It’s the night before a big interview and you’re fully prepared. You’ve done your homework on the company, the position and you’re prepared to answer any probing questions that may be tossed your way. But wait, you ask yourself, what do I wear? You want to impress your future boss by looking professional, presentable and fashionable at the same time. After all, first impressions make a statement about you and your personality.


According to Forbes,

“That first impression on an interview counts so much, and you don’t want to be out of the race before the interview even begins,” says Sherry Maysonave, who runs Empowerment Enterprises, an Austin, Texas, image consulting firm. “That first impression happens in less than 30 seconds and is based entirely upon your attire.”


For starters, make sure you research the company’s culture. It’s easy nowadays to do so via the company’s social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn). If you’re unsure, it’s OK to ask what to wear. Take into consideration the time of year, your geographic location, and the job/company/industry. Dress for the job you want, not your current position!

Remember perception is reality.  Even if the company is a tech company where the environment is more laid back, it’s still important to dress up for your interview. This shows that you take the company and your position seriously.


Below are a few tips when deciding what to wear:


1. Style: For men, invest in a good suit! A quality suit should last five to ten years, depending on how well you care for it, and it’s worth it if you plan to excel in your career. Keep it simple and classy. Make sure it fits well, which mean you may have to get it tailored for the perfect fit.

For women, consider a suit as well. You have a little more flexibility here, choose from a pants suit, dress suit, or skirt suit. When choosing a dress or skirt, wear black tights or pantyhose to polish off the professional look.

If this is an executive level position, a suit is a must. However, when interviewing for a lower level position a woman can go with a knee or calf length black dress paired with a blazer.


Here are some Pinterest boards we found that will give you some great suit ideas:










2. Color scheme: This goes for both men and women, stay with classic color combos: black/white, grey/white, navy blue/white. You can use your accessories to add a pop of color (ties, earrings, necklaces, handbag etc.).  A white or light colored tailored shirt offers clean, professional look. Stay away from bold colors, as they tend to look more casual.



3. Shoes:  Men should go with an oxford or derby style shoe in dark brown, navy, or black. Black if you are entering the boardroom. Make sure to polish leather shoes or buff suede, paying special attention to the heels and soles.




For women, shoes should be professional and understated, a mid-heel pump with a closed toe is the go-to choice. If you’re confident the company culture allows for a little bit of individuality here, go with a classic and tasteful pattern or color, but keeping the closed-toe and modest heel.

closed toe interview shoes


This should go without saying, but make sure your shoes are clean and scuff free. Take the time to tend to them beforehand.



4. Accessories: Here is where you can show more style. However you don’t want to look too flashy. For men, wearing a conservative watch and a good quality belt that matches your shoes is an ideal look.


For women, keep your jewelry tasteful, the interviewer should not “notice” your jewelry.  A business-like tote is ideal for interviews and can hold any materials you wish to present during the meeting.


If the company culture you’re applying for is young, cutting-edge, or fun you might want to add a splash of personality to your outfit. This video will give you some ideas on how to personalize your professional look through accessories:



 5. Cleanliness: A well-kept and groomed look is very important. For men, a clean shaven face and hair neatly trimmed will give a professional impression.

For women, keep makeup to a minimum. Hair should be neatly groomed and away from the face.

Dressing nicely and appropriately is a compliment to the person you meet, so if in doubt, dress to a higher standard than you may need to, and it’s safer than showing up too casual.


Remember NOT to do the following:

  • Wear perfume or cologne
  • Have visible body art, such as tattoos and piercings
  • Wear tight clothing
  • Wear wrinkled clothing
  • Expose technology – turn off your phone and put it away!

the biggest accessory your can wear is confidence and a smile


[mkdf_button size=”” type=”” text=”Job Opportunities ” custom_class=”” icon_pack=”font_awesome” fa_icon=”” link=”” target=”_self” color=”” hover_color=”” background_color=”” hover_background_color=”” border_color=”” hover_border_color=”” font_size=”” font_weight=”” margin=””]


SearchWide Global is a full service executive search firm primarily for companies in the travel, tourism, hospitality, convention, trade association, venue management and experiential marketing industries. We specialize in executive recruitment at all levels. Our knowledge and experience help us fully understand and interpret your business, competitive set and individual dynamics related to your business. With offices across the country, we remain connected at all levels while valuing our client and candidate relationships which in turn will build a solid bench for future success.