What to Wear to an Interview
It sounds corny, but “dressing for success” really works! I actually nailed a good job once solely because I dressed up. I had on a nice pant suit when I applied in person at a department store. One of the managers saw me turn in my application and raced after me to the elevator. She began to tell me how her sales area paid commission, and I realized she was pitching to me! She asked my name, went back and pulled my resume from the pile (which they’re not supposed to do), and then offered me the position. Later, she told me she wanted me on her team because I looked like a go-getter. I eventually turned that job into a secretary position for the same store, which I did (and loved!) for over a year.
Last week, we looked at how important interviews are personally and professionally. This week, we’re going to start with the obvious – what to wear on a job interview.
First, let me say that it doesn’t matter what the actual dress code is for the job you are applying for. Your main goal is to put your best foot forward. You’re essentially selling yourself, so make it good, whether the job is at Lowe’s or Wal-Mart.
The basics for GUYS:
A simple dark suit, button-down shirt, and a simple coordinating tie (no funny stuff!). The shoe color should match the belt. No matter how cool it is, do
NOT wear Adidas shoes with your suit. I shouldn’t have to say this, but jeans are utterly unacceptable.
The basics for GALS:
A simple dark suit is a must, whether it’s a pant suit or a skirt suit with a blazer. Either a button-down shirt or a simple blouse is fine, but it shouldn’t be distracting or low-cut. If you wear a skirt, be sure to wear pantyhose and a slip (yes, seriously!). Shoes should be simple and closed-toed, not too high or too flashy. Jewelry is fine, whatever goes with the outfit.
Hair should be well-kept. That doesn’t mean it needs to be pulled back, but that wind-swept beach look isn’t going to cut it. Wear a little makeup to show you care, but don’t try to look like you work at the MAC counter (unless you’re applying for the MAC counter).
Yes, you want to be distinctive, so a pop of color or a unique necklace is fine. However, the key here is to keep it simple. You want the spotlight on you – your smile, your energy, your confidence.
Next week, I’ll share a funny list of things NOT to wear to an interview (or to work in general, for that matter).