Shopping for interview wear

Spending money on clothes that you are only going to use for formal meetings with would-be employers might not seem like excellent fun. But even a formal interview outfit doesn't have to be for just one occasion.

For example, if you're a man and you've found a really nice smart shirt and some smart trousers that are suitable for interview, buying them could also give you a great outfit for a variety of other occasions.

If you're about to hit the shops for some interview wardrobe staples, why not use our tips here?

Take a friend

When we're clothes shopping, it's often nice to have someone else along for the ride. It might be that you just want entertainment along the way because buying formal wear isn't really your thing!

But of course one of the main benefits of having someone else along on the trip is that they'll be able to look over your outfit or item of clothing and give you feedback. Given that what you wear in an interview is one of the more scrutinised outfit choices you may ever make, this could certainly be a good thing!

Try not to feel bad if they let you know that shirt isn't sitting on your shoulders quite right or that skirt is a little short! This feedback could really help you look your best come interview.

Try a lot

Men especially might be tempted to grab the first white shirt they see, given that the range of potential interview wear for males is somewhat smaller than that for females, and one plain shirt looks quite similar to most others.

Decisiveness like this is a bonus if your trip happens to be the day before an interview. But if you've time to spare, it really could be best to shop around a bit for something extra special.

This isn't even just about how the interviewer will react to what you wear – it's about whether you feel like you're turning up looking a cut-above, knowing real thought went into your clothes for the event.

Compare prices

Again, if you have time, it's a good idea to do a good price comparison. If you're a man looking for a suit, for example, this is going to be a large outlay even if you're shopping at the budget end of the market. So it's worth making sure you're saving cash where you can.

If you're in a rush:

Interview tomorrow and no outfit? Don't panic!


Do you know anyone who has smart wear that might be your size? As long as this looks okay, it may be better to borrow than buy if shopping now might mean you spend a lot on items you don't like much.

Grab the basics

Hone in on interview staples like the blouse and dark skirt if you're a woman – don't waste interview prep time trying to be too original if you can't spare it.

Call in help

Again, get someone to give you the thumbs up. If you're rushing, you might be unsure of your outfit, but having someone reassure you could give you the boost you need to feel like these clothes can help speak for you at the interview. If they can't come over to see you, just send them a photo to check!