Dress For Success!

You’ve aimed high in your career and have just identified a company that you’d like to work for.  Having done your research on the company, the position and the hiring manager, you’re now ready to nail the job interview. Oh, but what to wear?   You only have one opportunity to make a first impression.

Confirming your references, identifying the driving route to the interview and reviewing pertinent interview questions are all critical components to making a solid first impression. Browse the website, speak to the receptionist and attempt to gather as much information as possible on the culture of the organization.  If the entire staff is in jeans, and you show up in a suit, this won’t bode well.  While having polished attire is important, over dressing can be as much of a mistake as under dressing. If the office attire appears to be weekend casual, aim for business casual for the interview. If the office attire is business casual, aim for business formal.

Go over your dress selection at least two days prior to the interview. This will allow time for both dry cleaning and mending if necessary.  Keep jewelry and fussy accessories to a minimum. Not only can these overstate your attire, but they can be distracting as well.  A fresh haircut one week prior to the interview is also recommended.   Keep makeup to a minimum.  Have shoes polished and keep handbags smaller and more conservative.  Remove anything that references religious or political persuasions.  Most important, be comfortable. You clothing should fit well, but not be too tight or too loose.

The absolute most critical piece to wear to an interview for the best first impression is a genuine smile and relaxed self-confidence.  Remember, an interview is a two way street. You are interviewing the company as well. Is this the industry, culture and environment where you want to spend the next two – to four years of your life?   Put your best foot forward, know your background, be confident and you’ll nail the interview.  Once you have received an offer, all of your efforts will have been validated and well worth the time and energy spent. Good luck to you!