Warning! Do Not Wear Any Of These Outfits To An Interview

Warning! Do Not Wear Any Of These Outfits To An InterviewWarning! Do Not Wear Any Of These Outfits To An Interview

When going for an interview, you need to know what to wear. But also what not wear to an interview.

When going for an interview, you have to keep certain things in mind. Yes, you need to pay attention to what to wear. But also what not wear to an interview.

Your effort should be towards looking polished and professional at all times. It may not be a very stylish outfit, but it should make you look and feel confident. 

What To Wear To An Interview?

But according to Marc Cenedella, CEO of recruiting firm Ladders, the rigid expectations of donning a formal attire like a suit to a job interview are long gone. They could even hurt your chances, especially when the culture is a pretty relaxed one. It will only reflect on the lack of a cultural fit with the company.

"Some of the most common mistakes people make when dressing for an interview are following old and outdated advice or not taking the time to do their research and ask questions about the company culture ahead of time," Cenedella explained to Business Insider.

A smart approach would be to ask the recruiter, HR or the person you are in contact with, to understand the workplace attire better, Cenedella suggested.

"You can always be direct and ask 'Will I feel out of place in formal business attire?'" Cenedella said. "If they answer 'not at all,' you know it's expected," he added. 

Obviously, even if the culture is pretty casual and despite the typical work dress code, do not roll in inappropriate attire like wrinkled shirts, ripped denim, or yoga pants, as some manners and consideration during the interview process is still expected.

What Not To Wear To An Interview

Read on below for the 15 items you would not want to wear to a job interview!

1. Wrinkled or wrinkle-prone items

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This is absolutely a must-do. Not ironing your outfit is a major deal breaker. Make sure that your clothes are clean, unwrinkled and make you feel and look confident. People often make assumptions about a person based on their outfits. So make sure yours helps you put your best foot forward. 

2. Ill-fitting or stained clothing

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Avoid pieces of clothing that are too tight, or worse, have food stains from your last meal. Looking your best to the interview will help you feel good about yourself. Just do not bother with pieces that are uncomfortable and which you do not present well in.

3. Light colours

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Its best to avoid light colours, especially if you are going to use public transportation. Or, if you are prone to spilling drinks and in general find keeping up with light coloured clothes tough.  

Light colours combined with stains is not a good look. So to lessen the risk, stick to dark colours to avoid looking tardy.  

4. Too trendy for work

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Even if you love being extra, hold it in till your interview is over. Keep it conservative, unless your dream job is in the fashion industry. Safer options are earthy or neutral tones and quiet patterns. Also, keep it simple and classic in the makeup and jewellery department.

Your confidence and skills should outshine your clothes, not the other way around.

5. Simple combo of T-shirt and jeans

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Even if the culture is super casual, please do not show up in just jeans and a T-shirt. You are not Mark Zuckerberg.

Instead, try being in the middle of baseline casual, with a nice, wrinkle-free shirt or blouse, paired up with dark denim jeans. This way, you are not casual but also not overly formal.

Suits are unnecessary unless you are looking to work in an overly corporate environment like a bank. Even if everyone is donning sandals, do not even attempt to be as low-key like them.

6. Exercise outfits like yoga pants

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We have seen an increased crossover of athleisure into workwear, but most workplaces are still pretty old-school and have not caught up with the times. Common sense says that you should not wear it to a job interview too.

7. Outrageous pile of jewellery or makeup


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Men have it easier in the accessory department, as simple cufflinks and a nice watch might do the trick.

But some ladies could do with a little reminder that the job interview is not a catwalk, so keep it light with the makeup, hair, and nails.

8. Any loud colours or crazy patterns

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Subdued, muted colours like brown, black, gray, or navy are always safer options. Loud colours might go with your personality, but it might also take attention away from your skills and talent.  

9. Flip-flops or sandals

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For pete's sake, do not even think of wearing sandals. You will embarrass yourself, even if it is a casual work environment. Show that you are putting some effort and thought, and lean towards flats, fancy sneakers, or loafers, if you are not expected to be overly formal.

10. Plain black tie, or a crazy tie

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Stick to safer colours like gray, navy, red, or a solid pattern of these shades. And obviously, black ties should be reserved for formal, black tie occasions.

11. Too much cologne or perfume 

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Just a whiff of spray is acceptable. Hopefully, your interviewer is not allergic to your perfume though. So its best to be on the safer side and just add a tad bit of perfume to your outfit. 

12. Non-leather belts and shoes for men

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Men should opt for a leather belt or slightly, upscale sneakers if it is a casual dress code. It is not the time to bring out your fancy sneakers. Even if you sneaker game is on point, an office is not the right place to bring your swag.

13. Any flashy nose piercings

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Stick to ear lobe piercings for women but men should not even have a single one. You will be safe to lean towards the conservative. This is definitely one of those what not to wear to an interview items.

14. Light-wash or ripped jeans

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Avoid appearing unprofessional with light-wash or ripped jeans. Instead stick to black or dark jeans, and not the casual wash and cut types.

15. If it feels stifling, and not make you confident and awesome


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Perhaps the most important point, if you are turned off by the work dress code, or feel constrained by having to wear a formal suit during a job interview, it might indicate that this is not a good cultural fit. 

You want to feel like you can let your personality shine through what you wear.  

Also read: This Woman Wears The Same Outfit To Work. Every. Single. Day

(Images courtesy: Shutterstock)

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Written by

Melia Widjaja