This is how you do it: Business casual for job interviews

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This week I received another interesting question from a male reader. He has a job interview soon and is looking for a middle ground between a casual and a business look. This question I get asked a lot, so I wrote an article about it.

This is how you do it: Business casual for job interviews


Hi Aileen,

I have an interview coming up, and my style is two complete extremes. I’m either very casual(sneakers,jeans(black/blue)with a sweater) or wearing a 3-piece suit. My upcoming interview is at a start-up with a lot of young people. So showing up in a 3-piece suit might be a bit much, my recruiter said the same.

It is not yet entirely clear what kind of work I will do there. They are developing a field manager-type position at a field marketing agency or brand activation agency. I would be the link between the marketers, the customer, and the office and involved in organizing events, etc. In short: a dynamic position within a young organization.

So I’m looking for some ideas, business casual for a fairly young person. The business casual that a lot of older gentlemen wear doesn’t suit me. Maybe you can provide me with some info? Hope so, I would really appreciate it!



This is how you do it: Business casual for job interviews

Thank you for your question! I get questions like this a lot from both men and women. I understand it is tough finding a middle ground when this is not your natural clothing style.

When it comes to clothes, I advise you to always consciously choose between casual and business. So choose one piece of clothing that is casual, and the other more business-like. For example, you could wear jeans as a casual piece and a shirt on top as a business piece. Make sure that the jeans look presentable. Stay away from jeans that have holes, worn-out patches, or giant logos. Do you have a nice pair of trousers hanging in your closet? Then you can also choose to combine these with a respectable T-shirt. Check that the T-shirt is not faded and still has its shape.

For shoes, I advise you to go for a neat pair. Or at least the neatest pair you have lying around. Don’t forget to clean and brush them. This is so simple but plays a big part in your overall appearance.

Keep in mind that whatever you choose to wear must match the position for which you are applying. From the message you sent me, I get the impression that it is important that you look presentable. So for that reason, I wouldn’t worry about looking too overdone, and you won’t if you wear one casual item. As for looking fatherly, I don’t think this is an issue. When you wear something you like and feel comfortable in, it suits you. And that is ultimately the most important thing.

Good luck with your job interview!


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