In the career search, first impressions are everything. Your resume is your true first impression, but during the interview phase of the career search, your appearance and how you dress to that interview are your first impression for this stage. You will want to make sure that you are presenting yourself in the best light and most importantly dressed to impress!

Though you may dress differently for the job once you start, you will always want to make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the interview. Here are some tips on what to wear and how you should look:

Ladies

  • Recommended: Business suit or a skirt/blouse or pants/blouse combination
  • Your clothes should be appropriate: nothing too wild or colorful, avoid any prints that might be distracting and don’t wear anything sheer or low-cut
  • When in doubt, dress conservatively in solid colors and make sure that the clothes are not too tight or too loose
  • When considering make-up for the interview, keep colors subtle; the more neutral the better
  • Same for jewelry, keep it simple; nothing too bold or outrageous and don’t overdo it, keep jewelry to a minimum

Gentlemen 

  • Recommended: Business suit or dress pants, dress shirt and tie (sport coat is acceptable as well)
  • When in doubt, dark colored suit or pants with a dress shirt and professional-looking tie is best
  • Wear dark colored socks, no athletic socks or socks that do not come to your calf

Both

  • Make sure that your hair is clean, well-maintained and conservative
  • Whatever you wear to the interview should be clean and freshly pressed
  • Make sure to shower the day of the interview and don’t wear too much perfume or cologne
  • Do not smoke before the interview and if you do, don’t try to cover up the scent with perfume or cologne
  • Have fresh breath, if possible brush your teeth right before an interview; if you are unable to brush, have mints or gum handy and utilize before you go in for the interview

Overall, you will want to make a great first impression – dress for the job you want. Dressing in professional attire also tells the interview that you respect the opportunity to interview with them and appreciate the time they are taking out of their day to meet with you. If you dress to impress, you will do just that and chances are you will stand out to the interviewer as someone they would want to hire or at least bring in for a second interview.

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