Dressing for an interview

Have an interview but don’t know what to wear? Consider these tips for dressing for an interview.

You submitted your resume and job application and you just got a call from the company saying they want to interview you. What do you wear?

The Michigan 4-H program, Resumes That ROCK!, gives some explanation on what a person should and should not where to an interview. Something to remember is that you are not necessarily going to dress the same for different types of interviews.

When interviewing for a professional position at a traditional company, it's important to dress professionally and dress in your best business attire. For more casual workplaces, business casual attire is more appropriate.

What is professional business attire and casual business attire and does everyone have the same definition? To some, professional business attire could include a suit and casual business would be dress pants with a nice top. Business casual does not include your favorite old t-shirt, ripped jeans and sneakers. There is no strict definition for either dress code, but here are some tips.

Professional business attire


  • Solid color, conservative suit with coordinated blouse, moderate shoes, tan or light pantyhose, limited jewelry, no open toe shoes.
  • Neat, professional hairstyle, manicured nails, light make-up, little or no perfume.


  • Solid color, conservative suit, long-sleeve shirt, conservative tie, dark socks, professional shoes.
  • Neat hairstyle, trimmed nails, little or no cologne or after shave.

Business casual attire


  • Khaki, corduroy, twill or cotton pants or skirts, neatly pressed.
  • Sweaters, cardigans, polo/knit shirts.
  • Solid colors work better than bright patterns.


  • Khaki or cotton pants, neatly pressed.
  • Cotton long-sleeve, button-down shirts, pressed, polo shirts or knit shirts with a collar.
  • Sweaters.
  • Leather shoes and belt.
  • Tie optional.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives. To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management, and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2015 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”

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