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What Not to Wear to a Job Interview?

what not to wear to a job interview

Most know the phrase “dress to impress.” We want to look our best for an interview or identify with the workplace culture as much as possible. However, this can seriously backfire if you don’t put some thought put into it.

So, here is What Not to Wear to a Job Interview when picking out your outfit, from top to bottom!

what not to wear to a job interview

Examples Of What Not To Do

Too Many Things on Your Head and Face

We are moving toward an era where facial piercings are more accepted in the workplace. However, you don’t want to be overwhelming. Pick one feature item and leave it at that.

For example:

  • If you have facial piercings, take some out and leave one.
  • Pick one part of your face to highlight with makeup, if you plan on using a bold color – either your eyes or your lips, but not both.
  • Your hairstyle should not be too over the top if you already have bold makeup and piercings.

You are Not Heading for the Runway

Anything ripped, sheer, or revealing should probably be left at home. In some settings, a pair of jeans or a nice sundress will be just fine, but it has to be a good quality item and be in line with a more casual workplace.

  • Skirts or dresses should reach your knee or lower, and shirts should not expose your stomach – no crop tops.
  • Shorts and yoga pants won’t do, unless you are applying for a summer camp position or planning on becoming a yoga instructor.
  • Don’t be afraid to use color, but use it wisely; you want to appear sophisticated without being dull.

No Toes

Properly pedicured toes and a peep-toe shoe could be super cute and stylish. However, some people have objections to feet in general. You don’t want to distract anyone, so keep the sandals and open-toe shoes for when you have landed the job and confirmed that they are allowed to be worn under the dress code policy.

  • For male footwear, dress shoes are always your best bet. If you are going for something more casual to wear, make sure it is something most employees wear as well.
  • If you are not good with heels, don’t feel like this is the time to wear them. You want to be as graceful as a swan, not a newborn Bambi. Stick to flats if heels are not your forte.
  • If you can manage heels, don’t feel obligated to wear the highest stiletto you have. Although a proper pair can do wonders for your confidence, even the most skilled heel walkers can have an unfortunate misstep.

what not to wear to job interviews


This is a true balancing act. As with the color, you don’t want too much going on. Face it; you are going to fidget as a self-soothing gesture anyway. Now you are touching your earrings, adjusting your bangles, turning the ring around your finger, and pulling at your scarf.

You look at your watch, pull your burette so you can tuck your hair behind your ear, and then clutch your bag to yourself. A good accessory can finish the look, but keep in mind that less may be more.

How To Answer Your Interview Questions!

With so many resources online, we’ve put together our top choices of interview handbooks such as The Key to Landing A Job – The Interview, the Fire Interview: The Storyteller Method, or how to answer High-Impact Interview Questions, and the 60 Seconds and You’re Hired! all available in 2023.

Our lit also includes How to Ace the Interview & Get Your Dream Job, the Hiring Squirrels: 12 Essential Interview Questions to Uncover Great Retail Sales Talent, along with the How to Answer Interview Questions, and the Amazing Interview Answers: 44 Tough Job Interview Questions with 88 Winning Answers.

Of course, our website also boasts a selection of insightful articles on how to answer How Do You Handle Stress, What Are You Most Proud Of, or Why We Should Hire You, plus How Would You Describe Yourself, What Are Your Career Goals, and What Makes You Unique, and finally Best Questions To Ask In An Interview.

Final Thoughts

The last-minute final touches for your interview…Keep a lint roller, a compact with a mirror, some hair spray, breath mints, and some fragrance with you. You do not want to walk in with pet hair stuck to your clothing. Check your hair for flyaway pieces, too – you may have caught some wind or bad weather on your way there.

People who are more attractive and put together are perceived as smarter, more honest, and more capable. This is called the “halo effect.” Your complete ensemble and attention to detail will promote this.

It’s always good to smell nice as well, to complete the whole halo effect for your interview that you are going for.

All the very best with picking out your next outfit!

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