Women's Suit Etiquette for Interviews

Women should present a professional image at job interviews.
Women should present a professional image at job interviews. (Image: PhotoObjects.net/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images)

Women must choose appropriate interview attire and leave a lasting impression on hiring managers. Often, women make the mistake of appearing “flashy,” showing too much skin or wearing overly done makeup. These common mistakes can cost women their chances of getting a job offer, according to Forbes Magazine. The best interview suits for women are sedate colors, such as dark gray, navy blue or black. Makeup and jewelry for interviews should be toned down and small in size.

Corporate Jobs

Women should dress conservatively to corporate job interviews. While pantsuits are acceptable for most job interviews, women should wear a skirt suit to a corporate job interview. Colors such as black, navy or charcoal gray are well suited for skirt suits. The skirt length should be slightly above the knee and slim cut; slim cut skirts present a professional image. Skirt suits should be worn with a crisp white shirt that is preferably new.

Creative Fields

Unlike corporate interviews, job interviews for creative fields such as fashion, advertising, entertainment or retail tend to require a less conservative attire. Women should still present a clean polished and professional image. Pantsuits that are classic in style and well tailored are acceptable for noncorporate job interviews; dress suits can be more flexible. Women can be creative for noncorporate job interviews by choosing less conservative suits with a couture cut or by wearing tailored separates and warmer colors.

Suit Fabrics

Fabrics for interview suits should be selected with care. Important elements to consider include the fabric’s weave and texture. High quality tropical wool, which is wrinkle free and can be worn year round, is ideal. Fabric lining should be lightweight and comfortable. Durable fabric lining such as, rayon bemberg is static free and has a silky texture. Other fabrics that are suitable for job interviews include wool blends and tweed.

Additional Tips

Underneath a suit jacket, women should wear shirts that are conservative and do not show any cleavage. In addition to white shirts, light blue or shirts with small prints are acceptable. Hosiery should be plain and neutral colors that match the skin. Shoes should be close-toed pumps with low heels. Grey pinstripe suits are acceptable for noncorporate job interviews. Hair should be well groomed and neat. Women should refrain from wearing perfume or heavily scented deodorants to job interviews.

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