What Not To Wear At An Interview

Do you have a big job interview lined up? Are you unsure of what to wear and what will help you to leave a lasting impression? A job interview is the first time that a potential employer will meet you, and first impressions are extremely important.

It doesn’t just matter what answers you give to the questions they ask you, you must also look at the part too. Normally, that means dressing formally, or at least business-casual attire.

But what should you absolutely and fundamentally avoid wearing? What is going to give the wrong impression? Perhaps you already have an outfit lined up for your interview,

but after reading this article you realize it is not fit for the event at all. Well, don’t worry too much. We’ve come up with a list of items you should never wear to an interview.

Casual Clothing

The appropriate attire for an interview is smart-casual at the very least and formal at the most. Casual clothing such as ripped jeans, graphic tees, and hoodies are not appropriate to wear to an interview.

This is because it will give the impression that you are too relaxed and unbothered about the position you’ve applied for.

Employers look for potential candidates that are dressed smartly and appropriately for the job they are interviewing for, as this shows that you put time and effort into wanting to leave a good impression. By wearing the wrong clothes you may end up leaving quite the opposite. 

Lounge Wear

This is in a very similar category to casual clothing, and the overall impression you may leave is that you are not bothered and didn’t want to put the effort into your appearance.

Companies and employers like candidates to look presentable and smart as they may end up representing the company if hired.

Items such as gym wear, joggers, or pajamas are not acceptable. Employers could conclude that you are lazy and that you do not care for the impression that you leave on them.

 What Not To Wear At An Interview


Much like the above stated, flip-flops are far too casual to wear to a job interview. Especially when considering the exposure of your feet, it is simply not deemed smart or formal attire.

Alongside this, it again shows the lack of effort put into what you are wearing and thus could leave the employers wondering if you’d bring any more effort to the company. 

Poorly-Fitting Clothes

It is important when finding an outfit to wear at your job interview that you consider how comfortable you feel in the garments.

If they are too tight you may find it harder to breathe, and also your nervous sweat will stain the fabric. It may also distract you from giving the best answers that you can.

Poorly-fitting clothes may distract the interviewer from what you are saying as well. Additionally, if your clothes aren’t fitting it indicates again the lack of preparation and care you put into coming to the interview.

Flashy Clothes

Clothes made from fabrics of loud colors and clashing patterns may make you stand out in a bad way. You don’t want to overwhelm your potential employers by turning up in an outfit that they can’t look away from.

It will distract them from you as a person, and what you can bring to the company. Alongside this, you should always avoid wearing low cut garments, or skirts that are too short. This may give the interviewer the wrong impression.

Clunky Jewelry

Too much clunky jewelry can distract the interviewer in the same way that the wrong clothing can. It is important not to draw too much negative attention to what you are wearing, as it takes that attention away from yourself.

You should try to wear only items that wouldn’t cause any alarm or distraction from yourself and what you have to say. After all – what you have to say at an interview is pretty important too!

Stained/Wrinkled Clothing

Stained or wrinkled clothing will give the impression that you did not take the time to clean or properly check what you are wearing.

Employers may conclude that you lack effort and didn’t want to impress them in any way. It is unprofessional and looks messy and not uniform. It will make you look sloppy and no employer is going to want a sloppy employee.

Excessive Make-Up

Make-up should be applied in a way that compliments your face and features. Too much make-up may cause distraction or make you look unprofessional. Avoid bright colors in lipsticks and eyeshadows to ensure you have a positive interview.

 What Not To Wear At An Interview

Heavy Perfume Or Cologne

An excessive use of perfume or cologne should be avoided when attending an interview. The overpowering smell could distract the interviewer from the answers you are giving, as well as give them a headache in the process.

Of course, it is important to smell good but when overdone it will have the opposite effect. Not only this but it could cause people’s allergies to flare up, which of course isn’t exactly ideal when you are being interviewed.

Bad Hygiene

Smelling good is crucial when attending your interview. If you turn up with bad hygiene, the employer will be put off hiring you because of the way it may distract others around you, as well as present you as untidy and sloppy.

Not only this, but it will distract the interviewer during the interview process as well, and they won’t be remembering you for the right reasons. Basically, you don’t want to smell bad, but you don’t want to smell too good either!

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, in this article, you have found some useful tips on what not to wear to your next job interview. Several ways can affect your interview negatively and leave potential employers with a bad impression of you.

To dress formally and appropriately for an interview will increase your chances of being hired because if you look presentable you will generate a good and lasting impression.


Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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