Presentation plays a big part in making a positive first impression so it definitely matters. It should be noted that not all workplaces require you to wear a suit to the interview, so it’s okay to ask your contact what the standard is and to dress accordingly. But when in doubt, it’s best to err on the side of conservatism.

So, what does this look like? Below are some basic guidelines for appropriate interview attire for women and men:

Suggested female interview attire:

  • Solid colour, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate closed toe shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up and perfume
  • Manicured nails with nude or natural polish
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Suggested male interview attire:

  • Solid colour, conservative suit
  • White or light coloured long sleeve collared shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks and professional, polished shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave

Remember, these are basic guidelines for interview attire only. Once you start working, you’ll get a feel for the company’s dress norms and can adjust your workwear accordingly.