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Dress Smart: How to Nail an Interview with Your Outfit

Sure, the interview portion is not about what you look like (unless you're applying as a model or a flight attendant, in which case looks matter). But first impressions are first impressions, and you would want to look your best the moment your potential employer sees you.

But despite numerous and repetitive reminders on the proper interview attire, many interviewers still find applicants wearing t-shirt and jeans (with the exception of walk-in applicants, who may have literally just passed by when they saw the "We're Hiring" sign). Most startups don't mind, but if you're planning to land a job at an established corporation, you might want to dress the part.

We've prepared a list of advisable interview attire, compiled from several HR and fashion websites, for your reference:


Best For: established/well-known companies, outsourcing firms

Button-down, long-sleeved shirt/blouse

Pressed suit/skirts (make sure your skirt length is below the knee, and wouldn't ride up too much when you're sitting)

Dark, solid colors (black, white, gray, navy blue)

Dress pants

Tie (gents), Blazer (ladies)

Closed shoes (actually, this applies to every interview; ladies, choose comfortable shoes with reasonable heel height)

Also: fresh, clean haircut, choose something that will cover your sleeve tattoo, shave, no earrings and excessively-large watches (gents); no hair should touch the face, nude/no nail polish, wear your make-up "barely there", keep your jewelry limited to a pair of earrings, a ring, and a nice bracelet/watch (ladies)


Best for: outsourcing firms, startups, tech jobs

Collared or button-down shirts (long or short-sleeved) /blouse

Jeans/slacks/skirts (make sure that your jeans are pressed, no frills, no holes, and not faded)

Dress (ladies, feel free to wear bright colors, but keep it easy on the patterns)


Closed shoes

Also: ties are optional, you can keep your hair long but keep it neat (gents), coral eyeshadow may be acceptable, but your lipstick still has to be light (ladies)


Some companies do not require applicants to come in a specific attire, but just to be on the safe side, follow the smart casual attire rules.


1. Do not bring gum. Ever. We understand that your breath might smell after an hour of waiting without saying anything, but you can opt to pop breath mints that will melt in the mouth.

2. Bring copies of your resume and ID photos of different sizes, even if you've submitted it already.

3. Gents, leave your Jordans, Crocs, and leather sandals at home. Wear a classic black leather shoes, or at the very least, loafers.

4. Ladies, the colors of your dress, bag, and shoes should complement each other, but they don't have to match. Unless you're Elle Woods.

Got any more tips? Let's help out a friend and leave a comment below!

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