Making a Good First Impression; What Your Clothes Say About You.
Appropriate attire supports your image as a person who takes the interview process seriously and understands the nature of the industry in which you are trying to become employed.
Communication skills are essential to landing a job. Part of those communication skills is to understand the importance of dressing appropriately for the interview.
In general, it is best to err on the side of conservative dress. Your clothes should play a supporting role in an interview. Interviews are definitely NOT the time to experiment with anything. If you are primarily remembered for your interview attire, this is probably because you made an error in judgment! You want them to notice you were well dressed, but not remember you as “The guy with the crazy socks” or “The woman who wore too much perfume”
Dress the part of a professional in the field for which you are interviewing.
What if I do not have a lot of money to spend? Cost / quality:
You are not expected to be able to afford the same clothing as a corporate CEO. Do invest in quality that will look appropriate during your first two or three years on the job. One good quality suit is sufficient for a job search if that is all your budget allows. You can vary your shirt/blouse tie/accessories.
What do you mean by Professional Dress?
Professional dress (in some countries termed Formal Dress) for men and women is considered to be a suit, a jacket and pants or a skirt, or a dress paired with appropriate accessories.
Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, your chest, your feet, your stomach or your underwear is not professional dress. Clothing should be pressed and never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable and any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be considered offensive is not considered professional dress.
Why should I buy a suit, I never wear them?
Your Social vs. Your Professional Presence – What you wear off-the-job and socially doesn’t have to be what you wear interviewing or at work. In fact, your professional presence may be very different from personal presence, and that’s fine. They don’t have to mesh – you can have a closet full of fun clothes and a wardrobe of work clothes.
Shouldn’t you have some freedom to express yourself through your clothing?
Once you get the job, there’s nothing wrong with showing some individual style. A 23-year-old certainly doesn’t have to dress like someone in his or her 40s. You may even reach a point where you feel you can break some of the rules, but first you need to know what they are.
But what if the job is in a non-suit-wearing work environment?
Dress up for the interview even if you are aware that employees of an organization dress casually on the job. Wearing a suit to the interview shows that you take the interview seriously. As a professional, meeting and dressing well is a compliment to the person(s) with whom you meet. If you think the industry in which you’re interviewing would frown on a suit, or the interview will involve going to a work site where a suit would be inappropriate, look for advice through professional organizations, your professors who have been employed in that industry, and/or by asking the employer directly and politely.
What is considered business casual?.
Cotton or other material pants, wool pants, and nice looking dress pants are business casual. In some work places jeans are considered business casual, but always check with a manager to see if this is the case at your job site. Casual dresses and skirts are acceptable. Dress and skirt length should be at a length at which you can sit comfortably in public.
Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for work. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also acceptable attire for the office.
Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes are acceptable for work
Unacceptable Business Casual Attire
Leggings/Spandex Mini-skirts/Micro shorts
Flip-flops (even “dressy“ones) Spaghetti-strap dresses
Tank tops/halter tops Tops that bare midriff
Message T-shirts with offensive pictures/words Cartoon T-shirts
What NOT to Bring
Cell phone (turn it OFF
, vibrate mode can still be heard)
Coffee or soda
If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only, is a good rule), and cover tattoos
No flip flops