Every aspect of a job interview is important. From first impressions to the way you sit and answer or ask questions. A job interview is your chance to sell yourself to the company, and making a memorable first impression is key to landing that position.
A few days before the interview takes place, take some time to research the company. Look on Facebook to see if there are any photos of employees and take note of the way they are dressed. If they are dressed professionally, then your attire needs to reflect that. If they are more casual, you should still dress businesslike for the interview.
Also, take note of the location and time of year the interview is taking place. If it is the middle of July and in Florida for a cashier position at a fast food restaurant, then a full three piece business suit would be overdoing it. Slacks and a nice polo shirt would be sufficient. If the position is with an advertising firm in New York city during December, that heavy business suit, wool coat and scarf will be perfect.
Before we get to dressing for an interview, here are a couple tips to help before and during the interview process:
- Be on time (or better, get there early, but not too early - 10 minutes or so just in case you have to fill out paperwork).
- Be clean (make sure to shave or trim your beard, do not over do it with your cologne or perfume, have clean hands, and short fingernails for men).
- Use proper speech (don’t mutter or speak in low tones, but don’t be too loud; use proper english and no slang).
- Be courteous (treat the people interviewing you with respect).
- Silence your cell phone.
Suits Again, know the company you are interviewing with. If you are going for a sales position where you are in front of clients, the interviewers want to know how you are going to look when you represent their company. A single breasted, dark navy blue, two-button suit would be your best bet for your first interview. If you are called back for a second interview, a deep gray color suit would be best.
Shirt Guys, shirts should be a long sleeved button up, under the suit jacket or paired with a blazer. Solid white color is best, with a simple straight point collar. For a more laid back and casual and position, a solid colored polo shirt would work also.
Blouse Business casual blouses in solid colors; pay attention to the culture of the company you are interviewing with. Choose colors that bring out your personality, but do it subtly. You do not want to have the neckline too low and pair the blouse with a necklace with a small pendant.
Tie Your tie should be business like, nothing too flashy or gaudy. Choose small stripes or solid colors to tastefully accompany your shirt and jacket. Learn to tie a few different knots by using this terrific infographic on how to to 18 different knots from realmenrealstyle.com.
Shoes Men, wear dark dress shoes that are clean and have a nice shine. Women, don’t wear heels that are too tall. Open toe or flashy shoes may be a no-no, depending on the business. If heavy machinery is present, OSHA will not allow any open toed shoes in that area, so you may be at risk if the interview becomes a tour of the facilities.
Jewelry Depending on the position and company, having your ears gauged or nose pierced may give you a slight disadvantage. Many customer relations positions, where you would be in front of clients would be leery when hiring someone with too many piercings, gauges or tattoos, but a call center or production position would be okay hiring you.
Cologne/Perfume Go easy when applying your cologne or perfume. You want your visual impression to be left behind and not your lingering odor.
What not to wear
- Dirty, scuffed up shoes
- T-shirt. Any screen printed shirt
- Wrinkled shirt, dress or jacket
- Anything with holes or stains
Using this guide for dressing for an interview will help you make a memorable impression and hopefully get you a call back or an offer for the position. Do your research on the company and dress accordingly. Loosen up and relax before and during the interview. Show your personality and ask questions to let them know you are interested in not only the position, but the company as well.
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