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What Should Women Wear to a Job Interview

“What should a woman wear to an interview?” is quite a popular question amongst female job seekers. Women have many options for dressing appropriately. To make a positive impression, it is worth dressing appropriately. Company dress code dictates precisely how an employee should look. Some may have a more informal style (often small firms, startups or creative companies). Many people work in hybrid positions where they are not required to visit the office daily, so their dress code is more casual.
However, it is still worth choosing a job interview outfit responsibly, as it is the first meeting with a potential employer with an appropriate formality. This article will help you choose the best interview attire to make a positive impression on the interviewer and demonstrate yourself professionally.

The importance of dressing right for job interviews

Interview attire is essential for success. There is an expression: “Dress for the job you want, not the job you already have!

And it’s true. You must choose the right outfit to make the best impression on the interviewer. Statistics show that 55% of first impressions depend on what you decide to wear to an interview and how you walk through the office door. In addition, 65% of hiring managers say that when choosing between two candidates with roughly the same qualities, interview clothes are the deciding factor. That said, very few people discuss interview outfits for women, but this article will remedy that situation.

The impact of first impressions in the job market

Choosing the right interview outfit is almost as stressful as the interview itself. Everyone knows that first impressions are the same. When it comes to getting that dream job, choosing the right outfit that fits you and complies with the company’s dress code is one of the deciding factors.

It would be best always to choose the right interview outfit to make a good impression. If you dress according to company culture, you will undoubtedly attract the hiring manager’s attention, so it is necessary to choose an appropriate outfit. In this situation, you can study the company’s official website to avoid hitting the dirt. If there are photos of the staff, they will tell you what is best to wear: formal business or casual clothes. If you still have doubts and want to make the right impression, you can call the hiring manager and ask about the company’s corporate style. Often, the hiring manager removes the requirements for what to wear to a job so that employees can decide how to make the first impression.

Understanding the Dress Code

For a job search to result in the desired position, it is worth doing thorough research and preparation for a successful interview. In particular, you need to plan what to wear to an interview. It is worth deciding which closet items you will use to make a positive first impression when looking at open positions. In particular, you should study the dress code of the company. It is a reflection of the corporate culture. In addition, learning the company’s rules regarding staff attire will allow you to understand whether they meet your expectations. Interview outfits for women are of particular importance.

Different industries and their specific dress codes

A company’s dress code often depends on the exact industry in which it operates. There are general guidelines as to which interview outfits should be chosen depending on the field of activity:

Conservative/professional style

  • Financial institutions
  • Corporations
  • law firm
  • Accounting сompany
  • High-level public institution

Business casual

  • Retail
  • Real estate
  • Public institutions
  • Education
  • Sales
  • Small business companies
  • Engineering

Casual wear

  • Construction and repair works
  • Plumbing works
  • Landscape design

Creative/stylish outfits

  • Fashion
  • Musical field
  • Travel business
  • Graphic design
  • Entertainment sector

At the same time, universal interview outfits are perfect for almost any situation. These include:

  • of a darker shade;
  • dark-coloured dress pants and a white shirt;
  • pencil skirt knee length and casual shirt;
  • jacket or cardigan;
  • court shoes, ballet shoes (it is forbidden to wear shoes with high heels);
  • classic accessories.

At the same time, it is worth remembering that you should choose interview outfits for women in advance, not immediately on the same day you talk to the hiring manager. It would be best if you did not do everything in a hurry.

The significance of researching the company culture

Choosing appropriate interview outfits is always worth ensuring they fit the company culture. Business casual interviews are most common, but some startups and young companies (especially in IT) prefer employees to wear more casual outfits (in other words, you can wear business casual or just casual clothes to a job). It all depends on exactly what your new job is:

  • If the company is more corporate, it is best to wear to an interview business formal or statement Dress;
  • If the company is most like Zuckerberg’s brainchild (t-shirt and jeans), remember that wearing it to an interview is best in business style.

At the same time, you should not be fooled by the “relaxed style”. In any case, opting for business casual rather than wearing a hoodie or sweatpants is best. Even if the company accepts jeans on employees, it does not mean that this is the best outfit for the very first meeting.

Women’s Job Interview Attire Essentials

Whether your following job interview is at a large firm or a small startup, deciding which interview outfits are best suited for the meeting is worth deciding. At the same time, it does not matter whether the meeting will be in a video interview or in person. In this situation, we recommend paying attention to the general guidelines.

Classic interview outfits that work for most situations

Business casual is the standard solution for what to wear to an interview, regardless of gender. Choosing a slightly more formal outfit is still a good idea, even if the company requires formal attire. In addition, use the following tips to be successful in an interview at most offices:

  • If you prefer to wear skirts, it is best to wear a navy blue full suit with a pencil skirt knee length;
  • If you wear tights, make sure that they do not have arrows or holes;
  • The pencil skirt must be knee length – do NOT ignore this fact, because when you sit down on a chair during interviewing, the hem will jump up a bit;
  • It is best to wear a smart jacket that fits your figure; a loose fit is not suitable for this situation;
  • The shirt or blouse should be monochrome, no flashy prints;
  • If you like to wear pants, it’s best to wear them to an interview a pantsuit;
  • Of shades, it is best to choose navy blue and other dark colours, while the blouse should be light and monochrome;
  • If you like to wear heels, the best choice is leather shoes with 2-6 cm heel, and the toe should be closed.

To show yourself as a business professional, it’s also a good idea to remove your piercings for the interview (if you have them) and wear clothes that completely hide your tattoos.

Tips for choosing appropriate colours and styles

If you want to get a position in a corporate company, business casual is always a good option. Most often, a woman’s term “business casual” means that she should come to a job interview wearing a skirt + shirt or pants + blouse.

In addition, in the matter of choosing colours, cuts and styles, it is worth considering the following recommendations:

  • Suits are best chosen in neutral colours – black, grey or navy blue;
  • Clothes shouldn’t look over the top – avoid bright colours, flashy prints and big accessories;
  • The sleeves of your jacket should be the right length. It should sit neatly on your shoulders;
  • To make you feel confident in a skirt and show yourself as a business professional, its length should reach your colleagues, not be too scuffed while walking and not bounce while sitting;
  • If you choose pants for interviewing, make sure in advance that they fit the shoes the length of the pants is short enough. Also, pants should not be too narrow (if the lining of the pockets or the fabric is very wrinkled, it is better to refuse them);
  • Evening black dress can be worn to an interview, but do not forget to put a jacket on top to make the image refined and simple.

If the company allows business casual, you can dress less formally. At the same time, you should not wear closet items to an interview with big logos, shouting patterns, many accessories and so on.

Dressing for Specific Job Roles

The classic look is the best way to get hired. Remember, even if you are doing video interviews, you should dress appropriately. No wearing clothes or other unkempt things. At the same time, your attire should be appropriate for your role in the company:

  • Internship. Hiring managers in this situation don’t expect the intern candidate to come dressed in a full suit, but it’s worth keeping it business casual to make a positive impression. A Knee-length dress or a pencil skirt with a neutral-coloured blouse is the best solution.
  • Entry-level position. In this case, it is worth researching the company culture to see exactly what you should wear to the interview. If the company prefers a business casual style or you need help finding a corporate dress code, it is best to wear dress pants, a pencil skirt and a sophisticated blouse. It is best to go for an entire business suit or add a blazer if it is not a casual interview but a more professional meeting.
  • Medium or senior level position. You should wear the most formal business attire possible for interviewing (unless you know that the company culture is one of casual attire).
  • Executive or managerial position. The only proper solution to feeling confident is to wear a business suit. In this situation, your attire should convey strength and presence so the hiring manager understands you have what it takes to lead your subordinates.

As strange as it may sound, you should wear the right attire for a phone interview. Of course, the hiring manager can’t see you during the conversation, but the proper attire will add to your confidence and make you feel like a true professional. At the same time, your clothing should align with the company’s corporate culture. If you sit in your old stretchy pyjamas during a phone interview, the tone of the conversation will be as relaxed as your image.

Interview attire for creative and non-traditional job positions

A non-traditional position in itself implies that interview outfits must be creative. The following areas are most often considered in this situation:

  • fashion;
  • musical field;
  • tourism business;
  • graphic design;
  • entertainment sector.

In this case, the employer values an unconventional and creative approach to business, so interview outfits for women should also be appropriate and confirm the candidate’s creativity for the position.

Navigating the dress code for tech and startup interviews

If you are applying for a job at a startup, the most common situation will be a casual interview. In this case, choosing the same attire as interviewing for an internship is worth it. In addition, IT companies often enforce a casual dress code for their employees. Women’s casual attire options are worth considering if you want a position in these companies.

Remember one important rule: even though the clothes presented should be practical and comfortable, your outfit should still be appropriate, well-groomed and fit your figure.

Accessorising and Grooming

Accessories and shoes complete any image. But to get the desired position, they need to be chosen wisely. A job interview is an excellent opportunity to express your personality through your outfit. But your look should not look too much. In this situation, it is worth using the following tips.

The role of accessories in enhancing your interview outfit

Before a job interview, it is worth ensuring that the shoes are appropriate for the business attire. If you like to wear heels, you should not turn out from them at the interview; they should be at most 6 cm. In addition, if you are entirely unaccustomed to shoes with heels, you should not even think about wearing them – you will shuffle, which will not make a positive impression on the hiring manager.

Formal attire for a job interview is best complemented with loafers (choose a flat-soled black model), low-heeled shoes, flat shoes or even ballet flats. If you have chosen a casual outfit for the interview, it is best to complement it with ballet flats, clean sneakers or leather flat shoes. Do not wear flip-flops under any circumstances.

As for additional details, you must remember to add only a few accessories to the outfit. Most often, the following list of things is enough for the interview:

  • phone;
  • keys;
  • resume or portfolio.

You can also bring a small bottle of water with you. All of these will fit perfectly in a stylish handbag. It will take up a little space, and a small purse is great for business casual. Of course, if you wear wedding rings, you should wear them to the interview, too. As for other jewellery, then they should be discarded. Massive bracelets and huge necklaces can distract the hiring manager’s attention and interfere with you. It’s best to wear just a subtle pair of gold or silver earrings or a thin chain.

Also, if the season calls for outerwear, it is best to wear a coat. At the same time, it should be of a dark neutral shade, perfectly combined with your dress pants or other outfit components. The optimal solution is a long woollen coat with buttons.

Appropriate hairstyles and makeup choices

It is essential to have a well-groomed look at a job interview. In the matter of choosing makeup, it is best to choose the simplest possible option. Do not experiment with a variety of images. If you apply red lipstick perfectly, then why not? But at the same time, you should use nude and warm shades of eye shadow.

As for the appropriate hairstyle for a job interview, choosing the neatest possible option is best. Pulling the hair into a ponytail or making a neat bundle is unnecessary. The main requirement: hair should be combed, freshly washed and smooth.

One small tip: your hands should also be well-groomed. As for the colour of the manicure, it is best to choose beige, dark grey, pale pink or classic red coating.

Boosting your confidence through appropriate clothing

Dressing for a job interview is the deciding factor that determines whether you get the position. In this situation, you need to show your best self. To get hired, your attire must be appropriate to the situation: your role in the company, your corporate style and even the time of year. An excellent practical tip: dress a little better than current employees dress for the interview. It will demonstrate your interest in the job. In addition, when buying an outfit for a job interview, you can buy several sets at once: knee-length dress and jacket, skirt with blouse, pants with shirt and so on, so that you can combine several things in different ways (change the shirt, the bottom of the outfit under the same blouse and so on).

What Should Women Wear to a Job Interview
Date: 15 November 2023
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