What should women wear for their job interviews? Women business attire 101

Your first impression may well be your last impression if you arrive at a job interview wearing something inappropriate. Last time I went through what not to wear for men. This week let’s talk about womens’ business attire and the type of clothing women should wear for job interviews.

For Women

Business suits. If you choose to wear suit skirt, make sure it’s long enough so you can sit down comfortably. I had seen female candidate came to the interview with a very tight short skirt. It was very trendy at the time and I also had couples too but it’s just completely inappropriate in a job interview.

Low heels shoes, ideally not open toes. You may have a couple of interviews on the same day and walking with your 5 inches Jimmy Choo and turn up for the interview with blisters would be the last thing you want.


No jewelry is always better than cheap jewelry or plastic party jewelry. If you prefer to wear jewelry, make sure it’s neither dangling nor oversize.

Professional hairstyle. I’m not saying you need to pay $300 to get your hair done every time you have a job interview but a clean, neat and fresh hairstyle will be highly appreciated.  It also looks very obvious to interviewer that the job-seeker could be lack of confidence, lack of skill set or feeling nervous as some girls tend to look down and hide their faces with their long messy fringe.

Manicured or neat nails. Why not? It’s a the quickest and greatest way to pamper yourself and it would be one of the first things people pay attention to no matter you are filling out a registration form or handing your resume to the interviewer.

Apply moisturizer on your hands.  Hand shake is absolutely unavoidable in the business world especially when you first encounter someone. Nobody wants to shake a pair of dry rough hands particularly if you apply for administrative, secretairal or front end sales type of positions. Just imagine how many times you have to interact with people if you get hired, isn’t it important?

Light makeup. No smoky eyes or bright red lipstick unless you apply for being an “Exotic Dancer” and the interview location is right in the middle of the red light district. Remember your goal is to secure a job not seduce anyone.

Light perfume. Let me give you an example. Do not spray Chanel No.5 and if you don’t understand what I mean, go to the closest department store and give it a go. You know why light perfume would be much better than strong ones. You will leave a very bad impression, distract the interviewer and worse some people can be allergic to strong sense of smell as well.

Elegant bag. Your bag should be able to put every document you have for the interview and also big enough to keep all your belongings. It makes you look organized and professional.

Lastly, please don’t turn up looking like a million dollar baby with a bad breath.

Trilingual Career Coach & Recruiter with experience across Europe and Asia Pacific. She is also a speaker for workshops on resume writing, job searching tips, and interview techniques. She travels frequently but you can stay in touch with Eleanor via facebook.com/EleanorHoDotCom

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