Dress For Success

Congratulations! You have an interview and you’ve completed your research. Now you have to decide what to wear to your interview.

Some jobs require a certain appearance, for example, it is reasonable to expect a receptionist for a stylish spa to have an attractive, trendy appearance. Other jobs should not require emphasis on appearance; however, the reality is that first impressions are critical. You want to look good, and you want to look appropriate for the employment position. Your attire will set the tone for the interview.

The first step is determining what is appropriate. You can simply ask the Human Resources department as to the appropriate attire. If it is a smaller organization, may not want to have to ask your contact person… perhaps you can visit the company’s office (or ask a sneaky friend) to observe the dress code. Make sure the visit is not on a “casual day” such that you misinterpret the dress code.

Standard job interviewing attire for women consists of a conservative dark navy skirt suit. Job experts and employers seem split on the notion of pants suits, so a skirted suit is a safer choice, but ultimately, your clothing has to reflect “you” and you have to be very comfortable in your selection of interview clothes. After all, once you set the tone with the interview, your employer will expect that you will maintain “the look” although you may dress in a more casual manner, once you gain some seniority.

Unless you’re applying for a particularly trendy work environment and you’re expected to “fit the bill”, make sure your skirt length is at least knee-length, if not a little below. No low-cut tops that reveal cleavage unless the job you’re applying for involves dancing around a pole bar. The best choice is a white shirt. Dresses are not a great option. Shoes should be low-heeled.

Apply make-up with a light touch, again bearing in mind that if you wear light make-up for the interview, the employer will expect that you will not show up for your first day of work with your “evening look”. In other words, consider that you will have to maintain the look so pick a look that is professional and also reflects your own personality.

Choose pantyhose in a neutral color (navy, beige, etc.), un-patterned ideally. Bring an extra pair of pantyhose just in case! You don’t want to step into an interview with long runs down your leg!

If your present wardrobe lacks an appropriate suit, and your budget is limited, consider borrowing a suit (unless you secure the job at which time you will have to ensure that you have the appropriate attire in your own wardrobe), you can also consider local discount stores. You don’t have to purchase an expensive suit to look good. Keep you back straight, head up, choose appropriate clothing which flatters your body shape, prepare your professional smile and rev up your confidence!

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