What should you wear to a job interview? Dressing for a job interview means putting your best foot forward, and wearing professionally appropriate clothing. The first impression is the most important one you make, particularly with a future employer. For better or worse, what your potential employer sees the first time he or she looks at you will form their very first ideas about you. You won’t have a second chance at this, so plan carefully and dress appropriately. Of course, when you interview successfully, your clothes won’t be the only thing that your future employer remembers. But don’t let poor wardrobe choices ruin what could otherwise be a great interview.
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Even if the job you are interviewing for is in a casual work environment, be sure to dress professionally for this very first introductory meeting. This will show your own high level of professionalism and level of commitment to your work right from the start. It also communicates respect to the person interviewing you.
There are some basic rules for both men and women that can help you plan the most appropriate attire for your job interview. Men should wear suits in dark colors, with a long sleeved dress shirt underneath. Try to avoid colors that are too loud, or draw too much attention. Your shoes and socks should also be dark. Be conservative with things such as cologne, jewelry or other accessories. Groom facial hair carefully, or remove it altogether for the interview. Bring a briefcase or portfolio, but avoid backpacks.
For women, the proper attire for a job interview also includes a business suit, either with a skirt or long pants, in a dark color. Follow the same logical rules for the men’s interview dress code as far as jewelry, perfume, make up and accessories. Less is more with all of these things. Be sure that if you do choose a suit with a skirt option, the skirt covers your knees when standing and sitting down.
Neither men nor women should use their interview as a place to showcase an avant garde hairstyle, tattoo, piercing or clothing item. Cover tattoos and remove any piercings not in the ears. Shoes and belts should be leather, with shoes always being close-toed. Keep things conservative until you really know the type of environment you are working in. Do NOT chew gum, talk on your phone, text or bring food or drink into the interview. You should, however freshen up with a breath mint before you enter the site of your interview.
If you are job hunting, it’s likely that you will have more than one interview in a given week. Therefore, select one or two interview outfits that will work for all your interviews. Clean, dry clean and press the clothes before each interview if necessary. Choose interview attire that fits well, neither too loose not too tight.
Dress for the job that you want. This means you not only “look the part,” but you dignify the experience by showing respect to your potential boss and his or her place of business. When choosing your interview, be cautious of either over dressing or under dressing. Your clothes should speak well of you, but they shouldn’t speak for you. The proper combination of style and professionalism means that your clothes will make you look like a good fit for the position but won’t detract from your personality and interviewing skills.