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Dressing for Your Interview Success

Updated: Oct 2, 2023

We have all heard the expression, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression”. This is especially true when it comes to interviewing. Sometimes, that impression is made before you speak a word and that’s exactly why it’s important to be intentional in how you are visually showing up for an interview, whether in person or virtually. It’s not all about the appearance factor, though. How you dress can have a direct impact on your confidence level and how you carry yourself during the interview.

Read below for our best practices on how to dress for your interview success.

1. Do your research: When you are reviewing the company’s website and LinkedIn page, look for photos of group events that can help give insight into the company culture and dress code, if any. This is an opportunity for you to view if the organization is progressive or old-school.

2. When in doubt – go the business casual route: Business casual looks like khakis and a button-down shirt, or slacks and a blouse or sweater; no t-shirts (especially nothing with a message; even branding can create a bias) and no sneakers or open-toe shoes. For senior level positions, we recommend more formal attire. It is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed, and you can always remove a suit jacket.

3. Do a dress rehearsal: Make sure your interview outfit is ready by cleaning, pressing and removing any pet hair, making sure everything fits properly and you are physically comfortable by trying on each item. If there is something about the fabric or fit that causes you to fidget with it, it can be a distraction for both you and the interviewer. For interviews, less skin is better for first impressions. This includes avoiding low cut tops, bare shoulders, muscle shirts, or skirts/dresses that are too short.

4. Accessorize with care: Less is more when it comes to accessories for a job interview. Keep the focus on you and your qualifications and off any flashy items. Resist the temptation to wear cologne or perfume as it can be very distracting in an interview setting (especially in small office environments). If you are unsure of your audiences’ potential biases, consider minimizing the view of any facial jewelry or body tattoos. And remember...

5. Confidence is your best accessory! Good posture, eye contact, a genuine smile, and a firm handshake (in person, of course) will solidify a positive impression of the care you took to be prepared for your interview.

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