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Dressing for success: Appropriate interview attire

An appropriately dressed candidate makes the best first impression.
An appropriately dressed candidate makes the best first impression.
Search Engine People Blog

A common mistake that many women make when preparing for a job interview is not dressing appropriately. Wearing the wrong accessories and clothing can eliminate you from the rosters of an employer before you even open your mouth.

In interviews, first impressions can sometimes make or break you. Wearing blue jeans and open toe shoes to an interview sends the message that you aren’t aware of how to dress for the professional climate. Most companies employ a dress code based on their clientele. If you are working in retail, more often than not, the dress code will be business casual to match that of most customers.

Business casual can include khakis or black pants, closed toe and closed heel shoes, plain shirts or blouses, and conventional haircuts. There are often stipulations made about visible tattoos and piercings as well. When interviewing at a retail establishment, it is a good idea to get a feel for what the employees are wearing before you go into your interview. If they are wearing khakis and a button up shirt, it should be appropriate for you as well. Make sure your nails are clean and plain; your hair is nicely groomed, and you are wearing minimal accessories.

Interviews at corporations or larger businesses often require more effort for the candidate in regards to dress. You should wear black, grey, brown, or any neutral color. A business suit is always appropriate, but in the absence of one, you can pair a nice pair of trousers with a fitted blazer. Again, accessories should be kept at a minimum. It is a rule of thumb to keep your jewelry understated with pieces such as a simple necklace, a ring, and stud earrings. Shoes should be easy to walk in and clean. The rule is the same as in the retail interview. Closed toe and closed heel simple shoes are the way to go.

In addition to simple accessories and dress, makeup should be done in neutral colors and be kept simple for both types of interviews. The brighter your makeup, the more it draws attention from what you are saying in the interview. Low key lips and cheeks will keep all of the focus on you and your resume.

With these simple guidelines, any job candidate should have no problem in making it to the second interview.

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