Sep 04
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The right application outfit – Dress to impress

During your application to the absolute dream job, it is not only important that you have a good story, but your personal appearance is also of importance in any future discussion. What are the “do’s and dont’s” when it comes to your choice of clothes at a job interview?

First impression

You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression – make sure it’s a good one.. Outer performance plays a major part. It is crucial for a follow-up discussion (Watkins & Johnston, 2000). You are one step ahead choosing the correct outfit. Different companies or functions will anticipate different styles of clothing.

Application appliance for men

A straight suit for men is recommended and is rarely overdressed. If you are looking for a more casual approach you can combine a shirt and tie with jeans for example.

Wearing a suit gives you a certain look, which can help with a job interview (Galinsky & Adam, 2012). In general, a black suit is associated with a funeral. A dark blue or anthracite suit would be a better choice. A pin striped suit makes you look longer and demonstrates authority.

If you’re planning to wear a tie with your shirt or suit, think of the color! Green and blue are the best colors for wearing a tie during your job interview. Blue is associated with an open appearance and green demonstrates freshness and harmony. On the other hand, red demonstrates dominance and aggression (Wiedemann, Burt, Hill & Barton, 2015). Something you’d rather avoid.


  • 1 Rate the type of business and dress appropriate (formal or informal)
  • 2 Wear dark socks
  • 3 Ensure proper personal appearance (cut nails, clean hair, clean clothes)


  • 1 Avoid conspicuous motives
  • 2 Avoid very tight or wide clothing
  • 3 Be conservative with deodorant and aftershave
  • 4 Avoid yellow clothing (this color is associated with weakness)
  • 5 Avoid headgear

Job Application Outfit for Women

The dress code for women is less important. Women do not always have to appear in a jacket, but they can also wear a pair of jeans with a blouse. Finish your outfit with some beautiful pumps. If you’re not used to wearing pumps, bring a pair of more comfortable shoes in case. (preferably change before or after your job interview). Really high heels are an absolute no go! They might give the wrong impression.

Complete your outfit with a nice bag where you can store your paperwork. Although a backpack has a lot of benefits, it’s less chic. You’re better off wearing a nice shoulder bag.

Avoid wearing lots of jewelry, regardless of whether they reveal a lot about your personality. Jewelery in general will cause too much distraction.


  • 1 Rate the type of business and dress appropriate (formal or informal)
  • 2 Dress appropriate but comfortable
  • 3 Ensure proper personal appearance (cut nails, clean hair, clean clothes)


  • Avoid very tight or wide clothing
  • Be conservative with deodorant and perfume
  • Avoid too short skirts or dresses (at least 4 fingers above the knee)
  • Avoid too much jewelry and makeup
  • Avoid bright colors (these can distract)


Adam, H., & Galinsky, A. (2012). Enclothed cognition. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48 (4), 1225-1398. Http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.008

Watkins, L. M. & Johnston, L. (2000). Screening job applicants: The impact of physical attractiveness and application quality. International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 8, 76-84.

Wiedemann, D., Burt, M., Hill, A. & Barton, R. (2015). Red clothing increases perceived dominance, aggression and anger. The Royal Society Publishing, Volume 11, Issue 5.