A job interview is your opportunity to put your best foot forward, so you’ll need to find an outfit that not only looks the part, but also makes you feel like your best self. When you feel good in the clothes you’re wearing, you’ll radiate with confidence and be ready to shine in your interview.
Before you select your outfit, it’s important to research the company to get an idea of what the culture and environment is like. For example, a corporate office job will expect a corporate look from employees, while an edgy clothing retailer may expect you to demonstrate your personal sense of style. Understanding the culture of your potential employer will help to guide the way—and if in doubt, always opt for a more polished look.
To help you on your way, we’ve curated tips and tricks to help you nail your outfit for every dress code.
Formal Business Attire
Business formal is the highest level of professional dress and is the standard interview attire for both men and women in many corporate roles. If you are applying for a corporate role, here are some tips on what you should wear.
For women, a mid-length skirt or black trouser pants are safe options—and you’ll find a great selection in David Jones, Cue, and Myer. Simply pair with a classic white blouse from Seed and a blazer from Zara. Add some chic closed-toe polished shoes from Jo Mercer and you’re ready to go. If opting for heels avoid sky-high stilettos and keep heel height from 2–6 cm. Keep your jewellery simple and avoid distracting or bold costume jewellery.
For men, head into MJ Bale or H&M and opt for a suit in navy, grey or black. Add a soft blue or white-collared shirt, as well as a plain tie in a solid colour. Grab some leather polished shoes from Florsheim, then finish off the look with a watch.
Casual Business Attire
If the work environment is a little more relaxed, then a business casual look may be in order. It’s still important to look sharp and professional, so avoid casual items like jeans or t-shirts, but you can go for a more relaxed corporate look.
For women, the casual corporate options at Witchery will offer a corporate silhouette, while adding some fun flair. Consider a vibrant midi skirt or trousers, paired with a button-up shirt and closed-toe shoes from Wittner. You can also wear an appropriate dress that is knee-length or longer paired with a blazer to add a layer of professional polish. Then, add some personality with accessories from Lovisa.
For men, chinos or trousers from R.M Williams or Rodd & Gunn are a great choice, paired with a button-up collared shirt. When wearing business casual, you can add a bit more personality to your top by experimenting with different colours, and a tie is not always necessary, depending on the workplace. Choose polished leather shoes with matching socks, then accessorise with a nice watch and belt.
Casual – retail store
If the potential job is at a retail store and you’re not applying for a management position, take time to observe what the current staff are wearing. Are they polished and sharp like the staff at Peter Jackson? Or perhaps they’re a little edgier with a great sense of street style, like the team at Platypus?
Take cues from what the current staff are wearing, then align your outfit with the brand’s style. To make an extra strong impression, you could shop at the store prior to the interview. Make sure your outfit is clean and presentable, and avoid wearing sweatpants, hoodies, sneakers, hats, caps or shirts with big logos.
Casual – food service
Typically, food service businesses are casual environments, and many will require employees to wear a standard uniform. If you’re applying for a casual or part-time role, dressing too formal may look a little out of place.
For these roles, a smart casual style will be appropriate—for example, a blouse or button up shirt, paired with dress pants from H&M will be perfect. Make sure your hair is neat and polished, and avoid very casual items such as sweatpants, hoodies, sneakers, hats, caps, sandals, or shirts with big logos.
Hair and make up
Regardless of the dress code, it’s always a good idea to ensure your hair and makeup are helping you to present professionally. If you wear make-up, ditch the full glam look—instead, opt to keep it soft and natural, as this will be suitable for most roles.
If you have long hair, a neat ponytail is always a safe bet. For those with short hair styles, you may want to visit Aveda to make sure your hair is looking neat and fresh prior to the interview.