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Archive for the ‘What to Wear to Interview’ Category

How To Dress For That Job Interview

Erin-K-Dress-InterviewWhen you sit down for that job interview, the last thing you want to be worried about is what you are wearing. That choice should have been made a few days beforehand, if possible, to give you time to put together an “interview outfit” that gives confidence.

The idea that you must “dress for success” never goes out of style because people see your clothing as part of your initial impression. Here are a few tips to work on now, so you will be ready to go the morning of your all-important interview:


How to Dress for an Interview if You Want the Job

What to wear to your job interview

Smiling WomanDo you know that most people develop a lasting impression of you and what you’re like based on the first few seconds of meeting you?  That’s way before you’ve said anything important…you’ve barely said “hello.”  Some of that impression is based off your body language and handshake, true, but the rest is based off how you look—what you’re wearing.

how to dress for a job interview

Your interviewer is even more focused on you than most people.  They’re really looking for clues to base their hiring decision on.  So, when you really want that job, it’s important to keep ‘professional’ at the top of your mind when dressing for the interview. A good rule of thumb is to dress one step above what you would be expected to wear on the job. In other words, dress for success.


For men, this means wearing a full suit rather than coordinates. A full suit shows respect and attention to detail. The suit should be dark in color over a white shirt. The tie should be conservative.  At the first meeting, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Besides color, women need to also consider whether a skirt suit or a pants suit is more appropriate. While most hiring managers prefer women in a skirt suit, they tend not to penalize women for wearing a pants suit. It’s important for both men and women to remember that the suit should be professional and comfortable.

Comfortable, in this case, is not synonymous with “comfy” which implies sloppy. Since what you wear reflects your attitude, “comfy” clothing will reflect a relaxed attitude that could hurt your chance of getting the job. What comfortable should mean:  clothes that fit; that allow you to move easily and not feel restricted. You do not want to adjust your clothing during an interview.


Your interview outfit doesn’t end with the suit. Coordinating shoes are also important. Women should wear low heels with closed toes and sensible hose and men should wear clean, black leather shoes with black socks. Never wear tennis, or sports shoes. Hiring managers also notice if your shoes are clean and well-cared for.

As for accessories, you want to keep your look conservative: men- a muted tie is a ‘must’ and a watch is appropriate, but remove earrings and facial piercings. If you are emotionally attached to your beard, keep it closely trimmed and neat. If, however, you have had several interviews but haven’t been offered a job, you might want to consider a clean-shaven look and see if that makes a difference.

Women, be sure your jewelry is not too flashy: earring posts or simple hoop earrings are fine, but be careful of other facial piercings that could be distracting and get in the way of landing the job.   Speaking of distractions…absolutely NEVER show any cleavage.

When deciding on what to wear to your interview, remember to leave off wearing cologne or perfume. “Clean” is the only smell that should emanate from you during an interview.

Being ultra-prepared (good resume, 30-60-90-day plan and brag book) and appropriately dressed for the interview means the hiring manager can concentrate on your skills and abilities, and you’ll have an excellent chance of landing that DREAM position. Your appearance says it all.

What to Wear to a Job Interview

What the interviewer thinks about what you wear to the interview

Not dressing appropriately for your interview is high on the list of top 10 interview mistakes. I did my own survey of hiring managers to find out what they expect you to wear in a job interview. Do they expect to see a female candidate in a skirt or dress? Or are pants OK? I not only got them to vote on it, I got their comments and thoughts. What about facial hair, jewelry, suits vs. coordinating outfit, even the heel height on your shoes.

Click the video to watch what to wear to a job interview

If you make a great first impression with your looks, you can confirm their impression of your greatness with a 30/60/90-day plan. It's THE job interview tool I would never interview matter what I was wearing.