How to Dress for a Formal or Casual Interview

Your interviewer will form an initial opinion on you before you even say one word based on what you’re wearing. Apart from having a good resume and attitude, dressing appropriately will help you secure that job. However, deciding what to wear can be pretty confusing nowadays.

There used to be a time when you couldn’t really go wrong with a conservative dress and heels or suit and tie, but things have changed a lot since then. Now it all depends on the company that you want to work for. Thanks to the rise of countless tech companies in recent years, you don’t need to wear a suit to an interview in certain companies. Nevertheless, in some industries like law and finance it’s expected of you to dress conservatively.

How Men Should Dress for a Formal or Casual Interview

You should show up to an interview in business formal attire if you applied for a job at a law firm or a bank. It’s also recommended that you dress like this for business consulting jobs as well as administrative or managerial positions. On top of that, any high-skill white collar jobs such as advertising require you to dress formally for an interview.

Dressing in business formal attire means that you should have a dark colored suit with no pattern or fine white pinstripes. Make sure that it fits you well and that you’re comfortable in it. The shirt underneath the suit should be plain white with a point or spread collar. Your tie should be dark colored, while your shoes should be black. In order to look more professional, you can wear a nice luxury watch. Keep in mind that nowadays you can get a pre-owned luxury watch for a low price on a lot of websites that sell them.

In case you’re applying for an entry or mid-level office job or any kind of desk job, then you should go with a business casual outfit. Pick out a dark sports coat or blazer that isn’t patterned. Your trousers should be with minimal texturing and of solid color. Go with a collared shirt, but make sure that it’s not bright colored. Pick out some nice brown or black leather dress shoes, and you can skip the tie if you don’t feel the need to wear it.

How Women Should Dress for a Formal or Casual Interview

The first item that makes up your business formal attire should be a suit. For women, a suit consists of a blazer and a matching skirt or pair of trousers. It’s recommended that you choose a suit in a neutral color like dark grey or black. Underneath the blazer, you should wear either a pullover shell blouse or a buttoned-up shirt. Make sure that the color of your blouse or shirt matches well with your suit. You can either go with light colors like white and white pink or conservative tones like burgundy and black.

Leather pumps are a great addition to a formal business wardrobe. Keep in mind that heels should be somewhere between two and four inches. Pearls are a great conservative accessory that can improve your look. You can go with either a pearl necklace or a pair of pearl earrings. In addition to this, you can wear a luxury watch if you’re applying for a serious position. If you don’t have one, you can find many great websites that sell pre-owned luxury watches at affordable prices.

If you know that employees at the company you want to work at don’t dress so formal and you start wondering if you’re too dressed up, then you most likely are. In case you’re going shopping for business casual clothes, you should choose items that you can wear with anything, such as pencil skirts, blouses, button-down shirts, sweaters, and black or navy blazers. For your business casual interview, you can wear dark-washed jeans, a blouse, a navy blazer, and some pearl earrings.