Let’s be real: job interviews are rarely pleasant. Whether you find yourself being grilled by five stony-faced executives in an airless room, or develop an unfortunate case of verbal diarrhoea three minutes into an interview for your dream job, the very last thing you want to be worrying about is what your shoes are telling your future bosses about your teamwork skills, tech know-how, or whether you can make a decent cup of coffee. We put together a guide of how to dress for a job interview so you have one less thing to worry about before the big day.

Appropriate dress for a job interview generally corresponds to how formal the job is, how big the company is, and what you’d be expected to wear to work – we came up with three categories with increasing levels of formality.

Level 1: creative industries, relaxed service jobs

The goal here is to give a sense of your personal style, but still look put together. You want to feel comfortable but not wearing your “comfy day” clothes; leave those beaten-up trainers at home. In short: you want to look like yourself, but also like you’re serious about smashing this interview and getting the job.

Earrings Monki, T-shirt Wood Wood, Jeans Dr. Denim, Trainers Adidas

Level 2: PR firms, start-ups

If you’re applying for a job in a smaller or less corporate business, you can still afford to be more on the relaxed side. However, in jobs like PR, you’ll be meeting with clients or in a more traditional office setting, and your interview outfit should reflect this. Go for polished but not stiff, and lean away from outfits you might wear in your everyday life.

Scarf Sandro, Shirt Closed, Trousers Anna Field, Shoes Steve Madden

Level 3: corporate, business

For interviews for corporate jobs, you want to look as smart as possible (although you should still make sure you feel comfortable). Corporate firms are generally pretty unconcerned with your personal style, and for them it’s more important that you communicate through your clothes that you are serious, smart, and efficient. For most jobs that aren’t connected to the creative industries or other more relaxed careers, go for good cuts, unfussy forms, and sober colours.


Necklace Kenzo, Jacket The Kooples, Shirt Esprit, Trousers The Kooples, Shoes Stonefly


Header Image via Stella McCartney