What Should I Wear To My Job Interview?

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We are judged by our looks. First impressions are extremely important – especially in the professional world. The first visual impression a potential employer has of you is during your job interview. This is why I recommend that you always dress in professional, more traditional attire for a job interview – regardless of the position. In my opinion it is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. In general, the candidate dressed in a suit is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in jeans or a sundress. Once hired you can dress more casually if the company culture allows it.

 

General interview attire rule of thumb:
• Suit – solid, dark (black, navy blue, or dark gray)
• Conservative jewelry
• Limited to no cologne, perfume, body spray, or after shave
• Knee length skirts for women
• Light make-up
• Collared shirt for men
• Coordinated blouse for women (no cleavage)
• Conservative dress shoes (no open toes for women and no athletic shoes)
• Neutral/natural pantyhose for women

 

It is extremely important to research a company before your interview. An applicant for a corporate job or a position in a more conservative company should stick with traditional dark suits. If you are interviewing for a more creative position or for a job in a less conservative company you can add more style and color. If you are applying for a less professional position such as a cashier in an athletic shoe store I recommend business casual – khakis and a solid polo shirt or button-up over jeans and a t-shirt.

interview attire

 

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Nicki Sanders, The Packaged For Success Coach, is an experienced trainer, group facilitator, and program manager. She has packaged her Masters of Social Work degree and over 15 years of work experience into Packaged For Success, a training and professional development company. Packaged For Success provides career coaching to college students, entry-level job hunters, and experienced employees seeking a promotion. Packaged For Success also offers communication and productivity improvement training for employees and supervisors and provides consultation on building sustainable, impactful, socially responsible community programs.

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Comments 2

  • Thank you for this article! Dressing professionally is the first step to succeed.
    But sometimes this isn’t enough…

    • Thanks for reading Mark. You are so correct that it takes more than a professional outfit to land the job of your dreams. That’s why I help my clients start at step one and keep moving through the #GetHired list with flexibility and confidence.

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