Professional Way to Dress for a Female for a Job Interview

Dress to impress.
Dress to impress. (Image: Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking. You want to create a good impression, but you also don't want to be ostentatious, or have your attire be a distraction rather than an enhancement. Dressing for a job interview requires an understanding of your prospective employer and an exacting attention to detail.

Hair and Makeup

Choose a trim, neatly coiffed hairstyle. For most conservative business professional environments, keep your hair off of your shoulders and tied or pinned up. Police loose strands, so as not to present an unruly appearance. For makeup, restraint is the order of the day. Avoid brightly colored lipstick or egregious eyeshadow. And go easy on the perfume.


Go with a dark, solid-color matched suit: charcoal, black, gray or navy blue. You can wear a skirt or slacks. If you chose a skirt, the hem should fully cover the knee when you are standing, and the skirt should not be so tight you can't sit down comfortably. Brush off dandruff on your shoulders and keep an eye out for cat hair. If you have tattoos on your arms, make sure your suit covers them.


For conservative environments, you can't go wrong with a nice white or cream-colored blouse under your jacket. Take a critical look at your buttons, though. If your jacket or blouse is pulling open between the buttons, your clothes are too tight-fitting.


Choose a neat portfolio or briefcase rather than a large purse. Jewelry should be minimal. If you have visible piercings other than your ears, take the jewelry out. Avoid large or dangly, distracting earrings or multiple bracelets rattling around on your wrists. You, not your jewelry, should be the main event. Wear unobtrusive hose, and inspect the hose for flaws or runs. Wear closed-toed, conservative shoes, and polish them before the interview.

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