When it comes to what not to wear to a job interview, some rules should never be broken.
There is no place you'll want to make a better impression than on a job interview. The outfit you wear can play a big role in whether or not you get the job. For many people, an outfit is a way to display your character, so it's important to find the right balance of letting your personality shine through, all while remaining professional. Regardless of the interview, there are some universal professional attire rules you should always follow. Let's go over them as we explore what not to wear to a job interview.
1. Ripped Clothing
Unless your job is a retail store where you have to model trending styles, you should always steer clear of ripped clothing. Ripped garments are one of the easiest ways to set off a bad impression because no matter how you style them or pair them, you will never be able to pull off a truly professional look.
Be careful of trending business-casual outfits like ripped jeans paired with a professional top. While that look might come off well in the fashion magazines, it will still drop you down on the totem pole of looking professional. While you're at it, you want to make sure that all the seams on your trousers, blouses, and jackets are intact and not hanging loose. Even minor rips in your clothes like loose seams can send out vibes of unprofessionalism.
2. Tight Clothing
There is a time and place for tight-fitting clothing, and a job interview is usually not it. Now, to be fair, not all tight clothes are off-limits. You just need to know what part of your outfit should be form-fitting and what should not. The general rule of thumb is to balance out your outfit so that one aspect of it is form-fitting and the other is not. So, if your blouse is tight, then your bottoms should be relatively loose. If your skirt or bottoms are tight, then your top should be somewhat loose.
Ladies, it's okay to have something that shows off your figure, but you want to keep it professional. This means that whatever part of your outfit is form-fitting should not cross the line of being inappropriate. You can wear a form-fitting blouse, but don't choose a tight, low-cut blouse that is intended for the club, not the office. Also, make sure your outfit is fitted for your body—that you're able to breathe in it, you feel comfortable while wearing it, and it won't rip because it's too tight.
3. Bright and Neon Colors
Neon and bold, bright clothes are among the biggest no-nos to avoid during a job interview. You don't want to blind your potential employer! There's a difference between wanting to stand out with bright colors and looking like a bright highlighter pen. Neon colors are almost certain to make you look like the latter and will prove to be incredibly distracting for everyone on the interview panel.
There is, however, something to be said for standing out against other applicants with your outfit. You can do this by wearing a bright color, but you want to make sure that the color is tactfully chosen and balanced with a more neutral one. For example, a bright pink blouse can look great when paired with white pants. Also, a blouse with just hints of neon (like a floral pattern) would be acceptable.
4. Clothes With Obvious Logos and Images
When you're going in for a job interview, your outfit will be one of the first statements you make about yourself. Because of this, it is important to steer clear of images and logos, to avoid any miscommunication.
Logos and images on clothing are designed by nature to send out a specific message, and unfortunately, you can't control the way the message is received on the other end. When it comes to wearing specific brands, for the most part, you want to keep the logo hidden and not on full display. Be careful about making the mistake of displaying "too much brand." For example, walking into a job interview with a sweater featuring the Louis Vuitton logo may seem fancy to you, but it might send the wrong message to your future employer.
5. Clothing That Conflicts With the Company's Values
Before you plan out your outfit, it is essential to research the job you are interviewing for. The position can play a key role in how you should present yourself. Your clothing will say a lot about how you show up in the world and whether or not that jives with and reflects the company's values.
You wouldn't wear furs or an animal skin to a job interview with PETA, much like you wouldn't wear a suit to a job that has a well-known anti-suit policy. Be sure to research the company so you know what not to wear.
Additional Tips to Keep in Mind
- Don't over-accessorize
- Closed-toed shoes are always winners
- Flip-flops are an absolute no-go
- Solid, neutral colors are always a safe bet
- Patterned garments should be subtle and appropriate
All in all, when it comes to a job interview, less is always more. This is not the time to try out new and bold outfit choices. Rather, keep it clean, simple, and professional, and you should be good to go.