Interview Attire & Etiquette

If possible, visit the work setting in advance of your interview in order to observe how employees dress so that you can gauge how you should dress for the interview. Err on the side of caution by dressing more formally than what you believe is expected. Men can always take off a suit or sport coat if appropriate.

Business Professional


Business Professional is preferred at most interviews. Remember you are making a first impression, and your dress says a lot about you. Your careful attention to your appearance will communicate to the employer professionalism and attention to detail.


  • Conservative suit with knee-length skirt or dress pants in black or navy blue
  • Modest collared shirt
  • Moderate dress shoes (low- to mid-level heel)
  • Natural-looking makeup
  • Jewelry–limited to one pair of small stud earrings, such as pearls


  • Suit, usually navy, dark gray, or black
  • White or light blue solid-colored dress shirt
  • Conservative tie with no distracting patterns
  • Dress shoes with black dress socks that are high enough that no skin is revealed when sitting

Business Casual

Business Casual attire may be worn, but only if it is the most appropriate attire for the interview setting. Remember that it is always better to be more professional than to come across as sloppy or uninterested.


  • Dress slacks or skirt in black, navy blue, or dark gray
  • Button-up or collared dress shirt; tuck in unless it is fitted
  • Dress shoes with modest heel
  • Blazer is optional


  • Khakis or dress slacks (no jeans or shorts) with black or brown leather belt (with plain, conservative buckle)
  • Button-up or collared shirt, tucked in
  • Dress shoes or loafers; no athletic shoes
  • Sport coat is optional

What Not to Wear

Items that should not be worn or carried include denim, perfume, large earrings, long beaded necklaces, large purses, or backpacks.

Other Tips

  • Do make sure your hair is neat and professional
  • Do make sure your shoes are polished and look neat, with no scuff marks or scratches
  • Do have neatly trimmed nails; ladies should not wear nail polish except  clear or a natural color
  • Do be sure that your clothes are neat and ironed or dry cleaned
  • Do bring your portfolio or briefcase
  • Do offer a firm handshake
  • Don’t chew gum