What Not to Wear on an Interview Square


Deciding what to wear and what not to wear on an interview seems easy but it’s actually hard. It happens all the time. But to get started, you might want to cross off things in your wardrobe that you should definitely not risk wearing to an interview.

Most of the time, the way we dress gives a lot of information to potential onlookers. For a professional interview, there are some things that you should and should not avoid.

Dress for the Job you Want

Like the saying goes,  dress for the job that you want, not the job that you have. While this is true on many levels, you should also be aware that not all jobs look the same. 

 What Not to Wear on an Interview

Dressing appropriately, especially in interviews, will be your best bet in landing that job. This means knowing the difference between what to wear and what not to wear to an interview. Here are the three cardinal rules you should consider when choosing an interview outfit.

Do not wear extremely loose clothing.

Looking for a job in IT? You might think that wearing loose or baggy clothing would fit you right in. While this is true for some cases, be cautious because this might imply lack of seriousness.

There is a common notion that the IT industry is quite relaxed so it only follows that your clothes should be as well. Well, not really. Consider who the  hiring officers are. Loose clothing might be a little too comfortable and unprofessional. .

Revealing clothing is a big no!

During a technical interview, you want all of the focus to be on your technical skills and problem solving, not on something else. Feel free to express yourself, but understand the situation you’re in.

Don’t overkill your outfit.

Interviews are like first dates, it’s all about the impressions. Trust me, they last, and they matter. Don’t be afraid to put in a necklace or watch, but be careful; too many accessories could overwhelm your interviewer. Overly excessive accessories are definitely in our “what not to wear” list

Since you are going to an interview with the hopes of getting an offer, you would want to put your best foot forward. Inappropriate clothing will definitely discount your value to potential employers.  Remember that you will be representing the company at some point. Even if you aren’t interviewing for a client-facing role, having an unclean look is not going to suit the company in the least.

Dressing to express  has become a hallmark of modern and progressive society. But the way that we dress says a lot to employers and what they can expect from us  as a potential employee.

Why does Appearance Matter in an Interview?

Whether we like it or not, appearance matters. When we see someone, before we get to know them, our opinion will be based on the way they dress.

In a study conducted by Allure, 64% of the participants said that the very first thing they noted about someone was how attractive they were. Most people can’t realistically change their physical features , but they can definitely make themselves look better by wearing the right clothes.

Understanding what not to wear in an interview might help you dodge negative assumptions. Dress properly to the needs of the day and set yourself up for success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should women wear to an interview?

Pencil skirts and slacks are the top choices for bottoms while button-up shirts or long sleeve shirts matched with a light blazer are great options for tops. Self-expression through clothing is highly acceptable but what you wear to an interview must embody professionalism 

Women have a lot more options when it comes to dressing as compared to men so you can try to mix and match different styles.

What should men wear to an interview?

For men, a dashing fit could simply be a button-down shirt, a tie, matching pants, and appropriate footwear. You could also layer it with a blazer or a coat.

What men often miss is that even if clothing options are fairly simple, a mismatched article of clothing can give you an unfair prejudice. That’s why it’s best to ask for a second opinion. Yes. even guys need a second opinion on what to wear and what not to wear to an interview.

What colors should you avoid in an interview?

Orange is widely regarded as the worst color to wear to an interview. Its naturally bright and unnatural color possibly distracts anyone who has to look at it. It also tells the interviewer that you’re over confident and don’t have a lot of respect for a potential employer. So, we’re listing that one down to “what not to wear”

Other colors to avoid include bright purple, yellow and green as these may be too risky. Sticking with neutral tones and  colors like white, black, brown and blue are your best bet for an interview.

Dressing appropriately, especially in interviews, will be your best bet in landing that job. This means knowing the difference between what to wear and what not to wear to an interview. Here are the three cardinal rules you should consider when choosing an interview outfit. In Body 2

How to Avoid Bombing your Interview Look?

Not “looking the part” can cause you the job offer. Follow these simple tips to avoid bombing your interview before it even starts:

Get a Second Opinion.

Second opinions are a great way to validate our thoughts. You should have ideas about your interview day attire, but ask a third-person perspective to confirm if they think it’s sensible.

The closest people you can ask are your friend or family circle. Ideally, you’d want someone who knows about the industry you are applying for to tell you what to wear and what not to wear to the interview.

Look at yourself in a full body mirror.

This gives you a clearer idea of how you’re going to look during the interview. 

If you don’t have a full-body mirror, you can choose to put down your clothes on a flat surface like a bed or a clean table. See if the colors complement each other. Check for the fit of the clothing, and you’re good to go.

Opt for traditionally matching colors.

Colors might not seem like a big deal when going to an interview. Still, they can reflect on your decision-making capabilities and how you approach a scenario. In the tech space, fashion isn’t usually that intricate. Choosing colors like blue, black, and white is definitely a safe bet..

Contact us for support with a mock interview, resume review, or mentorship on what the best career move for you can be this year.

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