Fashion Lifestyle

How to Dress for Different Types of Interviews

How to dress for different types of interviews from casual to corporate to classic

Tips on how to dress for different types of interviewsPreparing for an interview intimidates even the most qualified candidates. Researching the company, fine-tuning your resume and cover letter, and arriving on time are just a few of the many important things you have to remember.

What many people forget is that first impressions can make a world of a difference in an interview. A candidate can have the perfect resume and all of the experience in the world, but if they do not hold themselves with confidence and dress appropriately, they will be denied the job.

Don’t leave getting dressed as an afterthought. Your appearance says far more about you than you think. You want to show the employer that you put in effort to making yourself presentable and professional – that you care for yourself. This proves that you can care for job responsibilities.

Unfortunately, not all job interviews are created equal. Some jobs foster a more creative or casual environment whereas some are strictly pantsuit-only. Have no fear, I have created a guide to help you navigate exactly how to dress for different types of job interviews!

How to dress for a corporate interviewIMG_4328IMG_4332Don’t let the formal tone of a corporate interview trick you into think it’s difficult to dress for. This is the easiest one of them all, I promise! All you need is:

  • A matching blazer and slacks (preferably black, navy, or grey)
  • A simple blouse
  • Simple 2 inch, close-toed heels
  • A solid, neutral purse

You can add a pop of color in the blouse if you want, but don’t have any crazy prints. It’s really hard to mess up this look. However, there are a few guidelines you should follow when dressing for a corporate or formal interview:

  1. No flashy jewelry – keep it minimal and very simple
  2. Keep your hair pulled back – it needs to be in a bun, ponytail, or braid and out of your face
  3. No extra piercings – earlobes only
  4. Natural makeup – neutral tones, very light application
  5. No heels above 3″ – wear flats if you can’t stand kitten heels
  6. No cleavage – keep it covered
  7. Shoulders should be covered – if you HAVE to take your blazer off, be sure to be wearing a short-sleeve or long-sleeve blouse under
  8. No cotton or spandex
  9. No see-through material
  10. No bra straps showing

Shop the Look

How to dress for a classic interviewIMG_4356IMG_4358This is the most common type of interview. This is very, very similar to the corporate interview outfit, but you have more room to play around. Here’s what you need for a classic interview outfit:

  • Neutral slacks or knee-length skirt
  • Neutral blazer
  • Simple blouse
  • Heels under 3″ or flats
  • Simple purse

The key here is that all of these items can be colored! I like to have one statement piece that makes me stand out from the crowd at a typical interview. For this outfit, I added the colorful statement necklace. You could switch it up and add a colorful blouse, blazer, shoes, or bag. While you have a bit more flexibility here, stick to the following guidelines:

    1. Only one “flashy” accessory piece – chose a bracelet OR earrings OR a necklace OR a purse
    2. Keep your hair pulled away from your face – whether it’s with a headband or clips or what, you don’t want to be pushing your hair out of your face constantly during your interview
    3. No extra piercings – earlobes only
    4. Natural makeup – neutral tones, very light application
    5. No heels above 3″ – wear flats if you can’t stand kitten heels
    6. No cleavage – keep it covered
    7. Skirt must be no shorter than one inch above your knees
    8. Shoulders should be covered – if you take the blazer off, be sure to be wearing a short-sleeve or long-sleeve blouse
    9. No cotton or spandex
    10. No see-through material
    11. No bra straps showing

Shop the Look

How to dress for a creative interviewIMG_4377IMG_4393IMG_4381Interviews for creative positions or more casual interviews are fun because you can play around a bit more. However, keep in mind that you can never be over-dressed, so don’t get too carried away with this one.

This kind of outfit is the hardest to define, so here are some guidelines to follow:

  1. One trend piece will spice up your outfit (in this outfit, my trend piece is the jogger pants)
  2. Keep your hair polished, but you can style it pretty much however you want
  3. Limit to one statement accessory piece – one big necklace, one bright purse, one pair of big earrings, etc.
  4. Natural makeup with a pop – neutral tones, very light application, but feel free to do a bold lip or cat eyeliner
  5. No sneakers or sandals
  6. No cleavage – keep it covered
  7. Skirt/dress must be no shorter than the ends of your finger tips
  8. No bra straps showing
  9. No see-through material

Shop the Look

I hope this guide was helpful! What are your go-to interview outfits? I’d love to hear about them! Stay tuned for more business-casual posts coming up.
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  • This is SUCH a great guide, Madeleine. I’m a total stickler when it comes to interview dressing, and I always am silently critiquing people’s choices and wishing I could give them a guide just like this! There are most definitely differences in dress depending on the type of job. I saw someone show up corporate-esque to an ad agency interview…you just have to be able to read the place and adapt!

    cominguprosestheblog.com

    • Thank you so much Erica! I am the same way – I always cringe when I see people dressing wrong for an interview or even to their own job. For some people, dressing appropriately and reading the situation comes really easily, but for others it’s really difficult to find the right balance. Hopefully this helps! (:

  • As a teacher, I go for a mixture of the Classic and Creative look! I love this post and will be pinning for future reference!

    • That’s so great to hear! Thank you so much for reading and sharing. xo