Dressing for Success: What to Wear to Make the Best First Impression for an Interview

One of the first things your potential employer will see when you interview in person or via video is your clothing.

When considering how to dress for your interview, use your best judgment and don’t overthink it. Be sure to wear things that are comfortable and make you feel confident.

What’s the best outfit to wear to a job interview?

The answer to this question will vary depending on the job and company you are interviewing with. You want to dress to make the best impression, but the clothing you choose depends on whether you’re interviewing.

If you are unsure about what to wear, try keep your attire business casual or business professional. It is better to dress more formally to your interview rather than too casual.

If you work in healthcare – DO NOT WEAR SCRUBS TO YOUR INTERVIEW.


How to match your outfit to the workplace:

While you are researching the company you are applying to, be sure to look online if you can find any photos of what people in the office typically wear and try to match it.

Casual Workplace:

  • Dark Jeans
    • Free of holes or rips
  • Chinos
  • Knee-Length Skirt or Dress
  • Button-Down Shirt
  • Polo
  • Solid color t-shirt
  • Blouse
  • Cardigan
  • Any closed-toe shoes that are neat and clean.
    • Flats, heels, oxfords, loafers, boots, leather or canvas sneakers, etc.

Business Causal Workplace:

  • Dress slacks or chinos (in a neutral color)
  • Collared Button down or Polo shirt
    • Ties are optional
  • Blouse
  • Sweater
  • Blazer
  • Knee-Length Skirt or Dress
  • Any closed-toe shoes that are neat and clean.
    • Flats, heels, oxfords, loafers, boots, leather or canvas sneakers, etc.
  • Simple accessories
    • Jewelry, belts, etc.

Business Formal or Business Professional Workplace:

  • A dark colored suit or pantsuit
  • Button-down shirt with a tie
  • Neutral colored sweater
  • Blouse with a blazer
  • Knee-length skirt and blazer
  • Closed-toe and three inches or shorter heels, nice flats, loafers, or oxfords.
  • Simple accessories


If you are unsure what kind of environment to dress for; we suggest you wear something business casual.


Other helpful tips:

  • Keep perfume, lotions, and aftershave light on scent.

    • Many people are allergic to scents, and triggering an allergic reaction will certainly get you off to a bad start! 

  • Style your hair so that it stays off your face, out of your eyes.

  • Make sure your nails are clean and if you wear nail polish, try to keep it more neutral.
  • If you are a smoker, do not give into the, “I’m tense; I need a cigarette,” urge. If you are interviewing with a nonsmoker, the smell of smoke on your clothes and breath can give a negative first impression. 

  • Make sure all tattoos are covered and remove any body piercings you may have.
  • Avoid overly large or busy accessories, heels that are four inches or higher, and any clothing with profanity or possibly offensive imagery or phrases.

  • Check for stains, snags, pet hair and holes before you leave. Make sure your clothing is cleaned and ready a few days before your interview.

  • Avoid revealing clothing and anything that doesn’t fit properly.

  • Choose clothing that is appropriate to the season.
  • Practice your smile and handshake before you go with a friend or family member.


Remember that most work places tend to lean more traditional and conservative in their dress codes. After you have proven yourself as an excellent and reliable employee, then you can “test the waters” with your individual style, but not during your initial interview.

While you are getting dressed for your interview, try not to overthink it. Before you walk out the door for your interview, put yourself in the position of the hiring manager, look at yourself in the mirror, and ask, “Would I hire me for this position?” Fix what you need to fix for that answer to be “yes.”