Interview Attire For Women

› Interview Attire for Women

We have been asked to start a discussion on why it is that some women can be portrayed differently purely by the way they’re are dressed. Why should this be such a concern when, after all, your clothes are simply an accessory to your personality? Studies suggest that a recruiter can make a decision about you within seconds, therefore, first impressions are everything!

“…why is it, with men, things are more simple – all they need is a nice suit with a clean, neat appearance. However, for us ladies, what is the ‘correct’ hair style, how much makeup should we wear, how much jewellery is too much and should we use perfume?”

So, what should women wear at an interview?

As a general rule, you should always try and dress conservatively – a suit or a simple dress with neutral colours is always a good idea. Avoid using colours / patterns that are too bright if you’re trying to present a professional appearance. Try and keep your neck lines high and hem lines low.

With regards to jewellery; keep it simple. Try and avoid large, dangly earrings. Too much jewellery can often be distracting, whereas someone wearing less can often portray a person who adopts a more serious approach to work.

For perfume; either don’t use any at all, or keep it light. This rule would also be the same for gents with aftershave – using too much can be overpowering and can sometimes make people feel uncomfortable.

For makeup, we contacted a female recruiter who advised, “if you’re somone who doesn’t normally wear makeup, don’t use it just for a job interview. If you do feel like you need a ‘polish’, I’d suggest using a small amount of concealer, and a nice neutral, sheer lip tint. Just try to remember to keep it simple, and natural looking.”

Finally, shoes. Obviously, your shoes should complement the rest of your outfit and should be smart, clean and neat. Avoid high heels where possible. For ladies who do choose to wear heels, ensure they are not scuffed or scratched as this will also go against presenting a professional reflection of you. It’s always advisable to opt for toe-in shoes with a colour that complements the rest of your outfit.

5 Responses to Interview Attire For Women

  1. CLAIR BUSH says:

    thanks for the advice. what should I dress like if I applying for a job where appearance insn’t important. e.g: a call centre job i am going for allows you to dress casually for work.

  2. DL Hunt says:

    While generally I agree with the points, the article was very hard to read since it refers to women as “ladies” and to gentlemen as “men.” As women seek equality in the workplace, certainly the people who help us find work can accord us the dignity of referring to us as women and not using flowery terms that demean us and make us less than our male counterparts.

    As for the perfume, do not wear any at all and check that any toiletries or cosmetics you use are unscented. Firstly, fragrances are personal things. What might be sweet to one is stinky to another. Then, there are many people with sensitivities to fragrances and in an enclosed environment such as an interview room or office their effects become further pronounced.

  3. Dalia S says:


  4. monsue says:

    I totally agree with this. I feel like even if this would be a casual environment, you should still wear appropriate clothing for the interview. As far as the perfule comment, my ex boss who happens to be female would always wait until she got to work to spray her victoria secret body spray on. Although it smelled wonderfully (to me anyway), it was so overpowering that it smelled up the entire office building. I actually got tired of smelling the stuff to where it started to make me want to puke. You should NOT wear loud perfume, especially in a building with little office space, and you definitely don’t need to wait until you get to work to spray it on.

  5. Lemony says:

    I think the advice on makeup is definitely accurate! I think so many women will throw on bright lipsticks etc when they’ve never worn it previously and it doesn’t look good. Wear what you normally wear for makeup, but toned down a bit!

With 20+ years of experience writing CVs, it still puts a smile on my face when I hear a client has secured an interview Lee Tonge - Founder and Director


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