How Ladies Should Dress For An Interview

The first thing someone notices about you is how you are dressed. This is particularly crucial during an interview where you not only want to impress, but to stand out as the most impressive and overall, the best candidate for the job.

In as much as your conduct, your interpersonal skills and your ability to articulate intelligent and well thought out responses to questions are the most important elements, appropriate attire supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously and understands the nature of the industry in which you are trying to become employed.

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The shoes

The appropriate shoes will be dress shoes – flats or heels of around 3″ or less. They’ll have closed toes, be clean, sharp-looking, and will complement your outfit, but won’t overpower it. The ideal shoes will be free of metallic finishes, overdone embellishments, and excessively high heels. Make certain you can walk comfortably in your shoes; hobbling in uncomfortable shoes does not convey a professional appearance.

Peeptoes are a no-no. And so are white shoes. Never wear white shoes to an interview. The only exception here is if it is for a nursing position.

Stockings Should be plainly styled (no patterns), sheer is most conservative (not opaque), and in neutral colors complementing your suit. Avoid high contrast between your suit and hosiery color.

Dress up!

Even if you are aware that employees of an organization dress casually on the job, dress up for the interview unless you are specifically told otherwise by the interviewer. And even then, use this as the rule of thumb : If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn’t wear it in a business environment.

Watch that hem

Much of what you see on television shows that masquerades for professional attire are actually inappropriate for a work environment. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated. Showing a lot of thigh makes you look naive at best, foolish at worst. You should sit in the skirt facing a mirror so that you can see how you actually look in it because that’s what your interviewer will see.


When it comes to shoes and your overall attire, navy, dark gray, brown and black are safe. Other color trends may come and go; avoid the extremes. Women generally have more options with suit color than men. Underneath the suit jacket, wear a blouse that coordinates nicely with your suit. Don’t show cleavage. Again, remember that television shows are trying to attract viewers, and don’t represent reality of the professional environment.

Your handbag/purse

If you carry a purse, keep it small and simple. Purse color should coordinate with your shoes. You may choose to carry a small briefcase in place of a purse.

What about makeup?

Keep makeup conservative. A little is usually better than none for a polished look. Nails should be clean and well groomed. Avoid extremes of nail length and polish color, especially in conservative industries.

Get the right fit

Your attire should be noticed as being appropriate and well-fitting, but it should not take center stage. If you are primarily remembered for your interview attire, this is probably because you made an error in judgment.


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