Dress for Success: Interview Attire

Office of Career Development

Do’s and Don’ts

  • DO wear a suit
  • DO wear neat and conservative hair
  • DO give a firm handshake at the beginning and end of the interview
  • DO have clean and trimmed fingernails
  • DO maintain steady eye contact with the interviewer/s
  • DO thank them for their time
  • DON'T wear big jewelry or hair ornaments
  • DON'T exhibit nervous body behavior, like fidgeting
  • DON'T wear heavy perfume or cologne
  • DON'T wear visible body piercings other than earrings
  • DON'T wear white socks (men)
  • DO wear a conservative tie (men)
  • DO ask the recruiter for a business card

Men’s Interview Attire

The Suit:

The sleeves should taper, gradually ending just over the wrist so the shirt cuff extends about 1/2 inch beyond the jacket sleeve.

The pant leg bottom in the front should touch the front of the shoe and angle towards the back of the shoe to fall just above the heel. Pant cuff or no cuff is a personal choice.

Choose dark colors, such as navy, gray or black. Suit should be solid color or subtle pinstripes.

A suit is always the first choice, but if unavailable, a navy jacket or blazer with black or navy buttons and gray or beige pants are acceptable.

The Dress Shirt:

The button down collar offers a more casual look than the more formal business style of a point collar

Choose a good fit, neatly pressed.

Best colors include white, pale blue, tan or yellow

Always wear an undershirt. Avoid v-neck style since the neckline may show

The Tie:

Your tie should be darker than your shirt and should not extend below the belt

Purchase several ties that compliment your suit to give your wardrobe versatility

Wear 100% silk (or similar looking) in solid colors or small patterns.

The Shoes:

Best choice is a conservative style with laces. Best shoe colors are black, brown, or burgundy and should match your belt.

Wear with a new shine and dark socks over the calf.

Women’s Interview Attire

The Suit:

Choose conservative colors such as black, navy, gray, tan or brown in a flattering cut

Suit should be a solid color or subtle pinstripes

A business dress, worn with a jacket, or a tailored pantsuit is acceptable

Avoid wearing trendy lapels or buttons

Make sure the skirt length is just at knee length, either right above or right below the knee

The Blouse:

Wear a neutral color such as white or beige; avoid bright colors and large prints

Do NOT wear a low-cut or see-through blouse

Make-up and Jewelry:

Avoid bright colors and excessive amounts

Light shades of lip coloring and nail polish are recommended

Jewelry should be small and conservative. Only 1 ring per hand

Avoid costume jewelry

Earrings should be small with only 1 earring per ear

Wear hair so it's not falling into your face

Shoes and Hosiery:

Do not wear open toe or open heel shoes or heels higher than 2 inches

Absolutely no Flip-Flops!

Your shoe color should coordinate with your ensemble and be a neutral color, such as navy, black or taupe

Wear hosiery that is close to your skin color