Congratulations to all the new college graduates… it’s a tough job market out there, so it’s important that you put your best foot forward…and a well-written resume and sparkling personality won’t hurt either. 🙂
The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress professionally for a job interview, even if the work environment is casual.
What’s the appropriate dress code for an interview? You’ll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. The candidate dressed in a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt.
How to Dress for an Interview:
Men’s Interview Attire
- Suit (solid color – navy or dark grey)
- Long sleeve shirt (white or coordinated with the suit)
- Dark socks, conservative leather shoes
- Little or no jewelry
- Neat, professional hairstyle
- Limit the aftershave
- Neatly trimmed nails
- Portfolio or briefcase
Women’s Interview Attire
- Suit (navy, black or dark grey)
- The suit skirt should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably
- Coordinated blouse
- Conservative shoes
- Limited jewelry (no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets)
- No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry
- Professional hairstyle
- Neutral pantyhose
- Light make-up and perfume
- Neatly manicured clean nails
- Portfolio or briefcase
This is a perfect example of a “Conservative Outfit” for a job interview
This Pants Suit is more casual, yet still sophisticated:
What Not to Bring to the Interview
- Cell phone
- Coffee or soda
- If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only, is a good rule)
- Cover tattoos
Interview Attire Tips
- Before you even think about going on an interview, make sure you have appropriate interview attire and everything fits correctly.
- Get your clothes ready the night before, so you don’t have to spend time getting them ready on the day of the interview.
- If your clothes are dry clean only, take them to the cleaners after an interview, so they are ready for next time.
- Polish your shoes.
- Bring a breath mint and use it before you enter the building.
Source: about.com http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewattire/a/interviewdress.htm
More Great Wardrobe Options
And yes, I’m aware the above is Willie Geist…whom I think should replace Matt Lauer.
And after You get that Job
“Imagine being sent home from a meeting because you wore open-toed shoes. Or being discouraged from wearing bright colors, hair clips and sleeveless tops. Or only being allowed to wear jeans one day a year. Sound confining? Most women would agree, but find the flip side of the dress code coin just as confusing: companies with no discernible dress code. In these environments where anything goes — from hose-less legs and sleeveless tops to what one employee called “hoochie mama outfits” — the chaos of not knowing what to wear is as bad as the by-the-book companies that spell everything out”. (source: about.fashion.com)
Is your office casual or polished? Most essentials can go either way. A few examples:
- A dark (black, brown, charcoal, navy) pantsuit. Wear it strictly as a suit in professional settings, mix up the suit pieces in business casual environments. And remember, you can always break up the standard suit…wear the blazer with jeans and boots…pair the skirt with a turtleneck. Just because it’s a suit, doesn’t mean you have to wear it together.
- A dark (black, brown, charcoal, navy) skirt suit. Same rules as above.
- “Soft” suit: a matching twin set (sleeveless or short-sleeved sweater with a matching cardigan). Biz casual types may choose to tie the sweater over their shoulders and go sleeveless. I, however, avoid, at all costs, baring my arms as such.
- A white blouse. Worn with smart black trousers and a simple pearl necklace it is goes smart casual. Paired with a black pantsuit it means strictly business. Wear a chunky necklace and heavier bracelet, and it gives a funkier look.
- Black pants.You can never have too many of these. Creative types can branch out into longer cropped styles, which look terrific with a pair of fabulous high heels.
- Low-heeled pumps. Closed-toe styles can go anywhere. While you may be limited to dark colors to match your suits, you can experiment with materials and textures for interest: suede, exotic skins, polished leather.
- Structured handbag. A smooth, black or brown handbag with a structured frame gives you a pulled-together, tailored look. Plus, you can probably throw your iPad in it. If you have some leeway in how you dress, as mentioned in my previous blog, you can tie a scarf around the handle to pop in some color.
And I found this downright funny. These “professional dress code tips” are from a very conservative male, directing people to watch episodes of Law and Order, if they’re in a legal field, and unsure how to dress. 🙂
Professional Dress Code tips ( by Donald K. Burleson)
First impressions count. A professional consultant who doesn’t take the time to maintain a professional appearance presents the image of not being able to perform adequately on the job. Our professional dress code is codified because many professionals have never been taught appropriate professional appearance and demeanor.
Professional dress code standards are alive and well in major financial and executive management levels. Anyone who aspires to top management knows that personal appearance counts.
If you look and behave like a highly trained and well-groomed professional, you will win the respect and honor of our valued clients.
A fresh haircut, spit-shined shoes and a crisp suit go a long way in establishing a professional demeanor.
It’s also about quality; most professionals can spot a cheap suit at twenty paces and high quality dress shoes are de-rigueur.
If you have never worked in a professional environment and you are not sure how professionals look, watch the lawyers on an episode of Law & Order on television.
After you get The job…a great rule of thumb: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
Have a wonderful and safe Memorial Day weekend…the start of my Best Summer Ever!
Enjoy this video…Soldier by Ingrid Michaelson…my new fav song.
- Job Search – The Interview Checklist (wisewolftalking.com)
- Job Interview Tips (roozgaaronline.wordpress.com)
- Job & Internship Interview Tips from Dean College Alumni & Me (deancollegeblog.com)