What to Wear to a Job Interview for Women

how to dress for an interview for women, what to wear to an interview for womenMake your first impression count!

We all know that women’s fashions change over time. Just as these fashions change, the recommended attire for a job interview changes as well. If you are currently in the job market and are preparing for job interviews, you will want to make sure you review these tips for dressing for success.

Dress appropriately to the job position

While you can never go wrong wearing a business suit to an interview, it is possible that you will feel a little overdressed. For some workplaces, people simply don’t dress as professionally as they used to. So how do you know what to wear?

  • The rule of thumb is to dress one level nicer than you would typically dress for the job.
  • It’s okay to ask the hiring manager or human resources representative. You can say something like, “For the interview, I want to be sure I dress appropriately for your company’s culture. Do you require professional dress or business casual?” This kind of question can help to remove the guesswork.
  • For professional dress, stick with a business suit—either with pants or a skirt. Make sure the suit fits you well, which may mean having it tailored. It will be worth it, because looking good will help to boost your confidence! Choose a dark color like black, navy, or dark gray.
  • For business casual, go with a well-fitted pair of black pants and a flattering solid-toned blouse.

Watch your accessories

In addition to your outfit, you will need to give some thought to your accessories. You don’t want to over-accessorize and cause a distraction. Follow these guidelines.

  • Keep your jewelry very simple. Avoid dangly earrings, jangly bracelets, and any facial jewelry that may be distracting.
  • Avoid wearing perfume, just in case it happens to bother the interviewer.
  • Keep your makeup light and tasteful.
  • Make sure your fingernails are clean and your hair is styled neatly.
  • If you’re wearing a skirt, better to wear pantyhose than to go bare. Find a neutral shade.
  • Be sure your shoes are in good condition and free of scuffs.
  • If you smoke, make sure you don’t smoke right before the interview, because the hiring manager may smell it on your breath and clothes.

Finding a good outfit is just the first step in preparing for an interview. You will also want to research the employer, print out your resume, and practice sample interview questions. If you are like most people, you will be nervous before your interview. By having an outfit that makes you feel comfortable and confident, you will be one step closer to acing the interview!


The Harris School of Business provides career-related advice and other fun articles for our students on our twice-weekly blog. If you live in the Delaware Valley and are interested in learning more about our career-focused training programs, just fill out our simple contact form.