Dress For Interview Success

You can be the best job candidate in the world as far as your skills are concerned and still not get a job if you don’t know how to dress right for an interview. First impressions are everything, as the old saying goes, and that’s perhaps more true with job interviews than with anything. When a hiring manager first sees you, he or she will notice how you dress and present yourself immediately, and make an initial judgment. That judgment will color everything which follows.

Here are some general rules for dressing for interview success.

Check the job listing to see whether the clothing required on the job is professional attire or business casual (or a uniform).

If the job posting doesn’t say, do some industry research. As a rule, dress slightly more formally for your interview than you would for the job, but not substantially more so. So for a job posting for a professional attire job, wear a suit.

For a business casual post, dress business casual, but slightly dressier than you normally would at the office. For a uniform job, business casual attire is best. Why shouldn’t you overdress? The hiring manager may think you aren’t sure what job you’re applying for or that you’re gunning for the manager’s job.

Be conservative with your attire.

For women, don’t wear short skirts, and watch how high the slit goes up the side. Don’t wear fancy tights, and stick with flesh toned pantyhose. Do not show cleavage. Be conservative with colors too. This rule goes double for men. Neutral colors like grey, black, taupe, and some browns and tans are good conservative colors. Blue is generally safe for either sex, particularly a darker blue like navy. Avoid bright, bold colors. Steer clear of warmer colors like red, purple, pink, orange and yellow. If you do wear those colors, aim to wear less saturated or darker shades which don’t assault the eye.

Be conservative with accessories and hairstyles, too.

If you are wearing jewelry, a watch is fine. Earrings, necklaces and bracelets should be kept small and minimalist. Jewelry can be distracting. If you have long hair, tie or clip it back, again using conservative hair accessories.

Make sure your accessories do not clash with the rest of your clothing. If you are wearing makeup, avoid bold colors, and wear just enough to highlight your features while still looking slightly “natural.”

One thing to keep in mind is that your clothing and accessories aren’t everything.

There is also the matter of grooming, which is equally, if not more, important than what you wear. If you are wearing a great conservative, tailored suit but your hair is dirty and greasy or you didn’t wash your face or you smell bad, you are not going to get hired. Show that you are hygienic and take care of your body and your general appearance. In other words, put some effort into your own appearance and not just your clothes. That should give you a starting point for dressing for your next interview.h3

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