Your goal when choosing what to wear to a job interview is that it doesn’t get talked about. An interview is about you and your merits. It’s about what you say, the language you use when saying it, your enthusiasm, and all of your other credentials. It’s not about what you wear – you have the lawyer uniform on, the box is checked, and people move on.
Our office gets clothing questions all the time. This stuff is actually important – you only get one chance to make a first impression. Do not ever think that if you are going into public interest or public service employer that you can get away with some other kind of outfit – some less than formal outfit. In fact they might have even more scrutiny. When in doubt, please come and ask us.
The bullet points below are an overview of what to wear to a job interview. If you’re more of a visual learner, visit Temple Law’s Pinterest page, which includes boards on proper interview attire, proper work attire, and what not to wear to a job interview.
- Rule number one: wear a suit. What’s that? We go over this because we get this question. A suit is stuff that matches. A men’s suit is a jacket and pants that go together.
- You are wearing with that suit a white shirt or a light blue shirt, with a nice conservative tie. No big logos – be boring!
- Men need to wear leather shoes, not suede. They can tie or they can be the loafer style. Shine your shoes.
- I know cool socks are a thing. Please don’t do that. It doesn’t mean you can’t wear cool socks when you get the job and you’re at work, but not during the interview.
- No earrings.
- Try to cover up tattoos.
- Neat facial hair, like your mom would be okay with.
- Don’t wear any overpowering cologne. Just smell like Ivory soap.
- For women, interviews require a skirt suit or pants suit – whatever you’re most comfortable in. You have great color choices – as long as it’s black, grey, or navy blue. It honestly doesn’t matter. Macy’s and Lord and Taylor always have good bargains.
- For shoes, choose a style that is not super high. They can even be flats if it looks tailored and professional.
- A shirt that is not showing too much cleavage. It doesn’t have to have a collar. It can just be a shell type shirt, but shouldn’t be a t shirt.
- Pretty conservative jewelry.
- Minimal perfume.
- When styling your hair, it’s generally ok to wear it down, unless you play with it when you get nervous. If that’s the case for you, wear it up.