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What To Wear To An Interview

The Star Tribune recently had an article about how disappointed corporate America was with how the interviewees looked when they came to their interview.

You may have all the right skills, but if you don’t present yourself appropriately, skill alone may not get you the job offer.  If you present yourself well, you will gain an edge on your competition by making a positive first impression.  Part of that first impression is what you wear!

What to Wear – Wearing the right interview outfit helps improve your confidence and confidence helps you get offers!

For any interview, think of your audience.  You should always dress to show your respect for the interviewer.  You want to be taken seriously!  The safest option is a suit with a collared shirt and tie.  The outfit should be tailored to fit.  Get your outfit tailored as far in advance as possible.  Wear your outfit, shoes and accessories for a few hours in advance to make sure you are comfortable.

  • Women’s skirts should fall right at or below the knee.
  • Women can wear a shell as long as it is not low cut or lace.
  • Men’s ties should be neutral.  Simple stripes or small patterns are good.

Jewelry / accessories should be minimal and tasteful.

  • Carry a notebook with a professional cover and/or a briefcase.  Women should use the briefcase to carry the things they normally carry in a purse and avoid the purse.  Don’t forget a nice pen to put in your notebook!
  • A nice watch, a ring, a simple necklace and a small pair of hoop earrings should be enough.  If you wear a watch don’t look at it during the interview!  Men should think twice about wearing their earrings to an interview.
  • Nose or other facial piercing should be removed for the interview.
  • Save your bracelets for another time, especially if they are distracting when you move or write!
  • If women wear a skirt, you should wear hose.  Opaque hose are fine.
  • Bring a handkerchief  or Kleenex in case you have sweaty hands, have to cough or a have a runny nose.

Color is important when choosing your interview outfit.

The safest color options for outfits are navy blue or dark charcoal gray.  Black is most often used for formal occasions.  Dark Brown is okay but isn’t regarded as formal as the navy or gray – so just make sure to know your audience.  Tan is casual and should be saved for summer.

  • Your shirt should be a color that is good for your skin tone.  Off white/cream, white, and light blues are probably best but if there is a color that you know really enhances your face, you may think about wearing that shirt as well.

If you do not have a professional looking overcoat, get one or don’t bring your coat into the interview.  Remember that first impression?  If you wear a ski jacket or bomber jacket that doesn’t look like it goes with your outfit, it may discount everything you have thought about above!

Good luck with your job search and send me an email if you have any questions!  monica@imagethat.biz.

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