How to Dress for a Job Interview

Dressing for a Job Interview

Knowing how to dress for a job interview can make the difference between getting hired and getting passed over for a position. After all, if you can’t be bothered to dress correctly, why should management think you’ll take your position seriously?

Most of the following information on how to dress for a job interview is common sense. If you’re new to the process, however, you might want to pay particular attention.

Things To Avoid

When you’re going to a job interview, make sure to avoid the following items:

  • Tattoos (if you have them, try to cover them up – unless you’re applying at a tattoo parlor)
  • Piercings (leave nose rings and multiple earrings at home)
  • Earrings for Guys (use your discretion here, guys – at some jobs, this might not be such a big no-no)
  • Cell phone (if your cell phone rings during an interview, you’ve probably blown your opportunity)
  • Gum (don’t chew gun, as it’s very unprofessional)
  • Drinks (don’t come to the interview with any kind of beverage, as it’s too informal)
  • iPod (do not carry an iPod, as this is a sure-fire way to be passed over for a job)

Before The Interview

You know you’ve got a job interview coming up. What should you do to prepare?

  • Make sure you have appropriate attire. If you’re unsure, try calling their human resources department and asking. You can also watch the front entrance of the business and see what employees are wearing to work. Looking at their website may also give you an idea of appropriate interview attire.
  • Make sure it fits. Try you clothes on ahead of time and make sure that they fit properly. If they don’t, you may have to make a trip to the store and purchase more clothes.
  • The night before the interview, get your clothes prepared. You may be nervous on the big day, and having everything situated will save you time.
  • Avoid the dry cleaners a few days before the interview (unless your clothing is really dirty). There’s always the chance that something could go wrong at the dry cleaners. It’s best to have suits or dresses dry cleaned after your interview.
  • Make sure your shoes are polished and in good shape. Some interviewers pay more attention to the condition of your shoes than the rest of your wardrobe (especially in the corporate world). It’s best to polish them the night before the interview.

Appropriate Attire

Depending on where you’re applying for a job, you’ll need to make sure to wear appropriate attire. Here are some basic guidelines when it comes to knowing how to dress for a job interview:

  • Women should stay away from tight sweaters, miniskirts and sandals with straps. They should also limit the use of perfume, jewelry and makeup. A good rule is no more than one piece of jewelry per hand.
  • If the job is more casual, women can wear slacks and a sweater. Otherwise, go with a business suit or pantsuit with a blouse. If you decide to wear a skirt (not recommended), always wear hose which match your skin tone.
  • For shoes, women can select from loafers, pumps and closed-toe shoes.
  • Women should avoid bringing a large handbag with them to a job interview. Keep it small and compact, and you’ll look much more organized.
  • For formal businesses, men should wear dark suits with a tie. For more informal businesses, a button-down shirt and khakis should be sufficient. Wear a belt and make sure it matches the color of your shoes.
  • Men with a nice briefcase or portfolio should bring it along. If you don’t have one, you should think of it as an investment for your future.
  • Men should avoid wearing colognes that are too strong. An overpowering smell can be a distraction to the interviewer.

Prior To The Interview

Prior to entering the building, both men and women should consider using a breath mint. Just make sure to take it out before the interview process begins.

You should also double-check you attire for wrinkles, stains, holes or scuffs. If you find any, wear a different wardrobe or hide them the best you can.

Check you hair, nails and teeth to make sure they look their best. Always brush your teeth prior to a job interview. If it’s a windy day, check your hair again once you’ve entered the building of your prospective employer.

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