Dress for Success

While it is important to prepare for your interview by researching the company, preparing your answers and identifying the questions you will ask the hiring managers, it is also important to plan your attire.  You want to send a message from the moment they first see you that you are a capable, confident professional.  First impressions to matter and employers form those impressions in the first few seconds.

Here are some tips to help you dress for success in your interview:

  • Suit – It is important to present yourself as the successful business person you aspire to be.  Always wear a suit to demonstrate your professionalism.  For the ladies, either a skirt or pants are acceptable with a matching jacket.  If you choose to wear a skirt, it should not be too short or too tight.  Everything you wear should be clean, well pressed and should fit appropriately.  Suit should be black, navy or gray.
  • Shirt or Blouse – Men should have a well-pressed shirt.  You can’t go wrong with a white shirt but light blue is also an option.  All the buttons should be buttoned and the shirt should be tucked in.  Ladies should wear a well-pressed blouse or shell with their suits.  Avoid low cut necklines or bulging buttons.  There should definitely be no  tummy showing between the shirt and the waistband.
  • Hose –For men, socks should match the trousers of the suit and should be high enough that bare leg doesn’t show if you cross your legs.  For ladies, a neutral hose is appropriate.  You should avoid bare legs, colorful hose, or patterned hose
  • Shoes – Interviewers notice shoes.  Be sure your shoes are clean and polished.  Ladies should wear shoes with low to medium heel but, not high heels.  Sandals or sneakers are never appropriate.
  • Minimal Jewelry – For both men and women jewelry should be minimal, tasteful and not distracting.  A ring and a watch are appropriate for both men and women and women should wear small earrings.  .  Avoid bracelets that clang.
  • Pay attention to your hands – You will be shaking hands at your interviews so be sure your hands are clean with  well-trimmed nails.  Ladies, avoid flashy nail polish, neutral or subtle shades are appropriate.
  • Accessories – Be sure to bring a padfolio so you have a place to take notes and to store additional copies of your resume. .
  • Go light on fragrance – don’t over power the interviewer with heavy fragrance.

You want everything about your appearance to support your professional qualifications for the job.  Do not wear anything that could distract from the image.  You want to be remembered for the capabilities you bring to the job, not for something you wore.

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