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Asian woman in a job interview

Life can present new opportunities, no matter what people may have previously endured. A person’s outfit can be a great way to show others that they are ready to take on these new opportunities. Whether it be attending an interview or assembling a daily wardrobe, dressing for success can help people feel confident and get them ready to tackle the world.

Dressing for a Job Interview

A person’s perception of you can often be based on how you look, so it is important to make the right impression at a job interview. Although dressing and grooming appropriately may not get you the job, it will give you a competitive edge and help you make a positive first impression. No matter what, always dress professionally for an interview. The following tips can help you dress for success when interviewing for a job:

  • Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.
  • Wear professional and conservative clothing.
  • Ensure that clothing is clean, pressed, and not too tight.
  • Wear conservative shoes that are clean and polished.
  • Choose accessories that complement your clothing rather than distract from it.
  • Cover visible tattoos and remove facial and body piercings to avoid distraction.
  • Keep fragrances and jewelry at a minimal.
  • Make sure your hair is clean and conservative in color and style.

Tips for Women

  • Acceptable dress includes a suit (skirt or slacks) or a conservatively-tailored dress.
  • Skirts and dresses should be knee length or longer.
  • Avoid blouses or sweaters that are transparent and tight fitting. Also avoid ones that have low necklines, revealing waistlines, or details that distract from your face. Your shoulders should also be covered.
  • Perfume should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer(s). When in doubt, do not wear perfume.
  • Apply natural-looking makeup and clear nail polish. This helps keep the focus on the interview.
  • Do not carry a purse and a briefcase. Choose one or the other.
  • For shoes, wear a neutral color flat or low-heel pump to avoid making your feet a focal point.
  • Avoid dangling earrings and wear no more than one ring per hand and a dress watch.

Tips for Men

  • Wear a matching suit in navy, black, or gray (pinstripe or solid). You can also choose to wear a blazer with complementary dress slacks.
  • Select a dress shirt that complements the suit and/or tie. Typically, the shirt should cover your arms to the wrist.
  • The tie should coordinate with the jacket and pants, but it should stand out from the color of the shirt.
  • Socks should be calf-length or above the calf. Choose colors such as dark blue, black, or gray.
  • Select a dress shoe that is dark in color or blends well with the pants.
  • Select a leather belt that visually blends with or matches the shoes.
  • Make sure your hair is clean and styled appropriately. It is often suggested that your face be clean shaven.
  • Minimize your jewelry. Avoid wearing a necklace, and wear no more than one ring per hand and a dress watch.
  • Avoid casual coats, but a full-length coat can be worn over the suit.
  • Cologne should never be strong. A fragrance can cause an allergic reaction or offend the interviewer(s). When in doubt, do not wear cologne.

Be Yourself

It is important that you don’t lose yourself in the rules of dressing. While dressing appropriately is key, this doesn’t equate to forgoing your personality or sense of style. Personalize your outfit with your own brand of magic. Life is too short to look boring.

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