How to dress for an interview

Interviews are all about making an excellent first impression. If you want to land your dream job, it takes more than just answering the questions correctly. Friendliness and appearance can also impact decisions, so it can help to ensure you’ve dressed to impress!

What you wear to an interview can make a difference. One study shows 95% of interviewers said that an applicant’s interview appearance directly reflects their professionalism. But which outfit is most appropriate for an interview?

Our guide to dressing for an interview will give you all the tips you need, from formal to casual interview outfits.

What should women wear to an interview?

Women are lucky to have a broad choice of clothing styles for an interview. Before we dive in, here are some general tips when it comes to getting dressed:

  • Wear tailored clothing. Well-fitting clothing looks put together and offers an air of professionalism. Anything too small or too big may come across as too casual.

  • Stick to classic styles over trends. Unless you’re interviewing for a job in the fashion industry, it’s wise to stick to timeless pieces and avoid trend pieces, which may be seen as unprofessional.

  • Pay attention to accessories. Those trusty sneakers you leave by the door and the tote you use for your groceries might not create the right impression and can take away from your otherwise perfect look. Be prepared and select the right shoes and bag the night before..

  • Make sure clothes are clean, unwrinkled and undamaged. Check for stains on shoes and clothing, holes in tights and anything else that appear messy.

  • Pay attention to personal hygiene. Shower the morning of your interview and style your hair to look presentable. If you’re using a fragrance, ensure it’s not overpowering.

  • Make sure you’re comfortable. While you may want to dress differently than usual at an interview, feeling comfortable is essential for your confidence. Choose an outfit you feel good in, preferably something you’ve worn before, and let your confidence shine!

Smart interview outfit inspiration

Formal interviews require formal attire, like what you’ll wear if you land the job. If you need a hand with what to wear, research the industry dress code or get inspired by our suggestions.

In summer, A-line and suit skirts are fantastic options. Wear your skirt with a tucked-in shirt, and add a blazer for warmth. Transparent or black tights help keep the look professional. A simple black tailored dress is a safe choice.

Smart casual interview outfit inspiration

Smart casual interviews give you more leeway for what you can wear. But sometimes, this makes matters more confusing, as you may not know how smart or laid-back to go.

To be safe, we recommend avoiding anything extremely formal or casual. Avoid suits and briefcases; don’t wear hoodies, leggings or sneakers. Instead, mix smart and casual, like a sweater and skirt with boots or a button-down shirt with wide-leg pants.

What shoes should women wear to a job interview?

Now you’ve got your outfit planned, you’re probably wondering what shoes are appropriate for an interview. Luckily, women have plenty of choices when picking job interview shoes.


Mules are a type of shoe with no back or fastening around the heel, making them easy to slip on and off. They come in various materials, though most commonly leather and suede. With a range of styles and colors to choose from, mules are a fantastic option for an interview.

The Wallabee Cup Lo Grey and the Trek Mule Black Suede Warmlined are perfect for smart casual interviews. Meanwhile, formal interviews call for the Talene Pace Black Interest or the Emily Cove Black Leather.


Attending an interview in the warmer weather? Sandals are the perfect summer interview shoe. So many designs are available, from closed and open-toe, heeled, flat and wedge, buckle or riptape. With so many choices, you’ll be able to find the perfect pair for your interview.

Our top picks include the Desirae Lily, the Desirae Palm in black or tan and the Seren25 Strap in black or white. The Kimmei Hi Strap wedge sandals will make the perfect statement for more casual interview settings.


Heels are the ultimate power shoe, ideal for formal interviews. The right pair will help you stand up straight and confidently step in with confidence. If you’re new to wearing heels, start with a smaller heel and practice walking around the house before your interview.

The Seren25 Strap is the best low heel to get you started. If you prefer a mid-heel, the Freva55 Court is a fantastic option in three classic colors. For a closed-toe option, choose the Freva55 Lily, available in black and nude. If you’re a seasoned pro at walking in heels, we have plenty of high heels perfect for interviews, including our Freva85 Bar and the Ambyr Shine.


Boots are a perfect shoe for keeping your feet warm in the winter. They’re ideal for interviews as they go with pretty much every piece of clothing, from pants of all styles to skirts and dresses. So many options are available, so whether you prefer heeled or flat, leather or suede, you’ll find the right pair for your interview.

Our Cologne Arlo, Memi Lo and Cologne Buckle are all great choices for casual interviews, available in classic shades of black, brown and tan. For formal interviews, opt for the Seren 55 Top or the Violet55 Zip in black leather.

What should men wear to an interview?

Men should follow the same tips as women when deciding what to wear to an interview. Dressing for the role you want is essential, ensuring your presentation and hygiene levels are up to standard. Let’s look at what to wear to smart and smart casual interviews.

Smart interview outfit inspiration

For most smart interviews, a button-down shirt, tie and dress pants are enough to impress. Smart interviews don’t always require a full suit, though it depends on the job you’re going up for.

It’s always best to check the company’s dress code beforehand, as this will give you an idea of what to wear to the interview. If employees wear suits daily, it might be time to visit the tailors!

Smart casual interview outfit inspiration

When dressing for a smart casual interview, aim to find the right balance between smart and casual. Wear chinos with a button-down shirt for a fail-safe combination, and add a tie or a bow tie for a touch of professionalism. Some people wear black jeans to a smart casual interview, but it's best to avoid jeans if you’re unsure of the dress code.

Wondering what to wear to an interview in the summer? A short-sleeved polo tee or button-down shirt with chino shorts can help create the right first impression.

What shoes should men wear to a job interview?


Loafers are slip-on shoes without laces or buckles. They can be dressed up or down and come in leather and suede, making them perfect for an interview. Comfortable and versatile, wear your loafers with chinos and a smart shirt for a smart casual interview, or pair them with a blazer for a more formal occasion.

Our suede Court Lite Wally and Nubuck Colehill Easy loafers will pair perfectly with chinos or smart jeans for casual interviews. If you’re dressing formally, the Whiddon Step, Gessler Step and leather Gorwin Step add the perfect finishing touches to your look.

Dress shoes

Dress shoes are the most obvious choice for formal interviews, but you may also want to wear them to smart casual interviews. They typically come in black or brown leather, with a small heel and a lace fastening.

At Clarks, we offer lots of choices when it comes to dress shoes. Our top lace-up options include the Whiddon Cap, Malwood Lace and Atticus LT Lace, made with premium materials for a comfortable and stylish fit. The Gessler Step could be your perfect pick if you’d prefer a slip-on shoe.


Boots are versatile enough to work with various outfits, making them fantastic interview shoes. Plenty of men’s boot styles work well in an interview, from desert to Chelsea boots.

Attending a smart casual interview? Our Morris Peak, Clarkdale Hall and classic Desert Boot will help you look the part. Try the Whiddon Mid, a beautifully-crafted Clarks collection chukka boot, for a more formal look.

Finding the perfect pair of interview shoes has never been easier with Clarks. Shop our men’s shoes and women’s shoes today.