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How to dress for an interview

Recently, I’ve been approached by a number of our candidates asking “How should I dress for an interview”, so we’ve put together some basics for you that will help, no matter what stage in you’re at in your career!

First we will cover some general rules based on age and industry.

Students (14-16), your School uniform is only appropriate if leaving straight from school to attend an interview. Otherwise, dress pants + button up shirt + Polished shoes

From the ages 16-20, hiring manager’s would expect you to be dressed appropriately for work OR a meeting. If you are applying for an apprenticeship, ask them if you should come dressed for an interview or should you be work-ready? If dressing for an interview, dress pants + button up shirt – Polished shoes (add tie if applying in an office / corporate role) and if you are to attend ‘work-ready’ make sure you have the appropriate steel caps, work pants and hi–vis shirt ready to go.

21 Above –  Now it gets trickier!!!

Industrial – If you are coming straight from work and heading to an interview in a similar role, ask if they would prefer you come straight to them in your uniform and steel caps or if they would prefer you to come in dress pants and shirt. Either way, make sure that you still attend to any personal odour issues, hygiene and cleanliness issues and make sure your hair is tidy.

Mid level – Always attend in pants and button up shirt with polished shoes, avoid jewellery and too much cologne. Focus on appearing professional and if you are applying for an office based role, wear a tie. Remember that an employer will always be impressed if you overdress and unimpressed if you under-dress. Better safe than sorry!!

Management / Corporate – Invest in a well fitted suit, nice watch and dress shoes for all interviews


Equally as important….. what do you take into an interview?

Make sure you only take in the bare minimum to an interview. Excess “stuff” will make you appear less organised and more clumsy as you try to figure out where to put it all before shaking their hand! Here’s a few Do’s and Don’ts!

DO take with you

Resume or portfolio of work/ Keys in pocket only / Glasses if required / Pen / notebook / Phone on silent

DON’T take with you

Phone not on silent / A bag / jacket if you’re not wearing it/ anything extra that you don’t need. If you rode your bike, ask to leave any gear you have with the receptionist while you interview. DON’T wear sunglasses on your head, leave them in the car and never wear a hat.


Personal grooming

A haircut is an essential part of dressing up, plan for it and budget for it. Make sure you either eliminate any facial hair or ensure that it is exceptionally well manicured. If going for a corporate role with a company that has a corporate image, remove piercings and cover up tattoos. These are acceptable in most industries nowadays but corporate is still a little weary…

Deodorant is a MUST and 1 x squirt of cologne is optional. Be sure not to overdo it because you don’t want to be remembered for the way you smelt…. You want to be remembered for your abilities.


If you require assistance on Interview techniques, a new resume or career path planning…. get in touch 041239267