HOW TO; Dress For An Interview

Written by Sheila Dicks

At no other time is dressing for success more critical than when you are preparing for an interview. In job hunting, the product you are marketing is you; therefore, taking time to ensure that you are dressed appropriately will give you the competitive edge

When it comes to getting a job, every detail matters – your cover letter, your resume, your skills, how you present yourself and how you look. You will want your potential employer to view you as competent and you will want he or she to feel confident you will fit the organization. It’s no secret that how you look has everything to do with the impression you make. First impressions are made within a few seconds after meeting, and in a job interview the impression is made before you get a chance to sell your skills. You can use those first few seconds to your advantage by dressing professionally.

Dress Professionally

The dress code in most organizations is as different as the organization itself, so it is impossible to find an outfit that will work well in all interviews. What should you do? Do some investigating and find out how the employees dress and follow their lead but dress just slightly better.
Wear business-like attire, avoiding flashy colours, bold prints, logos and keep jewelry to a minimum. Carry a nice attaché case or folder to hold your resume and examples of your work.
For Women
q       Wear a classic suit, in a solid color, or dressy tailored separates. Don’t wear short skirts or low cut blouses
q       Wear pumps (clean and polished). Leave sandals for leisure
q       Keep your hair neat and professional (unless you are seeking a position in an artistic environment).
q       Wear tan or light hosiery. Never go without hosiery.
q       Keep makeup to a minimum
q       Don’t chew gum or have anything else in your mouth
For Men
q       Wear a conservative suit in a solid color.
q       Wear a long sleeve shirt in a muted color.
q       Even if you never wear ties, wear one for an interview. Remember, this is not a time to wear your Star Wars tie
q       Wear dark socks with clean, polished shoes
q       Your fingernails should be trimmed and clean.
q       Keep aftershave to a minimum


q       Prepare your clothes for the interview the night before and try them on. Don’t leave anything to chance.
q       Before you leave home check yourself in a full-length mirror to make sure everything is in place.
q       Carry yourself with confidence; stand tall with your shoulders back. Portray a successful image by paying attention to details.
When you are prepared for the interview your self-confidence will become apparent. Taking care of how you look will give you one less thing to worry about so you can concentrate on selling your skills.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money on interview clothes but it is important that your clothing fits well. You can get the perfect fit by having your clothing tailored. It’s a good idea to have two or three outfits ready to start your new job. Start by buying separates (bottoms and tops) that you can mix and match with pieces you already own.
The interview is the first step in your career. Your advancement is dependant on your behaviour, your skills, your ability to get along with others and your professional image. Paying attention to your wardrobe and appearance will increase your chances of getting the job, promotions and moving up in the organization.
Sheila is a Style and Dating coach and founder of the Fashion Experts Network. Sheila is committed to providing men and women with the opportunity to create a winning image, gain more self- confidence and reach their personal and business goals.
Sheila began her image career over twenty-five years ago and has training in fashion, beauty and dressmaking. Her curiosity of ‘why people behave the way they do’ and her keen interest in self development stimulated many years of study and lead her to life coaching. She has helped hundreds of men and women transform their wardrobe, their lives and their self-esteem.
Her quotes and articles have appeared in Complete Well Being, The Chronicle Herald, Home life, Quilter's Home Magazine, The National Enquirer, Family Journal, The Fresno Bee and Fashion Merchandiser e-guide. She is co-author of 101 Great Ways to Improve Your Life and My Style, My Way.

Another article you might enjoy about preparing for your interview
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© 2011 Churchill Brook International
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