The definitive guide on what to wear to a job interview.

So you’ve updated your resume, applied for the job and got the call saying they want to meet for an interview.

Congratulations! But make no mistake, the hard work continues.

While the answers you give will help you get the job, how you present yourself with what you wear can also make the difference.

There are a few obvious don’ts. Don’t wear anything too revealing, wrinkled or stained. The devil really is in the details.

“You can a great suit but then if you let yourself down with scuffed shoes, chipped nails or a run in your tights, it’s that little detail that lets your outfit down, and that’s probably the biggest thing I see when it comes to dressing for the office,” stylist and author of The Capsule Wardrobe Wendy Muk tells Mamamia.

“I find that little, little things, like how you coordinate your hosiery with your shoes, or having a little belt or if your jewellery goes with your outfit, it’s those little details that send a really important message around your attention to detail and it’s just that last finishing element to the outfit”.

As to what that outfit might be depends on the industry you’re interviewing for.

You want to avoid this look. Image: The Devil Wears Prada

If it's corporate like law or finance, a well tailored dress, skirt or pants in a dark colour with a jacket is a good option.

"The power suit gives you an extra boost of confidence and blouses and collared shirts are a nice touch," Ida Liu, managing director, global market manager for Citi Private Bank told Glamour.

Closed toe shoes, simple accessories and a spare pair of tights just in case are also essentials.


For retail, dark pants (not jeans!), a plain top or shirt and jacket is a fail-safe combination, while those applying for roles in the fashion or creative industry can afford to be a bit more playful.

Letting your accessories sing (such as with a great bag or sneakers with smart pants) is a great way to show taste and personality without being distracting.

For childcare work, think neat and sensible - pants and a shirt or jumper, while a great interview outfit for a trades job is smart jeans and a top.

The best way to ensure you're neither over nor underdressed is to look to what your potential new bosses wear and use it as a guide. Don't be afraid to ask what the office dress code is in any communication arranging the interview.

Listen: The rules every open plan office needs to abide by. Post continues after audio.

No matter what industry you're working in, Mak says the number one rule she tells all her corporate clients and new graduates is "Don't take any unnecessary risk'.

"You're there to let your skills shine and you don't want an inappropriate tight outfit or something that is too short or something that's too low to distract from you," she says.

"That's not to say you can't look interesting and creative, but you also want to make sure you're not taking a risk."


The best way to express that personality - risk free - is with accessories.

"They don't have to be big or bold - think earrings, a simple necklace or a nice scarf to inject colour into your outfit," she says.

"The standard interview outfit is a black suit with a white, blue or pink button down shirt and there is scope there to introduce a little bit of colour, a red blouse or it's a blue blazer over a black dress to bring a little bit of life into it."