Dressing for an Interview

Congrats- you have landed an interview! Now what?

It is important to dress for success and make a positive first impression that will last.   Many times people ask “does your appearance really impact getting the job or not?” And the answer is, “YES”.  A first impression on a recruiter conducting an interview will mean a lot.  It is essential to look your best when introducing yourself for the first time.

When deciding what to wear it is always best to choose a conservative outfit.  Dressing modest and professional is important.

Dressing conservatively shows you are making an effort, you do not want to offend and also conservative dress shows how you are polite and respectful.  If you walk into an interview with pants sagging below your waist or a skirt so tight and short you are barely able to take a seat- that leaves an impression, and not a good one.

It is also of essence to ensure you dress one or two levels up.  A good “rule of thumb” is to dress one or two levels nicer than the position you are interviewing for.  Unless told otherwise always wear a suit for the first interview.  It is always better to be overdressed, than under-dressed.

Avoid bright colors or large prints that will distract.  The reason for an interview is for the recruiter to gain an understanding of who you are and what talents you possess.  Wearing clothing that is edgy, brightly colored or distracting will take away from showcasing your abilities for this position.

Don’t leave out details of your attire.  Often times candidates will put all focus onto the clothes they wear and forget about accessories and details to complete their personal visual resume.  It is never appropriate to carry a backpack or fanny pack instead of a briefcase or portfolio to an interview.  Likewise, don’t forget to comb your hair and for the ladies, pin it back!  Remember to account for all details and complete your look from top to bottom before the interview.

Additional tips to remember when dressing for an interview:

-Go light on perfumes, aftershaves and colognes.  It is never good to distract the recruiter with an overwhelming smell- good or bad!

-Cover all tattoos or extra piercing.

-Socks and hose need to match your shoes.  Don’t show up like you threw on what was clean that morning.  Likewise, ensure your belt and shoes match.

-Remove sunglasses from the top of your head before walking into the interview.

-Iron your clothing! If the interview is late in the day, try and change into a fresh suit to ensure a crisp look!

-Clean up your fingernails.  No one wants to see chipped off nail polish for the ladies, or un-clean nails for the guys.

-Avoid denim- whether it is pants, jackets or shirts do not wear denim to an interview.

(©istock.com/dnberty)

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