Do’s and don’ts on how to dress for an interview

The day of your first interview in quite some time has arrived and you find yourself standing in front of a jam-packed closet thinking “I have nothing to wear!” or “Is this appropriate?” –  We’ve all been there, but the last thing you need as mum is this additional frustration when you already have plenty of other things to take care of. Here are some do’s and don’ts on how to dress for an interview from stylist blogger Kim Crowley of Style Sense

Studies show that we have 7 seconds to make a first impression and what you wear can definitely have a big impact. Dressing right in the UAE can seem a little challenging that together with multi-tasking that comes with being a mum, follow this quick and easy checklist to help:


  • Be sure about the dress code of the company – is it corporate, semi-corporate or creative? This will make it much easier to decide whether to wear a suit, a dress or just a blazer. Remember, dress for the job you want, not the job you have
  • You can’t go wrong with a dark (blue or grey) skirt or trouser suit for a corporate or semi-corporate job. Pair this with a neutral pop of colour underneath depending on the role/company
  • If the role is creative, a jacket is still advisable but mix with less conventional pieces for a more relaxed look
  • It’s fine to wear your hair up or down as long as it looks clean and neat
  • If high heels make you uncomfortable, it’s alright not to wear them. Opt for small-mid heels or if you are wearing flats go for a pointed toe for more a more formal look
  • Make-up should be classic, neutral and not overpower your face
  • Keep the statement pieces at home – minimal jewellery is recommended
  • Don’t forget the minor details such as nails and make sure your bag reflects your outfit – best to avoid clutch bags
  • Think neat and professional when dressing for the big day, you want to appear credible, reliable and capable while at the same time approachable


  • Wear clothes that don’t fit you properly – this is bound to make you feel uneasy during the interview
  • Since we live in a multicultural city, it’s best to avoid showing your shoulders or knees
  • Revealing and tight clothes such as miniskirts or plunge necks are inappropriate in any country. Same goes for button through shirts that gape at the bust
  • Wearing open toe shoes or wobbling on overly high heels tends to be a bad look. Also, make sure to check your tights for any snags or holes
  • Shower yourself with perfume – keep it at a minimum
  • Show any tattoos or body piercings unless you are absolutely confident the company appreciates such individuality
  • Wear orange – One-fourth of respondents in the CareerBuilder’s list said it’s the worst colour to wear for an interview as they associate the colour with unprofessionalism
  • Wear a full white suit – although smart might give off more of a ‘wedding’ vibe rather than workplace vibe
  • Wear pale colours if you are going for a powerful, corporate role. Colours with high contrast between them appear more assertive
  • Take fashion risks – get the job first and then experiment with your look

Regardless of whether you are working full time, part time or from home looking and feeling good is key to boosting your confidence. There is nothing you can’t conquer with a positive attitude combined with a well-groomed look!