Job interviews are nerve-wracking enough without worrying about what you’re wearing. You should always dress with the job and company in mind. Your interview clothes shouldn’t distract from the fact that you’re a good fit for the job. You want to look sharp and put together but not stuffy or out of place. To help you decide what’s best, we’ve put together a guide to dressing for success so you can focus on making a great impression.

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Tips for a Job Interview

Know Your Industry

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. That means wearing something slightly more likable than the people in that position typically wear, even if it’s not something you’d typically choose for yourself. This shows that you’re taking this opportunity seriously and are willing to make an effort.

Dress Professionally

Wear clean clothes, ironed and those in good condition. If you’re interviewing in an office setting, wear pants or a skirt suit and a nice top, not sweatshirts or t-shirts. If you’re interviewing at a restaurant or retail store, dress appropriately for the work environment-no jeans or flip-flops. Also, consider what the other employees wear as well.

A classic black suit is always appropriate and looks professional in an interview. Anything else runs the risk of distracting from who you are as a candidate. Keep jewelry minimal, avoid bright colors and patterns, and steer clear of wrinkles or stains that could distract from your appearance or make you seem unprepared for the interview itself.

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Make Sure Your Clothes Fit Properly

This is especially important for men. A suit jacket that’s too small makes you look like you’ve gained weight, while one that’s too big makes you look sloppy. You should be able to button the jacket without your stomach bulging and put your hands in your pockets without the jacket pulling open or straining across the chest and shoulders.

Nails Should Be Clean and Trimmed

You may not think about this until you get there, but if your nails are long and painted, it could distract from other parts of your outfit that should be getting more attention, like those cute new pumps. Also, if they’re chipped or unevenly colored, it could distract from those things too!

Avoid Trendy Clothing Items

A button-down shirt is fine, a button-down shirt with ruffles is not. A knee-length pencil skirt is fine, a knee-length pencil skirt with a slit up the side is not. Skip the flashy accessories – your necklaces and earrings should be small and simple.

Keep it Simple

If you’re going for a job in a very casual environment, it might seem overdressed if you show up in a suit and tie. If you have multiple piercings, take them out before your interview. And avoid wearing anything that might distract from the conversation with your interviewers — like big jewelry or bright colors on ties or scarves that match your outfit perfectly.

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Final Thoughts

Getting the proper attention at a job interview goes beyond the skills and experience you bring to the table. While most employers look at these two factors as the most important in deciding who they’ll hire, they also keep an eye on how potential employees present themselves. It’s about projecting the image of someone polished, confident and competent — in other words, and someone employers want to hire. As such, it’s getting increasingly important for candidates to dress professionally for job interviews.

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