How to Dress for a Job Interview
There are many components to a successful job interview. Your demeanor, eye contact, ability to answer the interviewer’s questions, and your ability to ask the proper questions all play an important part in winning over the interviewer and landing the job. But before one word is spoken and pleasantries have been exchanged, you are being judged. The way you dress is going to set the tone for the rest of the interview and will have a big impact on whether you get the job or not. Here are some guidelines to ensure you are dressed properly for your next job interview.
Dress Guidelines for All Interviews
Do not wear excessive jewelry. A watch and ring for men and a watch, ring, and earrings for women should be okay. Be wary of wearing perfumes and colognes. They should be kept to a minimum so as not to offend, or worse, have your interviewer sneezing during the interview. Make sure your hair is neat and your nails are trimmed. Lastly, use a mint before going in to meet the interviewer.
Dress Guidelines for Management or Professional Positions
Interviewing for a management or professional position will require business formal attire. That means a suit and tie for men and a pant-suit or skirt and blouse for women. The colors should be conservative hues of blacks, whites, and grays. It is okay for your tie or scarf to be colorful but not excessive.
Dress Guidelines for Office and Clerical Positions
When interviewing for office and clerical positions you should follow the guidelines for management and professional positions above.
Dress Guidelines for Out-of-Office Positions (Construction, Manufacturing, Etc.)
For jobs in construction or manufacturing you should determine a few things beforehand. You should determine exactly who will be doing the interviewing. If it is a representative of a human resource department, follow the guidelines for office jobs. However, if the interviewer is a manager, then you will be okay to wear office-casual attire. That means khaki pants and button-down shirt for men and skirt and blouse for women. The trick is to dress the way the interviewer dresses. Never wear t-shirts or blue jeans to an interview.
Dress Guidelines for Retail Positions
When interviewing for a retail position you should always dress using business formal attire. Your job will require you to be in front of customers and even though the job may not require you to dress like that every day, the interviewer will want to know that you are presentable to their customers.
Special Situations
There are some companies that pride themselves on being outside the norm when it comes to business protocols. These companies often allow their employees freedoms and perks that aren’t found in normal business settings. For instance, they may have a pool table and a latte machine in the office. These companies may frown on formal dress. It may be best to ask how you should dress before arriving at the interview.
The main things to consider when deciding how to dress for an interview are who will be doing the interview, how you will dress during a typical workday, and the type of position for which you are interviewing. Do your research and if you are in doubt, then dress business formal. You can never go wrong by dressing professionally.
Author: Jay Watkins

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