What NOT to Wear to a Job Interview

Do you have an interview coming up and want to make sure you are dressed to impress?

Knowing what is not appropriate to wear to your interview is almost as important as knowing the skills that got you there in the first place. When considering how to dress for your interview, use your best judgment and don’t overthink it. Wear things that are comfortable and make you feel confident.

In this article, we will discuss what not to wear to an interview, and the importance of appropriate attire in the interview process.


What you should not wear to a job interview:

1. Overly Casual Clothing

You should always try to dress in professional attire to your interview, even if you know the company has a relaxed dress code. Always try to refrain from wearing ripped clothing, graphic t-shirts, tank tops, gym attire, etc. If it comes across that you do not care about your appearance, the interviewer may conclude you don’t care about the job.

2. Flip-Flops, Sandals, or Open Toed Shoes

Sandals and flip-flops are too casual. While you may be relaxed and more comfortable while wearing this type of footwear, it does not look professional.

3. Scrubs

If you are applying for a healthcare position, be sure to leave your scrubs at home. Your interviewer is expecting you to wear business casual attire rather than work attire.

4. Jeans or Denim

In most professional settings, jeans are typically frowned upon. The only kind of workplace that wearing jeans to an interview would be appropriate would be in a casual workplace. If you are wearing jeans, make sure they are dark in color and free of any holes or rips.

5. Shorts

Wearing shorts is an easy way to make sure you are dressed too casually. In majority of workplaces, you would not be wearing shorts, so why would you wear them to your interview?


Even if you know you will be wearing shorts in your new position, you should dress up for your interview or at least wear pants.


6. Too Much Perfume – or Other Heavy Scents

Avoid using any products with a strong odor, and don’t put on any perfume or cologne before your interview. You never know if your interviewer has any allergies. A scent you may love might also be someone else’s least favorite. It is better to play safe and not wear any.

Another thing to keep an eye out for is if you are a smoker, try not to smoke prior to your interview or be sure to use some gum or mints to ensure fresh breath.

7. Too Much Make-Up

Makeup should help to accentuate your facial features. If you wear heavy makeup or bold colors, this could be distracting and take away from a positive interview.

Along with make-up, try to keep nail polish to more understated and neutral colors as well.

8. Dirty or Stained Clothing

Not only are stains embarrassing, but they are distracting and cause you to look sloppy. Similarly to stained clothing, wrinkled clothing makes for a careless appearance.


9. Flashy Jewelry

Flashy jewelry can be distracting. Try to choose simple pieces that complement your outfit. Avoid wearing necklaces that are too ornate and wearing more than one bracelet. Noisy bracelets or bangles could cause a distraction during your interview.

Try to keep accessories to a minimum and remember, quality over quantity.


10. Visible Piercings and/or Tattoos

Some companies may have policies about tattoos so check ahead of time. Be conservative with piercings. Nose rings and other facial piercings may be prohibited by the company.

Dress conservatively (cover tattoos & limit jewelry) unless your recruiter tells you otherwise.


11. Clothing or shoes that don’t fit properly

You want to be comfortable when you are doing a job interview. It’s important to wear shoes that complement your outfit and also fit well. When you wear shoes that are difficult or awkward to walk in, you will act uncomfortable during your job interview so invest in footwear you will feel good walking in and wearing in the workplace.


12. Hats

If it not for a religious reason, wearing any headwear should be avoided.


13. Headphones

Unless you are interviewing via video, wearing headphones can be seen as disrespectful and like you do not care about your interview.

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.”

If you need advice on what to wear to your interview, check out our other blog post.


If you are looking for a new job, let us help you! Send your resume to Jobs@AllMedSearch.com