9 Tips on What Not To Wear to an Interview (What to Wear)

When attending an interview, your attire plays a significant role in making a positive first impression. It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on your wardrobe, but putting in some extra effort can pay off in the long run. 

As part of the crucial interview preparation process, it’s important to know what clothing choices to avoid. Making a poor dress choice can negatively impact the interviewer’s perception of you, even if the interview itself goes well. 

Therefore, taking the time to dress appropriately for the job can increase your chances of success in landing your dream job.

In this article, you will find nine suggestions on what to avoid wearing to a job interview. The article includes both dos and don’ts, as well as advice on appropriate attire and preparation strategies.

Advantages of Knowing What Not to Wear to an Interview

When preparing for a job interview, it’s crucial to know what clothing choices are inappropriate. As a job seeker, dressing appropriately and professionally demonstrates to the interviewer that you take the interview and position seriously. 

Furthermore, paying attention to details shows thoughtfulness and meticulousness, which are important qualities for many jobs. Knowing what not to wear can also prevent disappointment and confusion. 

For instance, you might feel that you aced the interview and are the ideal candidate, but later find out that you didn’t get the job.

If you’re unsure about what clothing choices are appropriate for your next job interview, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did my outfit adhere to the office’s dress code, including the interviewer’s expectations?
  • Did I feel comfortable in my outfit?
  • Did my outfit enhance my confidence in my abilities and responses?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, it may be worth considering making changes to your interview attire.

Things You Should Not Wear to an Interview

If you’re preparing for a job interview, it’s advisable to take some time to plan your interview attire. Here are some suggestions on what clothing choices to avoid:


Mini Skirts or Mini Dresses

Wearing short skirts or dresses is inappropriate for a professional setting. If you prefer not to wear pants, make sure your skirt falls at or below the top of your knees. Keep in mind that a skirt can ride up a few inches when seated, making it appear shorter. 

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While you may be permitted to wear shorter skirts or dresses if hired, it’s wise to present a more conservative first impression until you become more familiar with the dress code standards.


Although jeans are acceptable in some professional settings, it’s not advisable to wear denim to a job interview, even if they’re designer jeans in good condition. Denim suggests a level of informality that may not align with the prospective employer’s expectations, particularly when it’s your first meeting.

If you prefer to wear pants, opt for a comfortable pair of dress pants instead. Ensure they’re in good condition, without any stains, holes, or loose seams, and that they fit comfortably when seated.

Too Many Accessories

Wearing too many accessories during an interview can be distracting for the interviewer and can give a prospective employer a negative impression before they get to know you. While accessorizing can be a way to add personal touches to your outfit, excessive accessorizing is generally unsuitable for an interview.

Avoid wearing novelty accessories, such as a holiday tie or scarf, as they’re unprofessional. Instead, choose understated jewelry such as stud earrings and a subtle necklace, and limit yourself to one or two rings per hand. If you’re wearing a tie, dress shirt, and pants, make sure your tie clip, cufflinks, and belt are not flashy or bulky.

Remember that the interviewer should be focusing on your qualifications, and you don’t want to give them any reason to be distracted during your interview.



T-shirts are generally too casual to wear for a job interview, even if you pair them with a blazer or cardigan. They can appear inappropriate, worn out, or even wrinkled. Instead, consider wearing a button-up shirt or a short-sleeved shirt made of a nice fabric like silk. 

While a blazer or cardigan can add a touch of sophistication, make sure the shirt you wear underneath is clean and ironed in case you need to remove a layer due to warmth in the interview room.

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Bright Makeup

It’s recommended to err on the side of caution and avoid bright makeup during most interviews. Wearing bold red lipstick or shiny eyeshadow can be distracting to the interviewer and may not align with the organization’s guidelines. 

Furthermore, it can also hinder your chances of being selected as a candidate if the position involves attending formal and conservative meetings.

Heavy Perfumes or Cologne

Wearing too much artificial body scent can come across as inconsiderate and can distract from your professionalism during an interview. Strong perfumes or colognes may even cause physical discomfort such as headaches for some people. 

To demonstrate that you are thoughtful and considerate of others, it’s best to avoid wearing a lot of body scent to an interview.

Casual Sneakers or Open-toed Shoes

During warmer months, open-toed shoes and casual sneakers may seem practical, but they are not suitable for a professional interview. Wearing them can make you look too informal and may not convey the right impression to the interviewer, regardless of whether you wear socks with them. 

Closed-toe dress shoes such as Oxfords, flats, dress boots, or low heels are a better choice. It is important to inspect your shoes a day or two before the interview to check for any damage and ensure they are polished and shiny.

Too Tight or Flair Clothes

Ill-fitting clothes can send the message that you haven’t put enough effort into preparing for the interview. This can be true whether the clothes are too small or too large. 

Given how important first impressions are in an interview, it’s a good idea to have a few well-tailored outfits at the ready. If your weight tends to fluctuate, consider having an outfit that is stretchy or adjustable so that it can fit you well at the time of the interview.

Busy Patterns and Bright Colors

Wearing an interview outfit with too many bright colors or busy patterns can divert the interviewer’s attention from your qualifications. 

It is better to choose a subtle pattern or solid colors that look professional and well-coordinated. The objective is to ensure that interviewers concentrate on your skills and experience rather than your attire.

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How to prepare your interview outfit

By eliminating inappropriate clothing choices for an interview, it becomes simpler to select appropriate clothing with confidence. You can make sure your wardrobe complements, rather than detracts from, your performance at your next interview by taking these preparatory steps a few days ahead:

1. Plan your interview wardrobe

To avoid last-minute panic, select your interview attire a few days before the scheduled interview. This way, you can make any necessary adjustments or purchase new clothing items if required.

2. Check for tears and stains before the interview

Before heading out to your interview, check your clothing carefully for any tears, stains, or other blemishes. Arriving at an interview with a clean and well-maintained outfit reflects attention to detail and a professional demeanor.

3. Iron or steam your outfit

Iron or steam your clothing to ensure it is wrinkle-free. Arriving with a creased or wrinkled outfit can give off an unprofessional impression and harm your chances of making a good first impression.

4. Add some personality

Although it’s recommended to choose subtle colors for your interview outfit, you can still express your personality by wearing small and tasteful accessories, such as earrings or a tie that you love.

5. Save certain items for interviews

To prolong the lifespan of your formal wear, it can be a good idea to reserve them exclusively for interviews. You can maintain their quality by storing them separately in your closet.

Making a positive first impression during a job interview is crucial, and dressing appropriately can play a significant role in achieving this. While it’s important to look professional and put together, you don’t necessarily have to wear something too formal unless the company requires it. 

Business casual attire is usually appropriate for most settings, but avoid clothing that is too casual, such as flip-flops or poorly fitting clothes, as well as bright and flashy outfits or accessories.

To further enhance your impression, remember to wear a smile. It exudes confidence and sets a positive tone for the interview. Additionally, regardless of where you are in your career, be sure to check Intelregion Jobs for legitimate job opportunities.

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