PROPER INTERVIEW ATTIRE
by: Melissa Stilley Avery
When interviewing for a position, you should always strive to look your best! This includes making the appropriate choices for clothing, footwear, hairstyle, cosmetics and jewelry. Below are a few tips to help you make the right decisions while getting ready for your interview:
Unless told otherwise, you should dress professionally for your interview. No jeans or shorts, no “clam-diggers” or corduroy. For both men and women a suit is the preferred choice. For men, dress slacks, dress shirt, suit jacket and tie. For women, either a skirt or dress slacks, a tailored blouse and suit jacket. No “club” attire – if your clothing choice is something that you might wear out on the town, you should rethink your choice. Choose colors and patterns that are conservative – navy, dark gray, black or wine (for women) in either solids or a very subtle pattern. Avoid extremes in color and pattern. Be sure that everything is clean and well-pressed and check over your clothing for stray pet hairs, picks, tags, missing buttons, etc.
Choose professional-style dress shoes; do not wear sneakers, clogs, flip-flops, or other casual types of footwear. Shoes should preferably be of black or brown leather.
Choose a slim leather belt that goes with your shoes. No big buckles, no canvas and no funky patterns.
Jewelry should also be kept conservative. A simple watch with a metal link band, for instance, instead of a large or bulky watch or one that is made of plastic or has a rubberized band (such as a dive watch). Rings should be kept to one or two, not one on every finger. Necklaces and earrings should be tasteful and discreet, not large and clunky. If you have piercings anywhere other than your ears you should remove the jewelry before your interview.
Should be washed, dried and styled before leaving home. It should be cut neatly, not shaggy. Avoid the over-use of styling products.
Use cologne or perfume sparingly, if at all. If you do use a scent, be sure that it is not a strong scent and that you do not smell like you “took a bath in it”. Some people have allergies to perfumes and colognes, so forgoing the scents may be the best bet. If you smoke, avoid doing so after your shower or bath – smelling of cigarette smoke may not be appealing to your interviewer, and you want to make a good impression all the way around!
Be sure that nails are neatly trimmed and filed.
Tips Specifically for Ladies:
· Skirt Length – Skirts should be knee length or longer. Try to avoid billowing skirts, go for a more tailored look. Avoid high slits.
· Blouses – Be sure that cleavage is covered; avoid plunging or low-cut necklines.
· Hosiery – Choose a sheer style of hosiery with no pattern in a neutral color.
· Purse – If you choose to carry a purse, opt for one that is small and that color coordinates with your shoes. Avoid large bags, or anything that looks like it belongs at a party or the beach.
· Shoes – Preferably avoid open-toed shoes, especially in the colder-weather months. These may be fine on the job if allowed by the employer, but for an interview try to pick a pair that are close-toed. If you plan to wear heels, choose a modest heel (1”-2”) that you can walk well in. No teetering around in stilettos!
· Cosmetics – Choose a neutral color palette and avoid over-doing it. Makeup colors should compliment your complexion, eye color and clothing choice. Avoid bright or overly dark eye colors and blushes. A little makeup helps to give you a polished air, but you do not want to look like you are on a hot date or going to a club.
· Fingernails: If you wear polish, choose a conservative shade and be sure that it is in good repair – no chips, nicks, or crescents showing at the cuticle.
Tips Specifically for Gentlemen:
· Facial Hair – Facial hair should be neatly trimmed and well groomed.
· Ties - Ties should be good quality, conservative, and be in colors that do not clash with the rest of your suit. Avoid “character” ties and ties with novelty patterns.
· Socks - Men should wear dark, mid-calf length socks so that no skin is visible when you sit down.
· Shoes – Shoes should be polished and buffed to shine.
· Shirts – Shirts should be fully buttoned and long-sleeved, even in the summer.