How to dress for a casual job interview

How to dress for a casual interview |

Landing a job interview of any kind is great, but deciding the “right outfit” to wear can be a minefield because, after all, first impressions count for a lot. In this sponsored guest post, Akin Fagbohun, from ASOS fashion explores what you should wear the next time you’re invited to a casual interview.

[GUEST POST by Akin Fagbohun]

These days, more and more companies are adopting a casual style of interview when recruiting. This is especially true for industries such as journalism, marketing and IT. These industries are predominantly service based, placing more emphasis on skill and experience than on appearance.

‘Casual dress’ is a broad term, so the margin for error in dressing for a casual interview is considerably bigger than if you were to arrive in business attire. To help you decide what to (and what not to wear), here are a few pointers…

Casual interview dressing for men

For men, getting the casual look that is appropriate for interview can be achieved by going for an informal shirt like plaid. The selection available is pretty much infinite – choosing deeper shades like maroon and brown will add some sophistication to your outfit, which will most certainly favour you at interview.

Polo shirt

If regular shirts don’t work for you, opt for a polo-shirt instead…

Shirts don’t work for everyone though – if you really don’t like them, it doesn’t make sense to force the agenda. Opt instead for a polo-shirt or a jumper; keep it simple by choosing one that is quite plain in its design as a busy design may possibly draw the interviewer’s attention away from what you’re saying.

As it’s now autumn, you’ll need to consider a jacket or coat that compliments your outfit too. Quilted, leather and parkas are good choices that will serve a variety of purposes, including for your interview.

Trouser selection can be daunting due to the amount of choice. Trousers around the butt are pretty engrained in society, however you may run the risk of offending your potential employer by donning this look for your interview.

A key point to remember is that your trousers should sit around your waistline. Steer clear of ripped or low crotch jeans and opt for darker denims like black or navy. Chinos are also a good choice for the purpose of an interview, particularly khaki or charcoal.

When it comes to footwear it’s best to play it safe and choose a shoe over a trainer. The brogue, derby and desert are good style choices that, like a good jacket or coat, have longevity. Choosing a good shoe will upscale a casual outfit and can leave a lasting impression about a person.

Casual interview dressing for women

Women's outfit

Black or indigo jeans work beautifully with a blouse for casual interviews

Women have a lot more free rein when it comes to casual dress, so much so that the choices can be overwhelming.

To help with your decision, here are a few rules to live by:

  • Stay away from casual hoodies and t-shirts;
  • Aim more towards a ‘smart’ look – necklines and arms are okay to be seen but try to keep your undergarments from being exposed by avoiding low cut tops;
  • Skirts should be no shorter than ‘above the knee’ – any shorter will most certainly look unprofessional in the eyes of both male and female interviewers;
  • Choose neutral tones and deeper colours such as grey, beige, navy, and deep red for a more professional look.

Black or indigo jeans are simple choices that work beautifully with a blouse. If you’re more into trend-led styles, opt for a day dress (such as these) with a leather jacket or blazer and mid-heeled ankle boots. This outfit leans towards the casual dress code but retains sophistication.

Like with men, your footwear speaks volumes to your interviewer and can change your appearance dramatically so avoid trainers and high heels in favour of chic ballet flats or ankle boots with a low-mid heel.

Getting your outfit right for the interview will leave you free to focus on that all-important business of landing that job!

About the author: Akin Fagbohun is a Nutrition graduate turned Marketing Executive writing on behalf of online fashion retailer, ASOS. You can connect with him through his blog about nutrition, fitness and fashion. All the styles mentioned in this article are available at

Your turn: How do you dress for your interviews? Share your tips (or dilemmas) in the comments below…

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