What should you wear to a graduate job interview?

Lara Billington
Content Marketing Executive

Dress to impress at your next graduate job interview. 

There are lots of things to think about when you're preparing for a graduate job interview. How much research you should do, what the interviewer might ask, what you should say, how to get there, and what to wear. You might think the most important part of an interview is what you say, and arguably it is, but what you decide to wear shouldn't be overlooked either. 

First impressions count, and whether you like it or not, employers will infer a lot about you based on how you present yourself at an interview. Make sure you don't fall at the first hurdle with these top tips on how to dress to impress (and therefore get the job). 




1. Consider the company you're applying for 

The industry you're applying for a job in, the company's culture, and what their employees wear to work, should all be factors you consider when deciding what to wear. If you're interviewing at a corporate company like EY, for example, where employees wear formal attire, you should follow suit. Quite literally.

A button down shirt and tie, trousers, suit jacket and smart shoes (in a safe colour like black, grey or navy) will be expected of men. For women, a smart shirt with a pencil skirt or trousers could work, or a formal dress if you have one. With regards to shoes, it depends what you're comfortable in; you might prefer a low heel or a smart pair of flats. 

If you know that the company culture is more relaxed, like here at GradTouch for example, a three-piece suit is probably not required. Opting for something smart-casual might be better - a shirt and blazer with some smart trousers or a skirt would work. If you're unsure whether your skirt or dress is an appropriate length, it's probably better to just wear trousers and save the worry. 

Finding something smart-casual can often be harder than wearing formal dress; just as long as you try to avoid jeans, trainers and t-shirts, you should be fine. And if you're really not sure, it's better to overdress than underdress. Just remember that employers will get a good feel for how in tune you are with their culture, and whether you'll fit in with the company, based on what you're wearing. 


2. Remember, it's all in the details 

There's more to looking well-presented than just having the right clothing. In other words, don't rock up in a pair of shoes that haven't been cleaned since 2012, or a raincoat that's been ripped to shreds by the dog. Make sure your clothes are ironed, your hair is groomed and there's no scuffs in your shoes; these small and simple details might seen unimportant, but altogether they contribute to you looking polished from head to toe. Plus, employers will notice if you're well-presented, and it'll set a good tone for the rest of the interview. 


3. Prepare for all weather eventualities 

You don't want to show up to an interview sweating because you didn't realise there was a half an hour walk from the train station to the office. Layer up with a jacket or jumper, so if it's a warm day or the interview room is hot you can remove a layer.

Likewise, bring a raincoat or umbrella in case it rains; if you show up drenched from head to toe it won't matter what you're wearing, because it's not going to be a good look either way. If you're well prepared for rain or shine, any distractions that might cause you to get flustered will be avoided and you can focus on the matter in hand. 


4. Make sure you feel comfortable 

Yes, you should find an outfit that suits the company you're applying for, but more importantly, you should feel comfortable in whatever you're wearing. The last thing you want to be worrying about in an interview is what you look like, or if you're about to have a wardrobe malfunction.

Perhaps wear something you've tried and tested, such as an outfit you've worn at Sixth Form or college, or at a previous interview. The more comfortable you feel going into the interview, the more confident you'll appear to an employer. 


Now you know how to dress for an interview, there's no reason why you shouldn't start applying for jobs. Check out our website for all the latest graduate opportunities.