Dress to Impress
Dress to Impress: Set Yourself Up for Interview Success
By Caroline Cope
Our last post gave an overview of common interview attire mistakes that our recruiters have seen over the years. We’ll summarize: you don’t want to be remembered by your interviewer as the candidate who wore sweatpants with holes in the knees. This post will give you a better idea of what you should wear to set yourself up for success in your next interview.
A good rule to remember is that when in doubt, go with more formal interview attire. Consider the position’s work environment and job description as well. Does the position involve working outside or in an industrial setting? Would you be working closely with clients? These factors will help you evaluate how relaxed or formal your outfit should be. Regardless of the position, you want your attire to show that you are a professional who can be trusted on the job. By dressing appropriately and professionally for an interview, a hiring manager will know that you took the time and effort to prepare for your interview.
Tip: If you are in a position where you have to go straight from work to an interview, and you work in a casual environment, let your interviewer know about the situation ahead of time. Open communication is your friend. However, one easy solution is to bring your interview attire with you, and change clothes prior to your interview. Go the extra mile to impress a potential new employer!
Here are some basic rules to keep in mind:
- Neat, clean attire is always a must. Wrinkled or dirty clothing will not help an employer see you as a great potential employee – nor will anything with holes or rips.
- Simple, neutral, and relatively conservative clothing will allow the interviewer to focus on YOU. You want the way you dress to be a reflection of yourself – and during an interview, who are you? A professional who wants to land a great job! Even for a casual environment, a pressed polo or collared shirt is your best bet. When choosing a skirt or dress, steer clear of anything you’d wear out with friends on a Saturday night.
- Closed-toed shoes or heels in neutral styles and colors are a good rule of thumb. Your interviewer will not be impressed by someone slouching down the hall in flip flops.
- Minimal accessories and jewelry. As our “What Not To Wear” post will tell you, flashy accessories distract from your qualifications.
- A smile! It might sound cheesy, but it’s true: a smile is a simple, natural way to show your interviewer your great interpersonal skills.
The bottom line: Dressing appropriately for an interview is an easy way to make a good first impression. Show your interviewer that you value the opportunity to be considered for the position, and then wow them with your interview skills. We have some tips on that subject to share with you on our Job Search Resources page. Happy interviewing!
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