't Stick Out:

Interviews aren't usually the time to make a loud, personal fashion statement. Of course, you can certainly inject your own flair and style into your outfit. And for some job interviews in the creative fields, flair is a great thing. But make sure it isn't inappropriate. Get a friend's advice if you aren't sure. Sometimes we get used to wearing a certain style and we don't realize that perhaps, the trend has passed. It's important to stick with the basics and to be professional. The whole point of the interview is to get across how qualified you are, how your skills will be a great fit for the company you are applying for. Don't give them anything to remember you by but your content.

When interviewing, wear clothes that are or appear new. Women shouldn't wear clothes that show cleavage, skirts that are cut too short, see-through tops, or very high-heeled shoes.

Of course, we want to look our best at an interview. Women should refrain from wearing loud makeup. Everything should blend in nicely and your makeup should not be so dramatic that it distracts your interviewer.


Remember to look and smell nice to be around. Enough said.

Before Your Interview:

  • Try on everything a few days before to make sure everything fits as it should. Snip off any stray threads from your clothes and mend any loose buttons or snaps. You don't want something coming apart unexpectedly.

  • The night before, press anything that needs pressing. Don't wait until the day of, in case your iron doesn't work properly, or you burn something accidentally.

  • Take an extra few minutes to quickly polish your shoes.

  • De-lint your outfit, especially if you have pets in your home.

  • Get a haircut a couple of days before. This gives you extra time to correct any problems in case it doesn't turn out the way you were expecting.

  • Before you leave the house, take off one accessory. We tend to overdo garnishes when we are nervous and dressing up. Keep jewellery to a minimum - a wedding band (if applicable) or a ring, and a subtle watch, and plain earrings for women.

  • Women, bring an extra pair of pantyhose with you.

If you have any doubts about wearing a certain outfit, piece of clothing, or item of jewellery at an interview, leave it at home. Following these simple steps, should help you feel confident, prepared and polished for your interview. Good luck!

This article is exclusive to Canadajobs.com.
Copyright © 2005-2024, Farfan.
Reproduction of this article in whole or in part is prohibited.

Read more articles:

View our full list of job search articles.