It’s difficult when you find yourself looking for a new job. Often juggling applications alongside your current job and a social life. When you do get invited for an interview, they’re often short notice and soon come around — leaving you with little time to decide what to wear. CT shirts, retailers of suits and tuxedos have provided us with some advice:

For casual interviews

It’s usually appropriate to dress casually when you’re going for an interview at a charity organisation or for an unpaid position. For these interviews, it is likely that they won’t expect you to be dressed very formally, and will be more concerned with your personality, including your punctuality. Of course, it’s always good to make a positive first impression, so still consider what you’re wearing.

Females

For a casual interview, you should wear what you feel comfortable in. To ensure you still look presentable, you should avoid mini-skirts with bare legs and ripped jeans. You could wear a smart dress with tights and a cardigan or a shirt-jumper combo with a smart pair of slacks or jeans.

It’s likely to be quite a relaxed interview so don’t worry too much about what’s on your feet. Opt for a smart ankle boot or flat pump, and perhaps avoid trainers and high heels.

Males

Although you want to look casual, you don’t want to go too underdressed. Jeans are definitely appropriate, but similar to our advice for women, steer clear of ripped jeans. You should avoid wearing joggers or tracksuit tops, as these will not give off the best impression. A safe option would be a long-sleeved top, jeans, dress shoes such as Chelsea boots or brogues, and a smart jacket.

For business casual interviews

It’s common for businesses to ask you to dress business-casual for an interview. This may be because they have this dress code in the office or it may be for an assessment day where you are expected to be there all day and recruiters want you to feel comfortable. If you are unsure what to wear, it’s best to dress too formally rather than too casually to avoid giving off the wrong impression.

Females

You still have quite a lot of freedom with what you wear than if you were attending a formal interview. You could wear pinstripe or patterned dress slacks with a smart shirt tucked in.

Why not wear a smart shirt with a wide collar under a jumper? This look gives off a formal impression, whilst not as professional as a shirt and suit jacket.

Males

You should opt for a smart shirt when you’re dressing for business-casual. It stays free of creases and there’s no need to rush around with the iron the morning before the interview! Also, if you’re travelling by car or public transport to the interview, a normal shirt can become creased, but this is avoided through the non-iron garment.

It’s recommended that you don’t wear a polo shirt or jeans as this can be seen as overly casual.

For professional interviews

It’s good to look super professional for a formal interview. These interviews could be in front of directors of the company for a graduate job or an internship. You want to look your best here; your appearance certainly counts, and with the high level of competition at this stage, you don’t want to fall at any hurdles.

Females

Why not opt for a suit? When it comes to dressing the bottom half, go with what you feel comfortable in. If you decide to wear a skirt, wear one with a hemline just below the knee to avoid it rising and becoming too revealing. A suit doesn’t have to be boring — shop around and discover suits that are tailored in different ways — find one that suits your body shape. When it comes to footwear, heels are acceptable but make sure you can walk with confidence in them. If you don’t feel happy wearing heels, opt for pumps or shoes with a smaller heel.

Males

Men should wear a suit too for this type of interview. Wear dark socks to blend in with your outfit and bring a briefcase to look professional. Brogues are a good choice of footwear — they are stylish and smart without being mundane. Choose a tailored suit that you feel represents your style, a slim leg may be best suited for you and your shape.

Looks to avoid

As long as you look smart and feel comfortable, you should give off the right impression. However, there are a few things that you should avoid:

  • Too much perfume or aftershave.
  • Too much jewellery or makeup.
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