6 Things Not To Wear To An Interview

6 Things Not To Wear To An Interview

Anyone who interviews prospective employees regularly would, doubtless, have more than one grim memory to share about the clothing some of them turn up in. The old saying ‘fine feathers make fine birds’ is very true. Here are some ideas of what to avoid wearing when going for an interview:

1. Revealing clothes

While a jacket is a good choice for almost any interview, be careful of what you wear underneath. Inevitably, the deep-V formed by the jacket’s lapel creates a plunging neckline. If you’re going to wear a camisole or a top underneath, make sure it covers you appropriately. Always cover up for an interview. Start-up and IT companies may not require you to dress formally, but modesty is still a default position.

2. Not too casual

While many start-ups today do not require employees to wear formal work-wear, arriving at an interview dressed in torn jeans and tie-dyed shirts and takkies may not create the impression you want. Get the balance right with smart-casual wear by wearing tailored trousers and a well-ironed shirt. Avoid flip-flops, clumpy shoes, sundresses, shorts, branded T-shirts and hats.

3. Distracting items

Err on the side of being conservative in your dress. Huge loop earrings, luminous colours, bold bright patterns and individually crafted artwork nails are all things that can distract the interviewer from hearing what value you can add to their company.  Tone down on your make-up and jewellery and always remove your headphones.

4. Mind the smells and bells

Ensure you do not smell of an overpowering perfume, cigarette smoke, sweat or the dog.  Rather don’t wear perfume if it might be off-putting to an employer. Don’t wear excessive accessories like rings on your fingers, piercings, bangles and other distracting accessories.

5. Ill-fitting clothes

If you have not been to an interview for a while, your “interview” clothes may not fit like they used to. Too tight, too short or too loose fitting clothing will not make a good impression.

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6. Not too outdated

You may not have been for an interview for years and your clothes and shoes may simply look out-dated. You don’t need to spend a fortune on a good pair of khaki, navy or black pants, a smart shirt and a new pair of neat shoes to look the part. It will be worth the investment if you get the job.

Always Ask

If you’re unsure what to wear before attending an interview, please know that you may ask us. It is a very common question, which we are happy to advise on at

One of the anomalies of human nature is that nearly everyone would refuse to turn up at a gym wearing say, flip-flops and a sundress to run on the treadmill. A tatty old suit too would invite ridicule in a spinning class. Neither of these ensembles would be allowed on a golf course. Failure to comply with dress codes would mean having to choose another past time. Dominoes or tiddlywinks anyone?

It perplexes recruiters and interviewers that, when seeking employment, not everyone understands or respects the importance of presenting themselves as well groomed and well dressed.

By following the rules, you can be confident that you have passed the initial test… that of creating a favourable first impression. Your style and smart attire will carry you through to the next phase of your interview. You’ll be on your way to getting the job. Good luck!

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