There’s no end to articles about tips and techniques for interviewing for a new position. It’s all good advice, too. But some of the basics are often overlooked. If you’re a new grad entering the workforce for the first time, looking to make a change or even returning after a bit of a break, it’s good to have the basics down. 

Everyone has heard the adage, “Dress for the job you want, not the one you have.” While there seems to be a cultural shift towards business casual (sometimes more casual than business), people still are judged by their appearance. 

There are always exceptions to rules, which make them more like guidelines, but in general, these basics will apply. 

Colors: Conservative or Spring Style?

Black is a classic color for business. A simple black outfit is always a good idea. Other professional colors are Taupe and Navy. Adding a splash of color isn’t a bad idea – like a scarf or necktie. 

Accessories are a chance to share your personality while keeping it professional. As with all things fashion, simple is better. Dangly, clinking, sparklies might not be the most appropriate. A watch, however, sends a message of organization and conscientiousness. If your accessories are shabby, you’ll disrupt the message you’re trying to send. 

Shoes for Interviews

Men should keep it simple, but footwear especially is a quality over quantity decision. Women should wear closed-toe shoes. Starting from the ground up, the shoes are literally the foundation of your attire. 

Women’s Fashion

There are a few extra details for women to remember. Don’t wear anything sleeveless to an interview. As well, no bare legs (nylons) and be conservative with the length of a skirt. 

Dress the Season

If you’re interviewing in February in Minnesota or Wisconsin, it’s a safe bet it’s going to be cold out. So extend your interview fashion to layers – sweaters help insulate and can be removed easily enough. Conversely, it does no good to show up for an interview covered in sweat. 

Select Fabrics Carefully

Choosing something that breathes, and doesn’t wrinkle easily is very important. Wool and polyester, thick fabrics and closely woven fabrics wrinkle less.

Okay, now that we’ve got you polished and looking spiffy, bop over to to read some interview strategies. Don’t worry, you’ve got this!

Image credit: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / AdamGregor7