What Not to Wear: 10 Job Interview Clothing Faux Pas

interview-attireFirst impressions are everything, and at a job interview with other applicants, sometimes they're all you have. A good first impression can set you apart from the crowd, while a bad impression can send your résumé straight into the trash can.

One of the best ways to ensure you nail that job interview is to focus on making a good first impression with your appearance. By staying on the conservative side of what you wear to the interview, but still letting your personality shine through, you're bound to start off on the right foot.

Before you dress for your big day, take note of these ten things you should never wear to a job interview:

1. Revealing Clothes

Male or female, revealing clothes could offend a potential employer. Button up your shirt to the top, and ladies should be conscious of skirt length.

2. Too Much Jewelry

If you normally wear a lot of jewelry, consider toning it down for your interview to avoid any distractions. Earrings and necklaces should be small and simple, while it's recommended not to wear more than one ring on each hand.

3. Baggy Clothes

The opposite extreme of wearing clothes that reveal too much is wearing clothes that don't fit at all. Your interview clothes should be tailored for a perfect fit.

4. Poor Footwear

There's an old saying that states you can tell everything about a person by looking at their shoes. What does it say about you if you walk into a job interview in sneakers or unprofessional sandals? Be sure to have nice dress shoes that match your interview attire.

5. Hat

There is a reason why your high school teachers always told you to take off your hat in class. Hats are unprofessional and sloppy, so leave them at the door.

6. Denim

Even if you know that the office you're stepping into is casual, stick to professional interview wear. Avoid denim when walking into any workplace - being overdressed is always better.

7. iPod

It may be the norm to walk the streets with your iPod ear buds hanging around your neck, but tuck these away before opening the door to your job interview. You never know who you might run in to in the elevator, so be "interview ready" as soon as you walk in the door.

8. Stained Clothing

Every job seeker has had a bad day where they forgot to iron their clothes or spilled breakfast on their shirt while rushing out the door. Try to avoid this as much as possible by giving yourself enough time to dress properly for your interview, and staying just as polished as you were when you stepped out of your house.

9. Remnants of a Late Night Out

Your future employer will not be impressed by concert wristbands or bar stamps on your hand, so remove any evidence from the killer concert or bar you hit up over the weekend.

10. Graphic T-Shirts

Interview wear isn't as conservative as it used to be, but that doesn't mean you should sport your favorite graphic t-shirt to your meeting. You never know who will be interviewing you, so avoid wearing any shirts that could be too trendy and thus distracting.

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John Williams

I completely agree. These oh so groovy scene kids want to "tat out" and be all jiggy and "down with it" and all that other ghetto nonsense, and then they want to (on the other hand) come to a great job and make good money?

Sorry, assholes - take your hip hop, baggy ass clothes, bone thru your nose, bitch slapping "lifestyle" and continue working your "security" job at the local dance club or whatever.

July 14 2010 at 4:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to John Williams's comment
Dominique Winford

Well you must have lost your girl to some hip hop, baggy ass clothes, bone thru your nose, bitch slapping "lifestyle" kinda of guy. You sure are classy...tool!

July 24 2011 at 7:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nobody thinks of how they look to other people these days! Even my own daughter who is quite skilled working with mentally handicapped children, thinks it's ok to wear tight jeans and t-shirt to work! Wrong! I don't understand whatever happened to dressing for the type of job you have! Ugh!

July 10 2010 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Your last sentence is very true!

July 10 2010 at 2:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

women, make sure your ass doesnt smell at interviews.

July 10 2010 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watch the "news" once a week.

July 10 2010 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's so sad that articles like this are necessary, but I've seen all of these mistakes and more. I've had women show up in shorts, miniskirts, flip-flops, tank tops; men who have shown up in jogging suits, earbuds in place and actually TOOK CALLS during the interview, and these are for MANAGEMENT jobs.

Another pet peeve of mine: Take your sunglasses off your head for your interview. They're not a hair accessory, and just look too casual for a job interview. And leave the killer claw fingernails and multi-colored hair at the salon, unless you're looking for work in a VERY casual setting. Same goes for facial piercings and excessive tattoos. They may seem cool at the time, but you need to consider the impact they can have on your future...many employers frown on these, and some absolutely forbid them.

July 10 2010 at 1:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mead Carlson

Probably doesn't matter if you are going to Wal-Maer or thr Burger Barn as they are the only places hiring around here. And forget it if you are over 50

July 10 2010 at 1:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

where have you been, Zborovan? Watch the news lately?

July 10 2010 at 1:37 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hope, thanks for the advice on besttopjobs. When I get a call saying come to an interview and then they find out that I'm not bilingual, I have never gotten a job offer. This has been my own personal experience since 2008. So now I'm working as a caregiver wiping butts all day for some wealthy people who has dementia.

July 10 2010 at 1:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Alan Walden

I wish I could that I'm surprised at the need for such a list of what not to wear. Unfortunately, I am not. As a member of an older generation I am, instead, saddened that so many people, most of them much younger than I, don't dress appropriately for any occasion, let alone a job interview. They don't dress well, they don't speak well, they don't write well, and our civilization is all the poorer because of those failings.

July 10 2010 at 1:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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