Dressing for the Interview

students dressed professionally heading into career fair

male student dressed professionally

female student dressed professionally

2 male students dressed casual professional

Interview Attire

While your interpersonal skills and ability to formulate responses are the most important elements, appropriate attire supports your image. The way you dress can greatly enhance or detract from the impression you make. Present yourself in a manner that reflects a highly polished and professional image.

For both men and women, the professional standard is to wear a matched two-piece suit. Acceptable colors are darker (e.g., gray, navy, or black). Appropriate size is critical for both comfort and presentation. Make sure your suit is pressed for each interview.

Guidelines For Men


Ensure your hair is clean and well groomed.


Long-sleeved shirts are most appropriate all year round. Choose white, light blue, or conservative stripes.


Select a belt with a simple buckle that matches or complements your shoes.


Wear patterns that are uniform and subtle, whether stripes or small dots. Deep reds, maroons, blues, navys, grays, and blacks are colors that blend well with dark suits.


Wear socks that complement the color of your suit and are long enough for you to cross your legs without showing bare skin or leg hair.


Lace-up, wing tip shoes are the most conservative choice and are almost universally acceptable. Dressing in your best attire for the interview also means having your shoes shined, if not new.

Guidelines For Women


Wear a blouse that complements your suit in a conservative fashion. White or off-white colors usually match well with many colors. A knit shell is also appropriate underneath your suit jacket. It is not recommended that you wear tops that are revealing, high around the neck, or have too many ruffles or frills.


Limit your jewelry/accessories to a maximum of five pieces. You do not want your jewelry/accessories to distract from what you are saying during the interview.


A woman can choose to wear a dress, skirt, or pants with a  blazer.  If wearing a skirt, your skirt should at minimum cover your thighs when you are seated. A good rule of thumb is that your skirt at least reaches the middle of your knees when standing.   


Women should always wear hosiery. Select a neutral shade or one that coordinates with your suit.


Select shoes made of leather or fabric/micro fiber. Choose close-toed pumps that allow you to walk comfortably.


Carry a small, simple purse or handbag that coordinates with your shoes. It is also acceptable to bring a small briefcase or business-like tote bag.