How to Dress for a Job Interview

Research the preferred dress at the office you’ll be visiting. Many workplaces prefer a professional dark business suit, but some offices may prefer less traditional dress. Bring a portfolio (available at the bookstore) or plain folder to hold extra resumes, references, or paper for taking notes. Remember, dress for the job you want!

  • Arrive well-groomed: hair neatly brushed/trimmed, and styled away from your face if possible.
  • Avoid the use of heavy fragrances (perfume or cologne). 
  • Do not wear open-toed shoes or shoes with heels higher than three inches. You need to be able to walk easily.
  • Wear accessories conservatively. A few professional items to consider could be: a watch, cufflinks, tie, small earrings, and/or necklace. Less can be more!
  • Wear neutral colors: black, navy blue, grey or brown for the majority of your outfit. Loud colors or patterns can be distracting.

Business dress is considered standard for most interviews, even if more casual clothing is typically worn in the workplace. Below are definitions for some dress codes you may encounter.

Business Casual – Typical, everyday office attire

  • Khakis or dress pants
  • Casual skirt or dress
  • Polo or collared shirt
  • Dress shoes, loafers, or flats

Smart/Dressy Casual – A combination of business casual and business attire

  • Dark jeans (no holes) or khakis
  • Dress pants or skirt
  • Collared or dressy top
  • Blazer or nice jacket

Business Attire – More sophisticated and signaling a need for a suit

  • Suit or business style dress
  • Collared shirt and tie
  • Dress shoes or comfortable heels

When in doubt about what to wear, ask someone in the company or industry for suggestions, or sign up for a drop-in appointment with a staff member at the career center for some feedback. We want you to feel both prepared and comfortable.