female professional headed to an interview in the summer

Keep Your Cool: Summer Interview Tips

Wondering what to wear to a job interview in the summer? Need some advice for keeping cool on the outside – and on the inside?

Just as interviewing for jobs in the winter months requires careful planning, summer interviews come with their own host of challenges that can really make us sweat.

Here are some summer interview tips to help you succeed when the heat is on.


Dress Wisely for the Heat

Summer interview outfits can be tricky, but it all comes down to this: be smart when choosing fabrics and colors.

Cotton and cotton blends are your go-to options for breathable summer interview attire. Light colors will keep you cooler as well.

If you’re wearing a traditional business suit, put your jacket on just before entering the building. Be careful not to let it wrinkle en route, though.

You’ll have more options when deciding what to wear to a job interview in the summer if the workplace is casual. For instance, short sleeves are likely just fine and jackets not required. However, you still need to make a strong, professional first impression. To be safe, dress one or two notches above the norm for that particular workplace setting. Don’t let flip flops, tube tops, shorts, t-shirts, etc. be a part of your summer interview outfits.


man wearing light colored suit in the summer


Let Your Skin Breathe

Be mindful of what you put on your skin, too. Avoid heavy lotions and cosmetics that could run if things get hot. If you wear makeup, consider applying it in your air conditioned car or a restroom right before your interview.

Regardless of the season, wearing a lot of perfume or cologne to an interview is never a good idea. You should scale it back even more during the summer months, as your body heat will amplify the scent further.


Pack an “Emergency Kit”

Find a small bag and stock it with the following for summer interviews:

  • Travel-sized deodorant
  • Handkerchief
  • Cleansing wipes
  • Hair tie or barrette if you have long hair

Other items to keep in your interview emergency kit year-round:

  • Lint roller
  • Nail clippers or a nail file
  • Comb/brush
  • Stain remover stick
  • Dental floss
  • Breath mints


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Practice Relaxation Techniques

Getting flustered on the inside will show on the outside, regardless of the temperature. On your way to the interview, quiet your “fight or flight” reaction with some deep breathing: inhale for five seconds, exhale for five sections. Deep breathing also stimulates your vagus nerve, which studies show brings peace to your mind and body.


woman holding a water bottle


Plan & Prepare to Beat the Heat

The more you prepare for your interview, the more confidence you’ll have. And the more confidence you have, the less likely you’ll be to break a sweat in your summer interviews.

There will always be things you can’t control, like the weather and curveball interview questions, but you can still be smart about the things you CAN control:

  • Check the forecast. Depending on where you live, summer temps could fluctuate significantly from day to day and flash thunderstorms could be a regular occurrence. Don't be caught off guard.
  • Arrive early so you aren’t rushing to the door and sweating bullets when your interview starts.
  • Identify nearby parking options ahead of time (perhaps even do a few practice drive-bys) to avoid a long walk in the hot sun.
  • Bring a bottle of water to cool you down during your commute.


Interviewing for a new job in the summer months doesn’t have to make you sweat. Next time you’re preparing to meet potential employers, follow these summer interview tips and you’ll be cool as a cucumber!

By Natalie Winzer, iHire | May 16, 2017
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