The Job Interview

Spring is just around the corner. Soon college and high school graduation ceremonies will be celebrated all across the country. Thousands of graduates will be seeking employment in the coming months. As usual, competition will be fierce for the best jobs, and the smart job seeker will dress thoughtfully for that all-important job interview. To ensure that you are appropriately dressed for your job interview, keep these key points in mind.

  • Wear attire that is appropriate to that business.  No jeans in the office, no three-piece suits in the automotive shop.
  • Check the company’s dress code to make sure you dress within the guidelines.
  • No flashy colors or styles – they will distract from you and your qualifications.
  • Make sure your clothing is freshly cleaned and pressed.
  • Shine your shoes.
  • Keep jewelry simple. Limit yourself to 13 accessories or less, including watch, belt, earrings, eyeglasses, etc.
  • Get a fresh haircut to create a good impression. Men should be clean-shaven.

For a job in a more formal setting, wear a suit to the interview. A navy blue suit is a good choice – sophisticated without being formal – and it can be worn with a variety of colors in shirts and ties. A crisp white shirt is always right with the business suit and is perfect with a conservative tie. For a second interview, wear a blue shirt and a different tie with the suit. The jacket of the navy suit can also double as a blazer when paired with gray slacks or khakis. However, any neutral-colored suit is appropriate; taupe, black, and tan are all pleasing colors that reinforce the idea that you can blend in and be appropriate to the workplace.

If the workplace is more casual, wear clean, pressed khakis, a dress shirt in white or blue and a tie to the interview. A sports coat over this outfit will dress it up a notch if needed. Wear leather dress shoes, and socks that blend with the shoes or khakis. Do not wear sneakers, flip-flops, t-shirts, shorts, or jeans. They indicate a lack of respect for the organization and a lack of interest in getting the job.

Women should be careful to follow the same general guidelines. Stick to a neutral color suit with a simple shell or blouse, accented by simple and sophisticated jewelry. Avoid low cut tops, body-hugging garments, mini skirts and bright colors that might distract the interviewer from your job skills. Shoes with a slight heel and closed toe convey a dressy look without being sexy. Keep the focus on being intelligent and capable, yet attractive.

Pressed clothes and shined shoes convey enthusiasm and respect. Wrinkled clothing and scuffed shoes do not.  When in doubt, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Make the effort – it will make a difference in the image you project and you will be more likely to get the job!

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