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Professional Interview Attire

Land an interview? Going to a job fair?? Wearing the right outfit??? I want to help you answer this last question with these professional interview attire tips and suggestions…


No club attire – meaning, if you wear it to a club, it probably does not belong in a workplace environment

Suit:  2-piece and matching

Pant OR skirt:

                Pant:  tailored, and not too tight

                Skirt:  Should cover thighs when seated, and no high slits

Colors:  navy, black, dark brown or gray

Shirt:  tailored and solid color or small print that matches suit and no cleavage

Jewelry:  conservative watch is always a good idea. 

Makeup:  keep it conservative, and a little is usually better than none

Nails:  clean and well-groomed, and no extreme lengths and/or colors

Shoes:  close-toed pumps are always a smart choice.  Avoid stilettos or chunky platforms.  And for those who are not the heel-wearing type, simple, leather, close-toed flats are fine as well.

Purse OR briefbag: 

                Purse:  keep it small and simple, color should match shoes

                Briefbag:  leather or micro-fiber, and avoid any tote-ish looking items


Suit:  2-piece and matching.  Avoid a jacket that does not match the pant

Color:  navy and dark gray are always the safe choices

Tie:  a quality silk tie with a simple, small pattern

Shirt:  long-sleeved shirts (even in the summer!) in white, light-blue solid or conservative stripes

Socks:  dark socks (navy for brown shoes & black for black shoes) that are mid-calf length

Shoes:  leather lace-ups or slip-ons, black or dark brown (invest in a nice pair; you’ll get your money back over the years, promise!)

Belt:  leather and must match your shoes (black with black and brown with brown)

Facial hair:  if worn, keep it well-groomed

Jewelry:  conservative watch and no earrings


Hair:  out of the face, clean, and neat

Lint:  use a lint roller and remove it from your suit

Wrinkles:  iron them out of the shirt! The drycleaning bill (usually you can get a student discount) is worth a possible job offer.

Perfume/Cologne:  use sparingly, if at all.  Don’t smell like smoke either!

Padfolio:  usually looks more professional than taking notes and holding papers in a two-pocket folder or anything else.

Bookbag:  NEVER!

I hope some of these tips help.  Bear in mind, that while you may not dress this way on a regular basis if you’re working in a more casual environment, it still makes the best impression to show up dressed this way for an interview or job fair.  And if you’re more of a visual person, take a look at these examples (click on the images to enlarge them) as to what to wear for a professional appearance worthy of a job offer….OR take a look at YouTube video below for these students’ take on professional dress.

Source:  “Interview Appearance and Attire” http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/InterviewAppearance.html
Leave a comment


  1. Good tips on how to look proper and formal on an interview day. The attires are just a factor, what’s most important is the confidence in yourself!

  2. Nice One covers quite a bit of information which nobody pays enough attention to.

  3. Love these tips. It’s always tough to decide what to wear.

    This is a wonderful breakdown of what to wear and what not to wear.



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