Tips For Making A Successful First Impression At A Job Interview

Chelsea Lawler

Yes, you have heard this before: “Dress for success!” What exactly does that mean to you, and more importantly, what does the mean to your potential employer? You may think to yourself, “Ahh! What am I going to wear?!” or “What is the right look for the interview?” It is imperative to remember that you are trying to convince your potential employer that you are the right candidate for the job.

Your attire and overall appearance is key, as you are obviously the first thing the potential employer sees when meeting with you. By dressing appropriately and conveying a positive attitude, this gives your potential employer a positive first impression!

You may ask yourself, “Why is my potential employer judging me on my overall appearance and outfit choices?” It may seem trivial, however, your appearance can set the tone of the interview. Your cover letter and resume will inform the interviewer about your achievements and qualifications; however, the way you handle yourself and overall appearance will make a lasting first impression.

The attire you choose to wear should reflect your personality, but also correlate to the company’s overall vibe. It is important to do a little investigating in regards to the company’s aesthetic and personality. Are they conservative? Is the company more modern or liberal in their attire? By underdressing or overdressing for an interview, it can tell the prospective employer that you may not be concerned about the job.

The simplest and smartest way to find out the proper attire for an interview is to contact the Human Resources department. You can ask the Human Resources department about the dress code, or stop by to pick up an application in order to observe the employee’s attire.

Career experts state that two sets of professional attire are key, however, you do not have to spend an astronomical amount of money to achieve a professional look. Many modern and second hand retailers offer competitive prices and brands at their locations. Peruse the Internet for coupons and daily deals at both big box and small chain retail establishments.

Tips for Dressing for Success (for Men & Women)

  1. Keep your hairstyle/facial hair groomed and tidy
  2. Keep your fingernails trimmed and clean
  3. Make sure your dress shoes are clean
  4. Keep the perfume or cologne to a minimum
  5. Keep the jewelry to a minimum
  6. Make sure to have fresh breath and clean teeth
  7. Keep visible piercings to a conservative level
  8. Keep your mouth free of gum or candy when interviewing

The night before your interview, lay out your outfit and all accessories. This will help you get ready quickly. It will also avoid any issues of being late to your interview because you are unsure what to wear. Arrive to your interview a little early, if possible. If a bathroom is available at the interview site, go in the bathroom and check your appearance. Make sure your shirt is tucked in, buttons are secure, your tie is straight, and your hair is neatly groomed.

If you are nervous for your interview, do not fret! If you are confident in your appearance and are prepared, your self-confidence and positivity will shine through at the interview. Good luck!

About The Author

Chelsea Lawler

Chelsea Lawler is a recent graduate of Philadelphia University with her Master of Science degree in Fashion Apparel Studies. She graduated from Mount Aloysius College in 2010 with her Bachelor of Arts degree in English. Chelsea enjoys running her small jewelry business for vintage clothing, and traveling. With her writing at Career Igniter, she hopes to educate both students and job seekers on the various facets of the job hunting process.

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