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Dressing to Ace an Interview

Monday, July 15, 2013 | Posted by: Alpha Kappa Psi

Getting called in for a face-to-face interview means good things. You know to prepare yourself for the questions they may ask you, and to think of a few questions about the job you plan to ask them. You know to come prepared. But as USA Today reported recently, not everyone is really grasping how important the impression you make in an interview really is, and the way you dress for the interview makes a huge first impression. 

The tips below arenít necessarily an end-all-be-all, but you can consider this the baseline. In your preparation, try to learn more about the atmosphere of the workplaceócall and ask if you have to. If the dress code includes shorts and t-shirts, showing up in a full-fledged suit may make you look a bit out of place. However, if it is a relaxed environment, still focus on showing up a bit overdressed. (For example, if shorts and a t-shirt are the norm, opt for slacks/a skirt and a collared shirt.)

Womenís Attire

A baseline for a womanís interview attire should look something like this:

  • Business suit in a solid, conservative color.
  • White or otherwise understated blouse.
  • Moderate or conservative shoes (heels are fine, but donít overdo it).
  • Go easy on the jewelry. A couple of pieces to accent are good enough.
  • Hosiery isnít necessary, but itís an option.
  • Donít overdo your makeup or perfume.

Menís Attire

A baseline for menís interview attire should look something like this:

  • Business suit in a solid, conservative color.
  • A long sleeve, button down shirt, ideally white. The shirt should NOT be the same color as the suit.
  • A matching belt.
  • A simple tie, without any outrageous patterns.
  • Shined shoes with matching socks.
  • Donít go overboard on the cologne.

There are a few general guidelinesóa couple that donít relate directly to attireóapply to both men and women in interviews.

  • Donít remove any articles of clothing while youíre in the interview.
  • Make sure that your clothes fit the way theyíre supposed to. No sagging pants or oversized shirts.
  • Donít chew gum during an interview.
  • Either leave your cell phone in the car or turn it off. Nothing during an interview can be that important. 
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