Interview Tip: Dress to Impress

Dress to Impress – Why Your Appearance is Important on an Interview

By: Cynthia Wadolowski, Senior Recruiting Manager, Direct Sales Recruiting

Nov 14, 2014

Regardless of what anyone says, when someone looks at you, especially the first time, they judge your presentation. Whether you are on a first date, meeting the parents, or on a job interview, the person you are shaking hands with is instantly forming an opinion of you. Putting your best foot forward on an interview is extremely important. You want to let potential employers know that you are serious about the position you are applying for.

No one is saying that you cannot be you when dressing for an interview. In fact, you should be dressed in an outfit that will give you confidence and give you the boost you need in the interview. But you should be mindful that this is the first time your potential employer is meeting you and they will remember that first meeting when it comes down to making that final split decision.

The first thing to remember when going on an interview is that you want to dress for the job you want. If you want to be taken seriously, then you should dress that way. When all else fails, wear a suit. It’s better to be over dressed than underdressed. Men – a suit and tie are the best way to go. Make sure that your suit is conservative – black, blue, or dark gray, wear a white shirt, and a plain, solid colored tie or something like these luxury ties (no dancing Santa’s on your tie). Ladies – you should wear a dress suit or pants suit as well. Wear a conservative color with a plain blouse. Make sure your shoes are practical.

Be exceptionally careful with the accessories. Do not wear a lot of overwhelming jewelry that can distract the interviewer. Too much perfume or cologne can be just as distracting to an interviewer (You don’t want to clear the room). Ladies – don’t wear a loud purse or bag. Your hair should be neat and tidy as well. Do not go overboard on the makeup and the manicure. Remember, the simpler, the better. Men, if you are going to wear facial hair, make sure it is groomed properly. Get a haircut before your interview so you are looking your best. Your nails should be clean and short.

Why is all this so important? Your potential employer needs to concentrate on your skill set and what you bring to the table. Not how you look. It’s distracting and they need to know you can do the job and do it well. If the work environment later calls for a more casual attire, then so be it but when you first step foot in that interview, make it your best foot.


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