Deciding what to wear for a job interview is important. Even today, first impressions matter in the business world. There are a few basics about what is and isn’t acceptable when it comes to job interview attire.
For Men: If you are the type of person who goes for the grungy tousled look, do yourself a favor and run a comb through your hair before the interview. It’s even better to get a haircut a few days before.
Also, don’t take any chances when it comes to facial hair. A well-trimmed goatee, mustache, or beard may look professional, but it’s best to just go clean-shaven for the interview. It’ll grow back before you know it.
For Women: Your hair should not be a distraction during the interview, so try to keep it from hanging in front of your face. This can be distracting for both you and the hiring manager. If your hair is long, it should be secured behind your head.
For Men: It is always best to fall back on the standard suit and tie combination. Make sure that your jacket and pants are clean, pressed, and free from any lint or pet hair.
Make sure that the colors you wear are not distracting or ostentatious in any way (i.e. bright orange, red, or lime green). Color is best used in moderation.
For women: How you dress for the interview depends on the company to which you are applying. Pantsuits are more formal than a nice blouse or dress shirt.
As always, watch your use of color. Make sure that your colors don’t clash. Your outfit should make you stand out, not create an eye-sore for hiring managers.
If you are unsure at all about the proper attire for the interview, dress as conservatively as possible.
For Men: There are very few accessories that are acceptable for men in a job interview. You can wear a watch, but not one that is too large or gaudy. Expensive attention-grabbing watches may reflect status in the social realm, but wearing one at a job interview may convey that you excessively value money or status.
If you have piercings, it’s best to take them out. Any tattoos should also be concealed if possible.
For Women: It is much more acceptable for women to wear jewelry at job interviews as long as it is not too distracting. Large hoop earrings, big chains, and anything else that is flashy should be swapped for something more modest.
Most importantly, leave your cell phone in the car or at home.
By Kevin Withers