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Center for Career and Calling

Dress for an Interview

You never get a second chance to make a first impression! That is why it is so important to dress appropriately for interviews. Make a professional first impression and take what you wear to the interview seriously.

Industries have different dress codes. Fields such as banking, accounting, and finance often have more formal guidelines compared to industries like advertising, education, and public relations. Regardless of the industry, however, you should always look professional and polished. Even if a "business casual" approach is acceptable after you are hired, you should dress more professionally for the interview. It is often recommended that a job seeker dress for at least one position 'higher' than the one for which you are being interviewed.

Also, remember that although tattoos and piercings may be commonly accepted in your social group, it may not be viewed positively by an older interviewer, therefore, to eliminate possible misperceptions, cover up tattoos and remove piercings for the interview. Always err on the side of being over-dressed and conservative, wear a suit if in doubt!

General Tips:

  • Wear a conservative suit
  • Clothing should fit well and be clean and pressed
  • Go easy on jewelry, perfume/after-shave, and make-up
  • Tattoos should be covered and piercings removed (conservative earrings for women are fine)
  • Need a breath mint?
  • Bring a portfolio or briefcase with pad and pen and extra copies of your resume
  • Jeans and tennis shoes are never appropriate - regardless of what might be acceptable once hired
  • If it's too tight, too loose, too short or too revealing - don't wear it!

Dress for Interview Success
While the college campus may be the perfect forum in which to exhibit your flair for the latest in fashion style, the interview is not the place to do so.

When Job Hunting: Dress For Success
First impressions are critical. Remember, you are marketing a product -- yourself -- to a potential employer, and the first thing the employer sees when greeting you is your attire.

Interview Dress
You are marketing yourself to an employer as a potential employee, so pay close attention to the "package" you present.




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