In a tight job market every detail matters. Making a first impression is crucial; you only get one chance to make that first impression. Dressing appropriately for an interview is imperative. If the work environment is casual, you can discuss and change clothing expectations once you accept the offer.
Dressing for success is key for any professional. There are many options available that are not pricey and will allow you to look as though you are walking out of a high-end retail store. There are thrift stores, consignment stores and second hand stores that carry designer attire at an 1/8 of the price that you would normally pay, be creative. There are also nonprofit organizations, such as Dress for Success, available to help disadvantaged individuals get appropriately outfitted for an interview. Even borrowing attire from friends and family can be a big help.
Before the day of the interview approaches, make sure you feel comfortable in your interviewing attire. Remember an interview is not the place to make a bold fashion statement. Before your walk in check one more time to make sure you look fresh and crisp.
Excitement, a great attitude and a big smile are as important as the clothing you chose to interview with.
Success starts from within and you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression.
Dress for Success –
- Suit – appropriate business suit, skirt or pants suit.
- Skirt – length slightly above or below the knee.
- Blouse – tailored and not busy, white or appropriate to suit.
- Shoes – professional, business if open toed, toes must be pedicured.
- Accessories – jewelry limited, simple watch or necklace, makeup clean, fresh and light, nails manicured, hair kempt and simple.
- Suit – business suit, solid color or pinstripe.
- Shirt – tailored, crisp and simple.
- Tie – always, appropriate.
- Shoes – business (don’t forget socks).
- Accessories – belt, hair – neat.
- Briefcase or portfolio.
If you wear perfume/cologne keep it light.
Dressing for an interview.
I wrote a bit about this previously, so I’ll just enhance that a bit with examples of how people showed up here for their interviews.
Too many of the applicants were either overdressed or under dressed. How can you be “overdressed”? Well, in a sense, its dressy clothing for the wrong occasion. When you dress up for an interview, you don’t want to wear clothes that look like you’re going out on a date. Yes, that’s dressy, but it’s not business dress. It’s fancy casual dress. No matter how much you paid for your jeans, they aren’t interview clothes for office jobs. After you get the job, jeans may be fine – but when you interview, you want to dress in business wear. With so many people today responding to the same ad, it is critical to dress properly.
Choose the right clothes for an interview!
To be clear, of the candidates who came in to interview, there were by far more people under-dressed, than over-dressed. At least 10% of those interviewed wore a t-shirt and jeans. That is not really acceptable attire for interviewing! One young lady had some printed words on her t-shirt. This was beyond unacceptable. Another candidate had a very wrinkled blouse which looked like it was slept in. Nice clothing that’s unkempt doesn’t make the cut.
On the subject of fragrances – cologne or perfume, it may be a good idea to forget it for the job interview. In our interviews, one young lady wore so much that the office smelled for the whole afternoon. The fragrance caused other candidates to start sneezing when they entered the office!