Dress for Success: What to Wear to a Job Interview
Recently, the below question was asked at the Beat the GMAT forum:
“I want to know what is appropriate attire for women in a business school interview? I hear you should wear a skirt suit and not a pant suit. Is this true?
Also, a matter of detail but still, does one have to wear a collared shirt with it?”

What to wear to an interview

What to Wear To a Job Interview

Figuring out what to wear is the first step in preparing for your job interview. You want to come across as prepared, confident, and professional. In many cases, the clothing choice will depend upon where you are applying – for example, the outfit you wear to interview at a startup is very different from what you might wear to an interview at a law firm!
Below, I will break it down and answer all the questions you have about how to figure out what to wear to a job interview.

Pant Suit or Skirt Suit

Either works! But, I think what really matters is what you are comfortable in. I always factor in the weather and if it is hot out, I prefer the skirt suit. Normally, I prefer the pantsuit for interviews because I am more comfortable and I know that I am getting attention for what I have to say, not my legs.  Many women prefer pantsuits because they feel that it puts them at the same level as men who are also wearing pant suits. If you do wear a skirt, make sure it goes down to your knees!
Here are a few very cute pantsuits that I would recommend for a business interview.  This one is from Jones New York and I love how it is simple, elegant and professional.  I also recommend closed toed shoes for your interview like she is wearing here.
And here is a super cute skirt suit from Dillards.  I love the buttons and the length of the skirt.  It just screams HIRE ME!!
Suits don’t have to look stuffy and boring, thank God! You can make suits fun with chunky jewelry, scarves, and shoes.  Just err on the simple side for your first interview! After a few months on the job, you can wear the same suit and mix and match all of your favorite accessories.

[Related Post: Is Pantyhose in the Office Appropriate or Outdated?]

Collar or No Collar? 

Gone are the days that you must wear a collared shirt under your suit. There are so many other options out there that are much more comfortable than the long sleeved collared shirt.  I always think I find a great shirt for under my suit but then I get home, try it on and it just doesn’t work.  Make sure you try on the whole outfit before your interview so you aren’t scrambling last minute to find something to wear.
Here are a few of my favorites.
I adore this blue ruffled shirt from Ann Taylor Loft. Doesn’t it look great with the black blazer and necklace!
And the Banana Republic has this collared shirt with a slight twist from the boring collared shirt. I also love the brown belt!
I love this simple black non-collared shirt paired with this jacket and necklace from Dillards.
According to Karen Harvey, a recruiter for top fashion and retail jobs, “There is no one right way to dress.  But there are a lot of dont’s.  The key is to research the corporate culture to learn what a potential boss might expect.”
Good luck on your interview! You are going to do great!

What is your favorite interview suit? Do you prefer a pantsuit or skirt suit?

Hi, I'm Anna!

I’ll help you create a career strategy and plan so you can finally have a job or business you love that supports the life you really want.

Learn More

You might also like…

The Ultimate Time Management Tool

The Ultimate Time Management Tool

If you find yourself feeling like you need more time, by the time you are done reading this blog post, you’ll be able to find 5-10 more hours per week. Many times we procrastinate the hard things we need to really get done. We say we are busy with certain items but we...

How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

I am about to share with you this step-by-step guide on how you can make a difference in the world. What I am going to share is simple - How to start a business. My goal for writing this guide is to help you become more fulfilled and focused in your work and life,...

5 Best Business Ideas For Freedom and Flexibility

5 Best Business Ideas For Freedom and Flexibility

I am super excited today to give you the five best business ideas for freedom and flexibility. I have dabbled in all five of these different business ideas. I'm excited to give you the behind the scenes so you can kind of figure out which business idea you should...

90 Day Planner