Deciding what to wear to an interview is often a stressful part of the preparation process. Successful job interviews depend on both how well you answer questions and how you present yourself. That’s why a smart, pulled-together formal dress code can help convince the hiring manager that you’re a great fit for the company.

Formal Dress Code for Men

  • Shirts: A light coloured long-sleeved shirt is always a good idea for interview dressing. You can either go for a plain shirt or a one with micro checks.
  • Suits and blazers: You can also opt for a formal suit or simply throw on a blazer over a light or solid coloured shirt. For suits and blazers, it is best to go for colours like black, navy blue, dark grey, dark brown, etc.
  • Trouser: Choose a dark-coloured trouser, preferably in black, grey, or blue color. Prefer a plain trouser over a printed one.
  • Socks: Select a plain pair of cotton socks that match with the colour of your trousers.
  • Shoes: A pair of formal shoes will complete your look. Choose a comfortable pair of shoes. It is always a safe bet to go for colours like black or tan in shoes.
  • Tie (optional): Put on a traditional tie to complete the formal look. For the tie, it is advisable to select a color and pattern that complements your shirt.
  • Watch: Add a finishing touch to your look with a classic watch.
  • Bag: Carry a basic brown or black small laptop bag or briefcase for your documents.

Key points to remember

  • Always wear clean and well-pressed clothes.
  • Avoid loud colors/prints in shirts. Avoid flashy ties.
  • Wear a mild deodorant.
  • Make sure your shoes are free from stains and dust.
  • Opt for a clean-shaven look or a well-trimmed beard look.
  • Apply a limited amount of aftershave.
  • Maintain neatly trimmed nails.
  • Carry resume and important documents in a briefcase or laptop bag.

Formal Dress Code for Women

Unlike males, females have a large number of options as a formal dress code. Some of the most commonly accepted professional interview dress code for females are:

  • Traditional Indian suit: A well-fitted traditional Indian suit is a good option for female candidates. However, avoid wearing a tight-fitted suit with glitter, lace, or animal print.
  • Saree: You can also opt for a simple cotton saree in solid or pastel colors for a formal look.
  • Pantsuit: A dark or pastel coloured pantsuit with light coloured shirt makes for a classy interview dressing.
  • Shirt/Top: Full-sleeved or half-sleeved shirt or top with a knee-length pencil skirt is acceptable as professional dress code. Choose light and pastel shades for shirt/top with minimal print.
  • Formal dress: A well-fitted, knee-length dress in straight style is also a good option for female candidates.
  • Shoes: Formal women shoes with fairly low-heel look impressive. Go for colors like black, tan, beige, blue, dusky pink, etc.
  • Handbag: Female candidates can carry a smart and basic hand bag to keep their documents in place. Go for neutral shades or basics colours like black, tan, and blue.
  • Minimal make-up: A hint of blush, mascara, and natural-colored lip gloss are usually enough while going for an interview. You can also add a bit of kohl and eyeliner, if you wish.
  • Nail paint: Choose neutral colors for nail paint.
  • Hairstyle: Hair should be neatly styled in a basic manner. Generally, a low or high ponytail looks good with suits and skirts. You can also opt for a well-combed straight hair look. Another formal hairstlye that goes well with msot outfits is a low and polished bun.

Key points to remember

  • Make sure your outfit is neat, clean, and well-pressed.
  • Avoid wearing sleeveless shirts and suits as it imparts causal look.
  • Wear a mild deodorant or perfume.
  • Make sure your hair is fresh and clean.
  • Avoid hair accessories that are flashy or shiny.
  • Keep your nails clean and well-shaped and avoid very long nails.
  • Avoid gaudy bracelets and dangling earrings. It may spoil the formal look.
  • Avoid wearing stilettos for an interview; reserve them for parties.
  • Avoid carrying huge handbags. Opt for a subtle coloured and medium-sized handbag. You can even go for a briefcase or small laptop bag instead.

The above mentioned are generally accepted rules for interview dressing. When it comes to the interview dress code, the ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work. Following the golden rule of ‘dressing little better than what existing employees are wearing’ may lead to good results. This gives an impression of the way candidates carry themselves and their interest level in the job position. We wish you all the best for your upcoming interview.

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