Dressing to Impress:

Your Guide to Acing the Interview Dress Code


Dressing to Impress: Your Guide to Acing the Interview Dress Code

Securing that all-important job interview is a significant achievement, but what you do next plays a pivotal role in your success. Beyond preparing to tackle tough questions, making a stellar first impression through your appearance is crucial. The adage “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” rings especially true here, underscoring the importance of presenting yourself appropriately. Let’s delve into how you can dress to impress, ensuring your attire speaks volumes about your professionalism and self-assurance.

Conduct Thorough Research

Preparation is key in all aspects of the interview process, including your attire. Investigating the company’s culture and dress code gives you valuable insights into how to dress. While it’s advisable to err on the side of formality, understanding the environment can guide your outfit choice. Don’t hesitate to inquire about the dress code when scheduling your interview, especially for roles in creative or start-up settings where the norm might lean towards casual.

Universal Dress Code Guidelines

Despite varying company cultures, certain universal standards should guide your interview attire:

  • Impeccability is Non-negotiable: Regardless of your outfit choice, ensure it’s clean, well-ironed, and free of pet hair or lint. These details might seem minor but they significantly contribute to the overall impression you make.
  • Choice of Attire: A business suit in neutral tones such as grey, navy, or black is always a wise selection. This can be paired with a crisp, clean shirt for a classic and professional appearance. Adding a pop of colour through accessories like ties or scarves can reflect personality, but it’s important to keep it tasteful and subdued. Whether opting for trousers, skirt suits, or professional dresses, sticking to primarily neutral colours is advisable. Finish your look with a smart blouse or jacket, and choose footwear that balances professionalism with comfort. Remember, accessories and makeup should be used to complement, not dominate, your overall presentation.
  • Maintaining Freshness: Personal freshness is key, and a light application of deodorant is essential to ensure you remain comfortable and odour-free throughout the interview process. However, when it comes to cologne, perfume, or any other scents, moderation is crucial. Go for the minimal fragrance to avoid overpowering smells, as strong fragrances can be distracting or even discomforting to some individuals.

The Fine Line of Expression

While personal expression through fashion is valuable, an interview may not be the best stage for bold statements. Loud patterns or overly bright colours can detract from your professional image. Go for attire that aligns with the company’s culture while staying within the bounds of professional decorum. Your goal is to be memorable for your qualifications and compatibility with the company’s values, not solely for your fashion choices.


We understand the profound impact that a well-considered outfit can have on your interview’s outcome. Dressing appropriately is a testament to your respect for the opportunity and your keenness to make a positive impression. It sets the stage for a successful dialogue, where your skills and personality can shine without being overshadowed by inappropriate attire.

In conclusion, your interview outfit is a critical component of your preparation. It conveys your professionalism, attention to detail, and understanding of the corporate environment. By following these guidelines, you equip yourself not just with the confidence to answer interview questions but also to make a powerful first impression that resonates with your potential employers.

If you’re contemplating a career move and are open to discussing your options or want to get a feel of the market, I’m here for a straightforward, commitment-free chat. Send me an email at slowes@levitaterecruitment.com to arrange a call.

My views are based on my 17 years+ of recruiting for Accountancy Practice and Insolvency professionals.

For advice about your career options, speak to Scott Lowes at Levitate Recruitment, specialists in placing practice-trained accountants and insolvency professionals across the UK, and find the right role to suit your ambitions.