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How To Dress For An Interview How to Dress for an Interview

Appropriate job interview attire will vary depending on the position and industry, but no matter what you will be “dressing up” for the event.  You want to put forward clean, neat professional image to your prospective employer. Here are the basics of how to dress well for an interview from head to toe.

Dressing for an Interview In a Corporate Setting

In a corporate environment, knowing what to wear is easy.  Wear a dark suit, in navy or black, and a light shirt (white or light blue, button down collar, )  Women can go with a skirt suit or pants suit, but the idea here is to look traditional and conservative. There are some really fabulous and fashionable looking suits for women with mid-thigh length skirts and plunging necklines.  These might win some appreciative glances as you walk down the hall, but they definitely won’t win you the job.  And guys, leave the novelty ties and tie tacks at home for the interview. You want to look polished, tailored, and expensive. 

Dressing for an Interview In a Less Traditional Environment

If you are looking for a job in a less traditional environment, such as a creative or hands-on technical environment, you’ll want to go for the “business casual” look.  For men, a good choice would be neatly pressed khakis, a button down shirt under a sweater or sportcoat (or both – depending on the season.)  For women, black or khaki skirt or slacks and a sweater twinset or shirt and blazer.  Business casual clothing is less conservative than the traditional dark suit and tie, but just slightly so. Even though a full suit would be inappropriate for these environments, you still want to look “dressed up” and polished.

Pay Attention to Details

It’s easy to forget what a big impact our appearance has on how others perceive us.  When we meet someone for the first time, we look at their appearance for visual clues that will tell us more about the person.  Whether we realize it or not, on some level we all notice little things like scuffed shoes, wrinkled shirts, worn-out belts, and suit jackets that don’t quite fit in the arms. We also notice polished shoes, pressed shirts, well cut clothes and expensive fabrics.    

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