9 Things You Shouldn't Wear to a Job Interview

21 Oct 2022

Are you all set for a job interview? You have the resume in hand, portfolio in the bag, and are ready to take on the interviewer. You go in with confidence, portray your best self, and feel like you might have nailed the interview with your confidence and skills. 

But, unfortunately, you didn’t get through this time. And you don’t understand why? What went wrong? Was it your wrong coloured tie? Or frizzy hair? Or was it the million rings you were wearing on your fingers? What you wear to an interview, does make an impression on the interviewer? 

Even though, there are a few don’ts that you should try to stay away from as much as possible.

#1:  No bright colours

It is advisable not to wear clothes that are too bright and flashy. Wear colours that are subtle and less attention-grabbing. For starters, choose solids over patterns for your shirts/blouses. Colours like navy blue, grey, black, and brown are mostly accepted at workplaces as standard colours for bottoms (trousers, skirts, etc). Whereas, for shirts and blouses, you might want to go for something more light, like white, light grey, pale blue, light blue, or even peach. Even though bold colours are not recommended, you can try wearing a red scarf/tie smartly around your neck while you wear a white shirt with a dark grey suit to the interview. It will give a more authoritative perception of you, and also isn’t too flashy. Avoid colours like ….. Yellow, orange, and green.

#2: Minimize the accessories

Women should not wear excessive accessories in order to look good for an interview. If you are going to be wearing earrings to the interview, then stay clear of tassles, big hoops, and chandeliers. Go for classic studs instead. Some other accessories you could avoid: 

  • Shiny/funky necklaces, anklets or bracelets 
  • Hats or a cap 
  • Rings(except if necessary) 
  • Mismatched colour belts. 
  • Avoid headphones.In most of the cases, men do not wear accessories to the interviews. Although, when they do, they should be cautious. Earrings are not recommended. Wear a classic watch that complements your professional look.

#3: No Flip-Flops

Do not wear flip-flops or sneakers in an interview. It doesn’t give a good impression. Women should keep away from high and platform heels, boots, wedges, and open-toed sandals. Although close-toed plums are mostly recommended, you can resort to wearing flats, ballerinas, and spool heels. Make sure they are formal and sync with your attire. For Men, a pair of close-toed formal laced shoes would be recommended. Digress from wearing loafers and boots. At times, monk shoes qualify as good formal shoes, do not risk it unless you are very sure. Some basic plain monk shoes can work great. Try opting for dark shades like black and brown. Be careful about the socks you choose. While the most preferable shade is the shade of the pants, make sure they also sync with the colour of your shoes.

#4: Excess Make-up

The safest and idealistic setting would be- Don’t wear any make-up. It can get tricky deciding how much amount of make-up is okay for professional seating.  Even if, you wish to put some on, keep it subtle. 

  • Do not wear bright lipstick or lip gloss 
  • Dark eye-shadows, heavy compact, and nail-art can be off-putting.Even though you might want to look your best on your interview day, do not make it too bold. It can be distracting and leave a rather negative impression on the interviewer.

#5: Too much Fragrance

Wearing too much perfume and cologne can make it difficult for the people around you to bear with you for long. Your interviewer may also have an allergy or aversion for some scents. If you want to wear a scent, keep it minimal.

#6: Not too Casual

Some offices, especially start-ups don’t expect you to dress all corporate while you go for an interview. Casual-wear is okay in such a setting. But, make sure you do not cross your boundaries of decency. You are still supposed to display some professionalism with your outfit. Of course, you can wear a T-shirt; But if the text on it says- “Don’t give me your attitude, I have mine.”; you made the interviewer judge you right off the bat. Don’t barge in wearing slit-jeans and a tank top. Low-cut blouses are also not recommended. A decent casual shirt or T-shirt or a polo T-shirt paired with jeans qualify as a good outfit for such an interview. 

#7: Hairstyles

Women often tend to have trouble with the hair during an interview. You don’t have to spend a lot of time on your hair while preparing for an interview. If it is short, keep it open, but make sure it doesn’t cover your eyes; else, tie it or put a hairband. A ponytail is the best. Your hair can be clutched too, just keep it simple and less distracting. Don’t put any crunchies or shiny hairbands. Men who have long hair are advised to tie them with a headband. Putting metal hairbands still might not be acceptable in some office spaces. 

#8: Do not wear employer brands

Avoid wearing your last company’s branding. It does not seem to have any effect in general, although in some cases, it may turn against you. You shouldn’t wear the branding of the company you are interviewing for too, in case there is any. You may think it could have a positive effect, but it could make you seem a little more worked up than what could be expected.

#9: Funky Scarves and ties

Scarves and ties, when worn properly, give a self-assured and welcoming impression. if not put on correctly, it can make you stand out in an obstructive manner. Be subtle with ties. You should go for traditional ties with stripes to give a classic look to your outfit. Scarves are more acceptable when solid coloured. Although, you can experiment with prints as long as it looks decent. For very professional settings, the ideal point of the knot on the scarf will be between the second and third button of the shirt. Do not wear yellow/orange/green coloured scarves or ties to an interview. You can experiment with more confident colours like blue and red. 

Here are some acceptable job interview attires for different professional settings for men and women-

WomenAttire-1(Professional Setting) 

  • Shirt/blouse (Light coloured; Tuck in the shirt if it’s long. You can keep short shirts open.] 
  • Trousers/Skirt(Black and blue work best; Skirt should be knee length or more. Do not wear pants that are too tight.) 
  • Blazer(colour of your pants) 
  • Scarf(Red/blue) 
  • Pony Tail/Open  
  • Close-toed plums/ Close-toed Flats 
  • Studs 
  • Pantyhose, if you are wearing a skirt. 
  • Decent belt(colour should sync with the trousers. Plain black is recommended)Attire-2(Professional Setting) 
  • Cotton Kurta 
  • Leggings 
  • Flats/Sandals[Close-Toed are preferable] 
  • Studs or small Jhumkis that do not draw too much attention 
  • Clutched HairAttire-3 (Casual setting) 
  • Blouse/Tshirt (Light-coloured; Make sure they are decent. No deep-necks, No funky-texted T-shirts. Also, try to wear sleeved tops) 
  • Jeans(Dark-coloured; It can be skinny, but not slit or funky. Keep it solid, without any colour patterns) 
  • Studs or other small earrings 
  • Shrug/Blazer (Don’t go for leather jackets)


  • A solid light-coloured tucked-in shirt 
  • Dark-coloured trousers 
  • Formal buckled Belt 
  • Blazer(colour of the trousers) 
  • Oxford shoes, Derby, Plain toe, Monk Shoes 
  • Tie(Striped or Solid Color)Attire-2 
  • T-shirt/Casual shirt (No funky T-shirts) 
  • Jeans 
  • Blazer(if needed) 
  • Any formal shoes. (Loafers and sneakers might also work in such an environment. No slippers or flip-flops--- goes without saying)

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