Your interview is the time to show your prospective employer your very best. When first being considered for a job, your interview is very likely where you first meet and make a first impression. A failure to put your best foot forward can affect your ability to succeed as a candidate. While a potential employer is concerned with more than just your appearance, your outfit is going to have the first word.
Formal or Business Interviews
The formal interview is one step above how you might normally dress for work. If you're going to work in an office where everyone wears a suit, you should wear one. This applies to both men and women. However, women have the option of wearing either trousers or a skirt. If you're potential employer indicates you should dress business casual, then you're a bit more flexible in what you can wear. However, don't wear jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, or shorts. You can find clothing that is suitable for business or formal interviews at stores like Nordstrom's. The benefit of going to a department store is you can get properly fitted, and can receive a professional opinion on your clothing choice. Look online at places like discountrue.com for coupons or promo codes to these places before you go so you can save some money.
One aspect of clothing that is often overlooked is polish. Polish your buttons, shoes, and cufflinks. Make sure to bring a lint-roller with you so you can remove any debris you attracted on the way to the interview. Check that shoes are in good condition, and wear a different outfit if you're going in for a second interview.
Accessories and Hygiene
One part of the interview dress that many people overlook is the more minute details of their grooming regimen. If you bite your nails, make an effort to stop or file them. Nails that are too short may indicate to an employer that you lack self-control. Make sure your hairstyle is appropriate for the position you're applying for. If you're applying for a business position, it should be short, styled, and clean. Wear jewelry and a watch, but don't overdo it. Arizona State University recommends that men don't wear any jewelry, and to keep your look simple.
In general, choose black, navy, or dark-blue colors. Your interview isn't the time to be fashion-forward, unless you are interviewing for a position that expects it. Dress conservatively to ensure you get the job. While your outfit won't get you the job, it's an important part of the interview. A poorly dressed applicant may be passed over more easily.