Dressing For Your Interview (For Women) Employment

Whether you’re jumping from another job or returning to work from time away, job interviews are always tough. The fact that you’ve got to dress a certain way doesn’t make it any easier. For a start, you’ve got to dress professionally, which means finding out what exactly professional means to your prospective employer. Next, you’ve got to find something that’s professional and comfortable. It’s difficult. But, with a little thought and some work, you’ll be assembling a great outfit in no time. 

In this short knowledge hub article, we will go through some quick tips on how to dress to impress for the interview. 

Research Your Chosen Company And Find Their Definition of Professional 

To start with, it’s important to do some research on the company you’re interviewing for. This should be par the course for every job interview, but researching your company at this stage is a little different from researching for interview prep. During this stage, you’ll want to learn about the company’s corporate culture and try to get an idea of what it means to be a professional at your new company. 

The first place to start is your prospective company’s social media feeds. Look for any photos taken in the office or place of work and see what everyone’s wearing. By doing this, you’ll quickly find out whether or not the company uses a formal or informal dress code. 

If you can’t find any photographs, you have two options. 

  1. Make your best estimate based on your existing research on the company and its industry. Generally speaking, jobs where you’re expected to be working in an office will mostly be formal. However, in the post-COVID world, this is not always the case. As a result, assuming the formality of your potential employer is not always the best idea. 
  2. Contact the hiring manager/human resources officer of the company and ask them about the dress code.  

Once you have an idea about your company’s dress code, it’s time to start planning your outfit. 

Planning Your Outfit 

In 2021, there are very few actual rules about dress formal dress code. But there are a few good suggestions you might want to think about:

  • The level of skin your interview clothes shows depends on your level of comfort. If you feel comfortable and professional, then you have an ideal interview outfit. You may feel comfortable in a dress suit (with trousers or a skirt) or you may feel more comfortable in a dress. Listen to your comfort. Remember, it’s difficult to be confident if you’re not comfortable. 
  • Never come to an interview in a piece of clothing that looks like it’s been left in a closet for six years. If it needs ironing, iron it. If it has holes, don’t wear it. 
  • If you decide to have a manicure, make sure that it’s fresh and that your nails aren’t broken. If you don’t have a manicure, don’t worry about it.

Use Colour To Your Advantage

With this in mind, while there are only guidelines, one key area that you might want to take a  look at in order to narrow down your choice is by colour. 

Scientifically and fashionably, certain colours have different connotations. For example, light blue is known as a calming colour. Orange, meanwhile, is known to cause agitation in people. You can use these connotations, as well as your own natural colouring and the expected formality of the organization, to help you pick your ideal outfit. 

Let’s say, for example, you’re applying for a position in a finance company. It’s a fairly formal place, albeit not as formal as a law firm. You want to appear confident, but not overly so. So, in this example, you could choose something like a dark blue dress — dark enough to have that layer of formality, but not as imposing as a completely black dress. Or maybe you’re applying for a managerial position at that same company. In that case, you want to wear something more imposing — possibly a red or black dress or a formal dress suit. 

Or maybe you’re applying for a job that doesn’t have a formal dress code. Maybe you’re applying for a retail position or a position at a tech company — somewhere where a dress code would just be inappropriate. In that case, you still want to come across as a little more formal than the company itself. A white blouse and black trousers would be a great outfit for this scenario. 


Finally, you should make sure that your shoes and purse/handbag are complementary to the outfit you pick. It’s been a running theme throughout this article, but it’s important to choose shoes that make you comfortable and accessories that make you feel confident. 

In Summary

Remember, when picking out your outfit for your job interview, you should: 

  1. Do research on the company you’re applying for
  2. Figure out whether they use a formal or informal dress code
  3. Work out what kind of impression you want to make and determine your colours accordingly
  4. Find clothes that suit your desired impression, make you feel comfortable, and match your company’s definition of professional dress code
  5. Find accessories that match your outfit and make you feel confident and comfortable

For More Information

For more information about dressing for your interview or anything at all to do with getting back into work, contact Building Better Opportunities today. Our team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.