THE BLOG

What to Wear on a Job Interview

11/09/2011 11:54 am ET | Updated Jan 09, 2012

What to wear to an interview was the topic at the co-launch which took place in NYC on November 4th of Take the Interview and Candex, two innovative companies that streamline the recruiting process.With today's economy, companies have fewer resources and these platforms save time and money and help people get jobs.

The fun part of the evening was that Phillip Bloch and Lauren Ezersky were interviewing the guests on their best/worst interview moments including any interview fashion faux pas. What to wear to an interview has changed so much over the years and the basics have certainly evolved. In the tech arena, it might be dressed down. In a hedge fund one might suit up. There are an increasing number of women entrepreneurs even in technology which has been dominated by men. Danielle Weinblatt, the visionary CEO of TTI and Arthur Rock fellow of Entrepreneurialism of Harvard Business School, is one of those women in tech but wearing an off-the-shoulder beaded dress, she looked more like a style icon. Jeremy Lappin, who sits on TTI board of advisors and who also launched his company, Candex, at the launch event didn't looked like the stereotype tech geek but fresh off the pages of GQ.

What to wear to a job interview is an age-old question that has become even more important as the recession drags on and jobs grow scarce. It's an employers' market right now, you need to make sure your resume is up to date and that you dress appropriately for your job interview.
What should you wear? It depends on both your industry and the position level you seek is the advice from FashionForRealWomen.com:

  • Traditional industries like accounting, banking, and law require formal business attire in tailored fabrics. A matching suit or a business dress in a dark or neutral color works perfectly.
  • Creative industries like fashion, interior design, and architecture call for interview apparel that mixes the formality of traditional attire with fashionable elements that showcase your artistic flair. Suiting separates in unusual patterns or fabrics would work, as would traditional business attire with creative accessories.
  • People-oriented industries like teaching, social work, and health care call for attire that acknowledges formal business wear but emphasizes approachability. A blouse, pants, and vest would work well, for example, as would a collared dress in a neutral shade and simple silhouette.

According to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55% of another person's perception of you is based on how you look. Her Dressing for Success information gives some tips on how to look your best, without necessarily spending a lot of money. Here's a quick look at the basics:

Women's Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men's Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase