The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment an interviewer makes is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That’s why it’s always important to dress professionally for a job interview, even if the work environment is casual.
You’ll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. The candidate wearing a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in scruffy jeans and a t-shirt.
- Suit (solid color – navy, black or dark grey)
- Long sleeve shirt or blouse (white or coordinated with the suit)
- Men: belt, tie, dark socks, conservative leather shoes and little, or no jewelry
- Women: Any skirts should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably, neutral pantyhose, no open-toe shoes, light make-up and limited jewelry (no dangling earrings or arms full of bracelets)
- Neat, professional hairstyle
- Limit the perfume, cologne or aftershave
- Neatly manicured or trimmed nails
- Portfolio or briefcase
There are items people sometimes forget to leave at home. Do NOT bring them to an interview – it can take you out of the running.
- Cell phone
- Coffee or soda
Before you even think about going on an interview, make sure you have appropriate interview attire and everything fits correctly. Get your clothes ready the night before, so you don’t have to spend time getting them ready on the day of the interview. If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings or studs at home. Cover any tattoos. Polish your shoes. Bring a breath mint and use it before entering the building. If your clothes are dry clean only, take them to the cleaners after the interview, so they are ready for next time.