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Interview Outfit Essentials on a Budget

Whether you are preparing for an in-person or virtual interview, it’s important to dress to impress. Dressing for the job you want is an important step to show that you care about the position. It shows that you took the time to prepare for the interview instead of waking up five minutes before it and running out the door with a wrinkled shirt. But, fear not, dressing to impress doesn’t have to cost a lot. When you shop at your local Goodwill, you can purchase an outfit on a budget while giving back to those in your community.

Depending on what type of business and position you are interviewing for will determine whether you should dress business casual or professional. As you create your interview outfit, examine each piece of clothing for stains, rips, and tears. Don’t forget to look down at your shoes! If they’re scuffed or fading, bring them back to life with shoe polish.

Message from our HR team: If it’s an entry-level position or for a small, local business, business casual is the way to go. If you’re interviewing for a professional position or at a medium to large company, play it safe by sticking to business professional attire.

BUSINESS CASUAL

If you are interviewing at an establishment such as a restaurant, retail store, or organization that is known for its relaxed culture, you can stick with business casual. Although it doesn’t hurt to dress business professional, it’s a good sign to stick with the outfit choice that best represents your understanding of the business.

Business Casual Staples for Women:

For women, business casual attire consists of flat or heeled, closed-toe shoes. This includes pumps, heeled boots, flats, and loafers. You’ll want to pair this with either a mid-length dress, skirt, or dress pants with an appropriate blouse. If you opt for a sleeveless dress or tank top, ensure you add on a blazer or cardigan. Appropriate dress pants should fit well without being too tight. Leggings are to be strictly avoided.

Business Casual Staples for Men:

Men’s business casual looks pretty similar to that for women. Beginning with closed-toe shoes, popular options include loafers, dress shoes, and boots. For clothing, dark dress pants and khakis are the go-to along with long-sleeve button-down shirts or polos. Be sure to wear a belt that matches your shoes; i.e. black belt with black shoes. For business casual, wearing a tie is optional.

BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL

Business Professional Staples for Women:

Women’s professional attire includes either dress pants or a skirt paired with a blazer and button-down shirt. The shoes necessary for business professional attire are the same as those for business casual. Popular suit piece colors include navy, grey, and black, which can be tailored to your style. 

Business Professional Staples for Men:

Men’s business professional attire includes wearing a suit. This includes a matching jacket and pants that are neatly pressed, accompanied by a button-down shirt, tie, and matching belt and shoes. Popular suit colors for men include navy, grey, and black. The most popular shirts to pair with a suit are white and light blue. When choosing your tie, you can opt for something plain or with a simple pattern. 


No matter the type of outfit you are searching for, your local Goodwill has you covered. With great prices on quality clothing, you’re sure to shine in your next interview. Plus, over 80 cents of every dollar at our retail stores goes towards funding mission services within our communities. Find a store near you today.

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