Women’s Interview Attire – 12 Helpful Tips

Women’s interview attire is much more difficult to assemble than for a Man, which usually entails a suit or khakis and a blazer. Should you wear a skirt and blouse? Fitted pants and a matching blazer? Different career opportunities may obviously require different interview attire for women; however, there are a few helpful tips that will always be appropriate for job interviews.

Business suit: fitted, tailored to individual (if it ripples, its too tight)

You can not go wrong with a fitted pant and matching blazer in today’s business world. Stick to classic colors in solids such as black, tan, and navy blue. (Black and Navy Blue from head to toe in a fitted suit can actually lengthen the body and create an illusion of height for shorter women.) If decided on a pin-stripe look, stick to stripes that are thin and not visible unless seated approximately three feet away. Blazer jackets should sit right at the start of the hip bone. Anything longer can shorter the torso and create a plump look. Buttons on blazer should rest at the smallest part of the torso directly above the hips and directly below the rib cage. This accentuates the smallest part of the torso, balancing the body, and lengthening the body overall.

Blouse or dress shirt (minimal print) – Nothing lower-cut than 4-5” from bottom of chin

Blouse shirts should come no lower than 4-5” from the bottom of the chin. Keep print and color of blouse minimal. Solids work best to contrast between the color of the suit. Prints in dark colors also are a good choice. Keep ruffles and bunching to a minimal as well as to not attract attention to the chest area. Shirt should be fitted if wearing under a blazer as to not add additional bulk to the mid-section and chest area. If wearing a blouse with a skirt, shirts should not be as fitted. Aim for something such as a flowing texture or an argyle sweater type top. Sheer tops are not suggested for any outfit during an interview. Avoid animal printed tops.

Skirt, no shorter than 2” inches above knee

If deciding on wearing a skirt, take into consideration your body shape. Pencil skirts work well on almost any shape. This is the safest bet. The trick with the pencil skirt is to not wear the skirt too tight, but also not too big. Skirts should also be kept to minimal patterns and prints. Solids work best in an interview setting. Black, navy, and tan are safe bets.

Low heels, classic flats (no heels over 3”, no sneaker-type shoes, no boots) – Neutral colors

Closed toe heels are acceptable for an interview if height is kept to a maximum of 2.5-3” inches. Anything over 3” is too high and makes the interviewer uncomfortable. Heels should ALWAYS be closed toe (no matter if you have perfectly manicured nails or not). Pointed toes are okay if not too dramatic, however rounded toes are preferred. (Rounded toes are less aggressive) If wearing heels with a suit, make sure that pant legs fall just above (about 1/4”) the floor. Classic flats are acceptable if pattern and color are not too bold. Sneaker-type shoes, sneakers, boots, flip-flops and sandals of any kind are NEVER acceptable for a job interview.

Minimal jewelry, either necklace or bracelet (not both), small earring or classic 1” max hoop)

Jewelry should be kept to a minimal on any job interview. Stick to basic, classic pieces such as a single bracelet or single necklace. Earrings should be studs (pearls, small diamonds, silver or gold balls) or small hoops (gold or silver) that are no larger than 2” inches maximum. Avoid necklaces with beads of many colors or any costume jewelry. Rings are acceptable to wear if a wedding band, engagement ring, promise ring, or family memento. Avoid rings that are considered costume jewelry, large stoned, or in the field of animals.

Sleek ponytail, pinned back front

Hair should be cleanly washed and conditioned. For shoulder-length and longer hair, sleek ponytail is suggested. If short-cropped hair, style according to cut. Tame flyaways. Hair should be kept out of face during interview as to obtain adequate eye contact with interviewer. Bangs should be pinned back.

Panty-hose (sheer)

Wear sheer, skin color panty-hose if legs are showing. If walking or standing is included during tour or part of interview, panty-hose with light support are best while wearing heels. (Added support equals added balance) Legs should be cleanly shaven as well.

Limited makeup (natural look)

Makeup should be kept to a minimal. Foundation should definitely be worn. (This shows that you care what you look like and will be a walking example of the company you will be working for). Eye-makeup should be minimal. Stick to eyeliner ( if you must wear it) that is similar to your natural hair color and eyelash color. Avoid black unless your hair is black ( I mean black, not dark brown). Mascara is a must (again avoid black at all costs). Mascara opens the eye and makes the biggest difference in an interested face. Blush should be sheer if any is worn at all. Bronzer should be avoided AT ALL COSTS.

No perfume

Shower prior to your interview and apply deodorant. This is sufficient. If you decide to wear perfume, you run the risk of having the interviewer reminded of a person that may have worn the same scent as yourself. (This can bring up a bad memory, such as a ex-lover or just another memory of another candidate of the job). You may think this is crazy, but it has been proven in the past!

Manicured nails with light polish (sheer, pale pink, French Manicure) if any

Nails should be manicured and maintained. Hang-nails should be removed, chipped nails filed. If polish is worn, sheer colors in pink, white, or clear are acceptance. French manicures are preferred if polish is to be worn. Acrylic nails should be kept short.

Boxed purse no larger than 15” no smaller than 10” if needed (briefcase style)

Folder/leather binder for resume and paper for writing

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