17 Things You Should Never Wear for a Job Interview

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By Jonathan Trent

First impressions are key when meeting your potential future employer. Everyone knows that a nice smile, a firm handshake, and an appropriate outfit are necessary, but what is an appropriate outfit? To help you out, here are 17 clothing items you should never wear for n interview.


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Even if the company you are applying to has a casual dress policy in the office, you should still dress with a bit more formality for the interview. Remember, you haven’t been employed by the company yet, so it’s best to make a classy first impression.

Baggy Clothes

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Oversized clothes serve a purpose outside of the working environment and are undoubtedly comfier than more formal attire. However, Forbes estimates that over 40% of employers believe that formal attire is essential for a good first impression, and let’s be honest–there’s nothing formal about baggy clothes.

Ripped Jeans

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While ripped jeans may have had a brief stint at the top of street fashion, they have never been appropriate in a professional setting. For a start, they’re styled to look rough and carefree, which is not a trait that most bosses are looking for in an employee.

Open-toed Shoes

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Open-toed shoes can range from flip-flops to high heels, and neither is regarded as a safe bet for a job interview. Your best bet is to wear smart shoes, even if they are not as comfortable as what you’d usually wear.

Flashy Jewelry

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Wearing flashy jewelry is an easy trap to fall into when preparing your outfit for a job interview as you attempt to present the best side of yourself. Think about it–you don’t want to appear as though you are an arrogant show-off, do you?

Baseball Caps

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It should go without saying that baseball caps are not appropriate for an interview. It’s very unlikely that a baseball cap would be permitted as part of the company’s dress code, and hats also subconsciously give the impression that you have something to hide.

A Tie

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Contrary to popular belief, you can, in fact, dress too formally for a job interview, harming your chances of progressing further in the process. According to StandOut CV, only 37% of employers expect men to wear a tie to their interview, so it’s probably best to leave it at home.


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Sportswear, such as leggings, tracksuits, or hoodies, will give your interviewer the impression that you’re not overly serious about attaining the role you’ve applied for. It will look like you arrived straight from your daily jog, which won’t seem very professional. 

Novelty Socks

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You can show off the zany side of your personality once you have the job secured, not during the interviewing process. If you want to be taken seriously for the job, you’ll have to play the corporate game a little bit and opt for a pair of plain socks over your favorite Spongebob pair.

Informal Coats

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Wearing an informal coat or jacket will undo all of the thought you have put into the outfit underneath. If it’s a cold day and you don’t have a smart coat in your wardrobe, it’s probably best to put on a brave face and embrace the low temperature.

Strong Cologne

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The last thing that you want to do in a job interview is distract the interviewer from what you have to say about yourself and your credentials. Strong cologne or perfume will do exactly that, making you a memorable candidate for all the wrong reasons.

Bright Clothes

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Wearing bright clothes to an interview is a terrible idea, at least if you plan on getting hired. The Guardian explains that dark colors such as black, grey, and brown are still the most appropriate for job interviews, even if you may think they’re boring.

Too Much Makeup

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Makeup should be far down your priority list when preparing for an interview. In fact, it’s not even a necessity, as arriving without it gives you an air of professionalism, showing that your credentials are more important than your physical appearance.

Low Neck Shirt

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Wearing a shirt with a low neckline may give your potential employer the impression that you are trying to gain an immoral advantage in the hiring process. It also puts you at risk of making the interviewer uncomfortable, which is an immediate deal-breaker.

Creased Clothes

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Taking the time to iron your clothes before getting ready for an interview is a minimum requirement, even if you don’t normally use an iron. It shows that you are taking the interview process seriously and are the type of person who takes pride in the way they look.

Scruffy Shoes

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Scuffed, dull, or faded shoes are an absolute no-no for a job interview. According to The Independent, you should take your footwear as seriously as every other aspect of your outfit and opt for a pair of smart leather shoes.

Unique Suits

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Finally, if you are applying for a high-up job role and you are going to wear a suit, make sure it isn’t too out of the ordinary. Colors such as red or yellow are an absolute no-go, and hiring managers will also look down upon shiny fabrics. Tuxedos are also way too much.