Dressing for the Interview
According to Karyn Repinski, author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Successful Dressing, there are 10 Keys to Successful Dressing:
- Recognize that you have less than 10 seconds to make a good impression.
- Know that what you wear influences others and can at [the very] least make you appear to be more confident and in control.
- Focus on being appropriately dressed - every day.
- Plan ahead; don't "wing it."
- Avoid attire that makes others feel uncomfortable. You want to stand out for your performance, not your clothes.
- Develop a consistent style of dress that takes into account your physical assets and flaws.
- Spend enough to make the grade. It's worth it to splurge on one or two great outfits that make you feel invulnerable.
- Play it safe. When in doubt, dress conservatively. It is better to overdress than underdress.
- Take cues from your superiors.
- Sweat the small stuff. Attention to detail is a virtue that employers look for in an employee's work and wardrobe.
Professional & Business Casual Attire: What to Wear & What Not to Wear
You only have a short time to make your first impression, and that impression can last forever- make sure it's a good one! You appearance can tell another person a great deal about you, so follow these guidelines when selecting what to wear for interviews, and networking opportunities with alumni or prospective employers.
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Women's Professional Dress
A 2-piece pants or skirt suit: black, charcoal, or navy are the most conservative colors, however most dark colors are fine. A blouse with a collar (not low cut or sheer); dark shoes are preferred, closed-toe. When choosing shoes, it is preferable to have a low to moderate heel- try to avoid the lack of professionalism that comes from limping or wobbling due to shoe discomfort or impracticality. Jewelry and makeup should be conservative and worn in moderation. Minimize or avoid the use of perfume in order to avoid triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer.
Women's Business Casual
Shirt- A dress shirt with a collar; a blouse without a collar; a dress sweater; a turtleneck; a sweater over a shirt with a collar. As with professional attire, make sure that your shirt or blouse is not sheer or low cut, and try to avoid distracting patterns or painfully bright colors. Blouses should either have sleeves or be covered by a jacket or cardigan- no sleeveless tops!
Slacks- A pair of dress slacks/trousers typically in black, charcoal, gray, brown or khaki. Make sure they are wrinkle-free! Jeans, sweat pants, shorts or athletic pants are not acceptable attire.
Skirt- If you choose to wear a skirt, it should fall at the knee or slightly below the knee when standing and cover your thighs when you sit. Hosiery should be worn and should be a solid (not print) material that coordinates with your skirt and shoes.
Shoes- Shoes should be in good condition. Athletic shoes, sandals, and flip-flops are not acceptable.
Accessories and makeup should follow the same guidelines as professional dress.
Men's Professional Dress
A 2-piece suit; black, charcoal, or navy are traditionally accepted colors, however other dark colors like olive green are fine; a tie (solid color or a simple pattern); a white or conservatively colored dress shirt (button all buttons). Dark dress shoes are preferred; black or brown depending on the color of the suit. Make sure you wear the correct color of socks with your with your suit- white socks do not look good with a dark suit! Minimize or avoid the use of cologne to prevent triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer.
Men's Business Casual
Shirt- Acceptable attire includes a shirt with a collar, a sweater or vest over a shirt with a collar, a dress shirt without a collar, a turtleneck, or a sweater over a shirt without a collar. A tie is not necessary for business casual. T-shirts or sweatshirts are not appropriate for a professional setting.
Slacks- Appropriate attire includes a pair of slacks or trousers, usually in black, navy, charcoal, gray, or khaki. Slacks should be wrinkle-free! Jeans, sweat pants, athletic pants, or shorts are not acceptable business casual attire.Shoes/Belt- Be sure to wear a belt and shoes that are in good condition. As with full professional dress, make sure that your socks and shoes are a color fit for your slacks. Athletic shoes, slide-ons, and flip-flops are not acceptable in a professional environment.