Choosing the right interview outfit

January 25 2019 , 0 Comments

Interview dress

Choosing the right outfit for an interview can be even more nerve wracking than the interview itself. For men, do you button down or wear a tie? For women, do you wear a dress, skirt, high heels? What does smart-casual mean? Your questions will hopefully be answered and don’t worry, it will be kept simple! We will tackle the most common dress codes, which are of course: smart, smart casual and casual.



Smart: If the position you are applying for is for a graduate position, then more often than not the dress code will be business smart. Despite this, it is best to keep it as simple as possible. Partner up a blouse with a pair of suit trousers and a sensible pair of shoes. If you go for heels, keep them short. Don’t be afraid to inject some colour too!

Smart casual: Typically for undergraduate roles or part time positions, the trick here is not to go too casual. To find out how relaxed you can go, research the company and see what the employees are wearing. Once that has been discovered you can then pick an outfit which is a little more formal. Commonly for women the go-to-outfit will be a shirt paired with a cigarette trousers.   

Casual: If you have an interview at a startup company, it will more often than not reflect the silicon valley iconic attire of wearing hoodie and jeans (every student’s dream!). However, first impressions count, so wear a pair of dark wash jeans (no holes) with a comfortable blouse. If you are thinking how on earth can I get all this on a budget, then be sure to read our interview outfit budgeting tips to save your bank account!




Smart: If you have nailed an interview at a finance or law firm then a suit with a tie will do the job just fine. Be sure to wear clean, leather shoes with a matching belt. It is important to note that some firms are not in favour of ties, however for business smart, this too is absolutely fine.

Smart casual:  Ultimately, smart casual is stripping down the above. Ditch the suit jacket for a buttoned down shirt, a pair of smart trousers and leather shoes (an alternative is to wear brogues!).

Casual: Again, the temptation to look through your wardrobe and throw on your favourite hoodie and ripped jeans is unbearable, however, impressions need to be made (good ones too) Therefore, we recommend wearing dark wash jeans with a shirt (if you fear that is too casual, then swap out the shirt for a dark top and wear a blazer on top).

What else to remember

  • Ensure everything is ironed! No one wants to see a creased shirt - save that for the rough morning afters.
  • It is important to embrace creativity and uniqueness, but for an interview make sure the attention is focused on you and not the snazzy socks
  • If you don’t know, ask! If you are unsure of the dress code, or they haven’t specified in their call or email then never be afraid to ponder the question
  • Make sure your shoes are clean and you haven’t over done it on the makeup or hair wax
  • It is always better to overdress than it is to under-dress.

Most importantly, relax! Before you know it, you’ll be nailing your next interview and starting your brand new job. Exciting times!

Megan is an Online Marketer at StudentJob UK. Looking for a job to fund your student lifestyle? Register for your free candidate profile


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