6 Things You Shouldn't Wear to an Interview

By Christine Ascher on September 24, 2018

When you’re trying to find a job, an interview is definitely the most important part of the application process. Not only is it a chance for you to demonstrate your interest in the position and to let a recruiter get to know you better, but it’s also an opportunity for you to demonstrate your professionalism—one key aspect of which is the way you present yourself. If you show up to an interview looking disheveled or inappropriately dressed, you’ll definitely start off on the wrong foot. For this reason, make sure that you’re properly dressed for your next interview by checking out the following list of items that you should never wear to an interview.

Pants, Shoes, Shirt

Image via https://pixabay.com

1. Flashy Jewelry

When going for an interview, it’s a good idea to dress on the safe, conservative side. You don’t want your interviewer to be distracted by your appearance, so try to avoid anything that can take their attention away from your actual conversation. One potential distraction is any showy jewelry. Anything oversized or flashy should be kept at home. If you do opt to wear jewelry for your interview, keep it to a minimum and make sure that whatever you do choose to wear is classic and won’t draw unnecessary attention. After all, you don’t want your interviewer to be busy thinking that your necklace is tacky when they should be focusing on you!

2. Wrinkled Clothing

While this probably goes without saying, it’s always good to be reminded that before you step out the door for your interview, you should be checking to make sure that your clothes are fresh and unwrinkled. Check out how your outfit looks in the mirror before you head out, as there may be some wrinkles on your clothes that you didn’t notice when they were hanging up, but which suddenly become apparent when you’re walking around. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your outfit is neatly ironed and ready to go the night before your interview, so that you’re not rushing around to get ready the next morning, and so that you have time to rethink your outfit if anything goes wrong.

3. Short Dresses or Skirts

It’s always best to dress on the conservative side when you’re going for a job interview, so you should definitely avoid wearing any dresses or skirts that could even potentially be perceived as too short. Remember that you’re not dressing to look cute for your interview; you want to look professional, and you want to look like someone who would easily be able to fit into the relevant office environment. Wearing something too revealing will definitely be a turn-off to a recruiter, especially if the job that you’re applying for will involve interacting with clients. If you show up to an interview wearing something potentially inappropriate for the office, your interviewer may worry that the way you dress for the job will turn off the business’s clients—which is definitely going to get you started off on the wrong foot during an interview.

4. Open-Toed Shoes

In general, it’s not a good idea to wear open-toed shoes in the workplace. For this reason, it’s also best to avoid them in when you’re going for an interview. Because they can sometimes look informal, they can be a turn-off to your interviewer. In addition, some offices don’t allow their employees to wear open-toed shoes to work, so if you come in for an interview wearing them, that could be an immediate red flag.

5. Perfume or Cologne

If you’re going to wear perfume or cologne to a job interview, be very careful about how much you’re going to put on. Wearing too much perfume or cologne might distract your interviewer, and, even worse, might make them uncomfortable. Not everyone enjoys strong scents, and you definitely don’t want to run the risk of giving your interviewer a headache. While it’s not necessarily something that you need to avoid completely, make sure that you keep it very subtle if you choose to wear a scent.

6. Jeans

Even if you’re interviewing at a company that’s fairly casual, you don’t want to take advantage of a laidback dress code during your interview. Avoid clothes that can come off as too informal, such as jeans, even if you think they’d be appropriate to wear to the job itself. It’s always better to overdress for an interview rather than underdress, so stick to dress pants or skirts to be on the safe side. Wearing jeans can make it seem like you haven’t put in much effort to prepare for the interview, as you haven’t bothered to present yourself professionally.

Especially when you’re up against a number of other well-qualified applicants, the way that you present yourself during an interview is crucial. Since your interview is potentially your only chance to create an impression on a recruiter, every little thing matters down to the clothes that you’re wearing. Before your next interview, make sure that you plan your outfit carefully!

By Christine Ascher

Uloop Writer
Hi! I'm Christine and I'm currently a senior at the University of Southern California, where I study English Literature, Economics, and French.

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