Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview


Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

So you landed yourself an interview? Well, first, congratulations! Whether it’s to be a server or professional business market mogul, a job is a job and, in this economy, very hard to come by.

Now we all know that the most important part of the interview are the questions that they’ll ask you and how you should answer. I’ll get to that at a part two for this Take, but for now, we need to address the very first thing before you even arrive at the interview.

The outfit.

Um…what do you mean outfit?

I obviously mean what you’re going to wear to the interview. The way you dress is very important, and you should take the time to pick the right outfit. This could be what you physically wear down to how you do your makeup and hair.

What do you mean ‘right outfit’?

Your outfit is the second impression they get of you. Their first impression is your job application. Until they see you, you’re technically just a piece of paper. That’s not meant in a rude way, but they just don’t know you.

Your outfit tells them several things. First, it tells them how serious you are about taking this job. Walking their looking like a hot mess doesn’t exactly scream “I’m doing everything I can to get this job” but being blinged out with huge hoop earrings, large necklaces, ten bracelets, your hair dyed seven different colors and a ring on every finger can possibly send the message that you’re very self-absorbed or even shallow.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

The second thing it tells them is how seriously they should take you. Yes, there is a different. It’s a bit like a first date with someone you meet online. The profile looks good, their picture is awesome, and your conversations are great. You two decide to meet. You dress your best for the occasion because you want them to like you, just like dressing nicely for an interview. However, the person you’re meeting shows up in dirty jeans with holes in it, messy hair, a stain on their shirt, and tells you their nipples are pierced. Odds are, you’ll probably be running away screaming.

It’s the same with an interview. If the employer sees you looking “not your best” or like you fit the description of the position they’re looking for, they most likely will carry this idea over into the interview. See, the way you look is another way you represent the organization you’re applying for, just like your significant other represents you.

So what is the ‘right outfit’?

This question largely depends on the job for which you are being interviewed. You wouldn’t think it, but it’s possible to overdress for an interview.

Here, let me give you an example. If you follow me or read my questions and Takes, you probably know already that I’m a high school teacher. If you didn’t, congratulations, you know now. Anyway, back to the interview outfit.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

I would never wear a business suit to an interview. Why? Because I just don’t need to wear one. Teachers can get away with casual business attire. That can be a nice skirt or pants (that are not jeans), a nice blouse with a scarf, shoes with a heel no larger than two inches, and a cardigan sweater. For men, it’s a nice pair of slacks, button down shirt, and a tie.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

Then there’s someone who is applying for work in professional marketing, sales, or advertising. They are the types who need to wear a suit and tie or, for women, a business pant or skirt suit. They need to look more about business because they will be WORKING in business. However, you can still spice it up a bit. You don't HAVE to wear a white or soft blue shirt. You could wear a different color that will make you stand out. The go to color is usually red, but you could also wear a bright blue shirt to make you stand out a bit.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

Then you have people like my sister. My sister is a graphic designer, which translates to CREATIVITY. For her current graphic design job, she wore a yellow skirt, a white blouse, black cardigan, a blue gem necklace with matching earrings, pink eye shadow, a green leather purse, and put her [waist long] dreadlocks up in a bun shaped like a bow. To top it off, several of her dreads were dyed pink and dirty blonde, which, against black hair, tends to stand out. And, yes, she got the job after one interview.

Just make sure you do some research into the type of job so you know if what you plan to wear is fine.

Nice. Anything else?

Just a couple other things. Certain things pertain to mostly women because, you know, sexism, but some of these things can carry over to men, as well.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

First, let’s talk about makeup. Yes, it’s okay to wear it. No, it’s not okay to look like a picture a kindergarten colored outside the lines. Soft earthy colors are probably your best bet. Even my sister wore soft makeup. Wear colors that match and compliment your skin color, but maybe steer clear of anything that isn’t in the earth tone realm. And lay off the eye liner. No need for a thick line across your eye. If you wear it, keep it thinner. Make sure your makeup blends, too. Clumpy make up is a terrible sight, even if you aren’t in an interview.

Next is the jewelry. Remember the comment I made earlier about being ‘blinged out’? That doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t wear jewelry. It just means that you shouldn’t go overboard. For instance, small to medium sized studs are probably better than hoops. And if you wear a bracelet, it should probably only be one. Watches are a good accessory, as well. A necklace is fine, too, so long as it’s not a bright color. But, again, all this depends on the type of job you’re applying for and how they expect their employees to represent them. And guys? Just wear a watch. You don’t need anything else.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

Lastly is the hair style. The common fallacy is that women have to have their hair in a bun or men need to have short. This is absolutely, 100% not true. Your hair doesn't need to be so restricted, but it should look clean cut and nice. For instance, men should have a clean face and their hair styled in an appropriate manner. It doesn't have to be stereotypical short cut that's brushed forward. Men can have fun with their hair, too. Just make sure it compliments your outfit and makes you look business ready. I do recommend for women with long hair have their hair pulled back just so they aren't constantly moving it of their face. For good examples, please refer back to the business attire examples.

Is that all?

No, it's not. I've saved the best for last.

Finally, we have the one thing most people tend to forget about. What is it? Drum roll please…

Perfume and cologne.

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

Please, for the love of Christ, do NOT drown yourself in perfume or cologne. It’s okay to wear, but if someone can smell you from across the room and it’s burning their nose hairs out, then you are wearing too much. A spritz on the wrist and maybe a bit behind the ear is usually a good spot for women. Unfortunately guys, I’m not entirely sure where yours should go. I’m assuming the wrist and behind the ears are bad places, but cologne tends to be stronger than perfume, anyway. A good test is to spray some on and ask a friend or family member if it’s too strong.

Don’t worry. I know this isn’t all you need to ace an interview. However, the way you dress and carry yourself outwardly is your first physical impression for any job interview. Make sure you dress to impress so your interviewer knows how much you want the job!

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview

Dress To Impress: What You Should Wear For A Job Interview
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