The (Not So) Secret Tips to Dressing for an Interview

Ladies and Gentlemen… interview season is upon us. For some of our younger followers, you might be interviewing for a part-time job or you may have college acceptance interviews to attend. For those that are currently in college, internships are crucial to getting experience in the workplace. To get an internship, you need to go through interviews. And then there are the seniors in college or recent grads who are applying and interviewing like crazy to score that first or second job out of college. Let’s rock.

Research: Before you choose what to wear, do a little research on the company that you are interviewing for (this should always be done before any interview for a multitude of reasons, not just appropriate clothing). Judge how you want to dress based on the company that you have applied for. Contact people you know that work for the company or even give human resources a call. This can give you better information on the company dress code and how they typically present themselves. A good rule for interviewing is find out their dress “level” (casual, business casual, business professional, etc.) and go up one level. If you know they typically wear jeans and a button-up on the job, try slacks and a tie. I’ll let you use your imagination for the other one-ups.

Suits: Men, try your best to stick with a navy blue or dark grey suit. The business world typically follows a more conservative dress code so if you walk in there with a trendy, double-breasted, light yellow suit, the employer will most likely think that you’re not taking the interview seriously. However, you want to stay away from black suits because those should be reserved for weddings and funerals. Ladies, you have a few more options than the fellas. You are allowed to wear black, as this is seen as professional but not too dressed up where it normally would be for men. The key is to be conservative. You don’t want the attention to be on your clothes. You want the interviewer to focus on the words you say and the personality that you display.

Shoes: Even if you have the most expensive and well-tailored suit going into an interview, if the shoes don’t match the look, it kills the whole vibe of the outfit. As seen in our past article, Top 9 Timeless Clothing Items – Men and Women, men should stick with brown or black leather shoes. Women can again have a little more fun with this. Wear a nicer pair of pumps or flats that have a little bit of personality, but still look professional. If you do wear flats, make sure that they are bold and powerful, not shoes that you would go out wearing with your gal pals. Keep in mind, boys and girls, that you want them to also be comfortable. You may do some walking and the last thing you want to be thinking about is how bad your feet hurt.

Tailored-Fit: Consider getting your outfit tailored before your interview. It’s a fact that approximately fifty-five percent of what the interviewer (or people in general) notice about you is your appearance, so you want to be looking your best. In addition, better fit clothes will also make you more confident because you will feel better in what you are wearing. This confidence will help you answer questions and feel more comfortable during the whole process.

No Fragrances: Before you leave the house, make sure you did not spray yourself with that perfume or cologne bottle. Just because you think that it smells good does not mean that the interviewer will. Even worse than the employer thinking the fragrance smells bad, you never know what kind of allergies that they have. Could you imagine the impression you’d leave on the receptionist if you had to burst out of the room asking her to call 911 because you killed the HR person due to a cologne or perfume allergy? If I was a betting man, I’d say your chances of getting that job are slim to none at that point.

Accessories/Jewelry: The key is to keep it simple. Men, limit yourselves to a non-flashy watch and ring maximum. Ladies, do not put in your triples or cartilage piercings. Be sure to not over-due the bracelets and necklaces either. Stick to one for each body part: ear, neck, and wrist.

Shirts: Easy. No bold prints (simple stripes and plaid are okay). No wrinkles. Nothing to revealing. Next.

Colors to Avoid: Everyone knows the “avoid red” rule. There’s a reason this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation (thanks, Grandma and Grandpa). We never wear red because red is a symbol for power. When the interviewer sees red on you, you instantly could be judged as being more threatening and cocky. Save the red for when you get the job. Leave it out for the interview. Other colors to avoid are pastel yellow and pastel purple because they come across as unprofessional.

If you need a few extra tips, the images below can hopefully provide those for you. Thanks for stopping by the blog and remember: if you like it, share and subscribe! Also, stay tuned in the coming weeks for our Twitter page to be fully operational!



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