job interview advice

tips for a job interview

Dressing Right For Your Job Interview Will Help If You Need A Job Now

January 21st, 2009 | admin | Job Interview Help

Dress Right for Your Job Interview

Don’t ruin a good interview by dressing improperly. Appropriate dress shows you are professional and serious about the interview and that you are a viable job candidate. Here’s guidelines to follow.

Dress Right for Your Interview

Appearances do count, especially during a job interview. The old saying that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression should be taken to heart when you are deciding how to dress for an interview. These tips will help you decide.

The classic advice on how to dress for an interview is still the best advice: you should dress one or two levels higher than the job for which you’re applying. This not only makes a good first impression, but it also shows respect for the company and the hiring manager. A sloppy appearance will automatically make many hiring managers assume you are also a sloppy worker.

For professional and management positions, a suit and tie with dress shoes is the most appropriate dress for men. For women, a formal pant suit is best, so that you don’t have to worry about things like what is the proper dress length and whether or not to wear stockings. In all cases, keep jewelry to a minimum and wear shoes with conservative heels.

For trade and clerical positions, men should at least wear dress pants or "Docker" style pants, a nice long sleeve shirt with a collar, and hard-soled shoes (no athletic shoes). For women, casual or dressy pants with a sweater or blouse.

Never wear blue jeans to an interview, regardless of the nature of the job. No matter how expensive they are or how good you think they look, many hiring managers will immediately peg you as disrespectful and not serious about the interview.

A good general dress tip for everyone is to wear conservative colors. Avoid loud colors, unusual colors, bright checked patterns, etc. These are distracting. The interview should be about you and your qualifications.

As odd as it may seem, you goal when dressing for an interview should be for your clothes to be so neutral that the hiring manager doesn’t give them a second glance. You want your voice to be heard, not your clothes. An interview is not the place to make a fashion statement.

The bottom line is this: dress conservatively and look neat. This way, as a hiring manager I’ll pay attention to what you have to say, not how you look.

More complete interview guidelines can be found here.

Good luck with your job search and all your interviews!

By Tom McBroom
Published: 1/30/2008

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