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First impressions can form a lasting impression, and this is important to remember when deciding what to wear to an interview. This applies to an in-person interview, and it is also vital to adhere to appropriate online interview attire. You want to leave a good impression while still coming across as professional and qualified for the position, regardless of the sort of interview you attend during your job search. 

Even if you are the most educated and experienced applicant, a poor first impression could be made if you don’t look professional during the interview. Additionally, it can give the impression to the prospective company that you don’t respect them enough to put the effort into dressing appropriately, which may decrease your chances of landing the position.  

It is always best to enquire in advance about the culture of the company to which you are applying for a position. This may be done by an existing employee or a contact connected to the company. Based on the knowledge you obtain, it’s best to follow this when deciding what to wear to your interview. 

What to wear to an interview: Women’s edition

what to wear to an interview

When it comes to a job interview, any one of the following colours is appropriate to wear: black, white, grey, navy blue, brown, or beige as appropriate interview attire for women. You can excel professionally while wearing subtle colours of light blue, pale pink, or light yellow. 

It is appropriate to wear formal trousers, pencil skirts, knee-length dresses, blazers, neutral or light-coloured blouses, sweaters, cardigans, tights, and suits. Closed-toe heels, sandals, or short boots should be worn as appropriate footwear.  

It is best to avoid bright colours, knee-high boots, anything furry, flip-flops, loud accessories, and overpowering perfume. Additionally, be sure to do your homework in advance to determine the sort of business and the position you are interviewing for in terms of suitable attire.   

For a business casual interview 

It is best to wear formal pants or a formal skirt along with an appropriate blouse or top. A knee-length dress may also be an option for a business casual look. It is important to present in a professional, neat and appropriate manner. 

For a formal business interview 

It is best to wear formal pants, along with an appropriate blouse or top and finished with a blazer. A formal skirt or dress to knee length would also be an option for a business formal look. It is important to appear in business-appropriate attire in line with the position you are applying for. 

For a more informal or casual interview 

More colour and flair can be added to your outfit. This may include statement jewellery or a bag with a vibrant colour.  However, its best to maintain a strategic look in line with the culture of the company. 

What to wear to an interview: Men’s edition

When it comes to a job interview, suits, formal trousers, blazers, and jackets in the colours black, navy and grey are always appropriate interview attire for men. Although white formal shirts are standard, you could also wear a formal shirt with stripes or different hints of blue. Additionally, ties should be appropriate with not too much fuss and detail. It is important to prepare for a job interview in advance to determine the type of business and the role you are interviewing for in terms of suitable attire.  

For a business casual interview 

It is best to wear a pair of trousers such as slacks along with a shirt and sweater. A polo shirt can also be an option for a business casual look and an open jacket.  

For a formal business interview 

It is best to wear a formal suit in black or navy with a solid-coloured tie. For this type of interview, jeans, t-shirts and clothing with tears are not suitable attire. It is important to appear in business-appropriate attire in line with the position which you have applied for.  

For a position within a creative industry 

More vibrancy and colour may be included in your outfit. However, it is best to maintain a strategic appearance in line with the position you hope to secure. 

Online Interviews 

It’s best to attend an online interview in an appropriate attire. This will ensure you appear in the correct mindset for your interview and will help your confidence on the day. Remember, a poor first impression could be made if you don’t look professional during the interview. Furthermore, it may convey to the potential employer that you don’t respect them enough to make an effort to dress properly, which could damage your chances of getting the job. 

Similar to an in-person interview, it is best to plan in advance and know what you will wear on the day of the interview. It is vital to research the role which you are applying for and the culture of the company. If possible, enquire from an existing employee or contact connected to the company in advance. However, it is always best to follow the above guidelines relating to suitable attire as much as possible. 

Conclusion  

For your interview, it’s crucial to appear dressed in appropriate interview attire for the role, including graduate jobs, along with being confident and competent. However, the biggest mistake you can make is to choose to wear something that you’re uncomfortable in. If you are wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you will more than likely act uneasy and fidgety, which could easily ruin the remainder of your interview. 

Spend some time researching what to wear to an interview for the role you are applying for and the nature and culture of the business. It is vital to decide what to dress for your interview in advance and keep in mind that first impressions may have a lasting impression.  

Know You Know What To Wear To An Interview 

The HR Suite are HR consultants that have a vast knowledge of all things HR. We specialise in HR outsourcing, recruitment process outsourcing, HR business solutions, and relocation advice and have a huge range of HR Training courses available online, in person or through bespoke packages. 

If you are interested in any of our HR services or courses, get in touch today by filling in the contact form 

FAQ’s  

What to bring to a job interview?  

When attending your job interview, you may bring a copy of your CV and cover letter and/or the application form which you submitted when applying for the role. You can also bring a pen and paper with you and any questions you have prepared that you would like to ask the interview panel. 

It may be best to bring water with you as this may not be provided in all cases during the interview. In some cases, you will be advised what to bring to your interview in the offer letter.  

How long is a job interview?  

It depends on the role you are interviewing for and the type of interview. Sometimes, this can take the format of a panel interview with a competency-based framework. Normally, an interview can take anything between 30 and 50 minutes. This may be shorter for an online interview or a telephone interview. 

It is important to arrive on time and be aware of where the interview will take place. If you are attending an in-person interview, it might be best to drive this route or take public transport to the route in advance, to ensure you know where you are going on the day of your interview.   

What to wear to a job interview as a teenager?  

Generally, teenagers apply for roles in retail, cafes and restaurants. Even though this is normal for a temporary role, it is still best to attend for interview in a neat smart casual interview attire. 

Shirts, polo shirts, dress tops, smart pants and appropriate footwear are important to adhere to. 

It is important to dress appropriately to ensure you appear competent and confident for the role which you are interviewing for. Remember first impressions can form a lasting impression.

What type of services does The HR Suite offer?

As one of Ireland’s leading HR consultants, we offer plenty of HR services such as having an employment law consultant assigned to your company, helping with your recruitment process or any general HR services that you wish to outsource.

We also target employees and employers with high-quality HR Training courses.  Some of them include an employment law course, leadership development programme, workplace wellbeing course, people management course, management development programme, diversity and inclusion training, time management course, conflict management course, menopause in the workplace training, performance management course and plenty more. Check them out on our HR training page.

Perhaps you are not ready to commit to a course just yet and want to do some reading on a particular topic, then our blog is the perfect place to start. We currently have blogs about annual leave in Ireland, understanding what to wear to an interview, disciplinary procedures and grievance procedures.

CAROLINE REIDY

Caroline Reidy is the Managing Director of The HR Suite and a HR and Employment Law Expert. Caroline is a former member of the Low Pay Commission and is also an adjudicator in the Work Place Relations Commission. Top trainer and presenter, keynote speaker, expert investigator, mediator, WRC Adjudication Officer and owner of The HR Suite. She has also completed a Masters in Human Resources in the University of Limerick, she is CIPD accredited as well as being a trained mediator. Caroline had worked across various areas of HR for over 20 years in Kerry Group and in the retail and hospitality sector where she was the Operations and HR Director of the Garvey Group prior to setting up The HR Suite in 2009.