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“Don't confuse club attire with business attire.”
So, you finally got a job interview, after countless rejections and non-responses. Yay! So, once the initial excitement wears off, the fear sets in. It has been a long time you have been on an interview, and times have changed. You once knew what to wear on the interview, but the process has evolved. So, do you wear formal wear, business causal or plain ole casual attire? Hmm…so many choices, but, you want to make the “right” choice. So, what is the right choice in attire for a job interview? Well, if you keep reading you will find out!
Truth-be-told, you are right, times have changed. In the past, getting dressed for a job interview was a big affair. People pulled out their “Sunday Best” and rushed to the beauty salon or barber before the interview. Dreadlocks, buzz cuts, multi-colored hair, and multiple tattoos and piercings were strict “No-Nos”. Even certain fingernail polishes set off red flags back in the ‘50s, ‘60s, ‘70s, and even ‘80s, depending on your industry. Although most employers still expect you to be groomed and dressed nicely, it is normally not to the extent of the former years. In other words, today’s employers want their job candidates to look kempt (put together and clean), they do not require stuffed suits or restricting dresses (complete with pantyhose).
In fact, most job candidates wear business casual attire to job interviews (not too stuffy and not too lax). What is business casual attire? Well, business casual attire usually consists of a nice blouse, pants, and minimal jewelry. For a man it may look like trousers/khakis and a nice collared shirt, while for a woman it may look like knee-length skirts/dresses or trousers (dress slacks), and a blouse or collared shirt. It does not include stuffy suits, jeans, athletic wear, t-shirts, or gaudy colors. So, are you looking for what to wear on your job interview? If so, you are in the right place, because when I am finished with you, you will look and feel like a million bucks!
Dresses & Skirts
Women should not wear inappropriately short skirts or dresses when going to a job interview. Rather, these fashion choices should be knee-length or longer. Why? Well, because a potential employer may be offended by your overabundance of skin. Remember, if you are hired for the job, you will be a representative of that company; therefore, you will need to look presentable while at work. If you aren’t quite sure how to dress (visual representations), look online for business casual attire (the most preferred attire for a job interview). A sleeveless dress or top is fine, as long as you pair it with a nice cardigan. If possible, opt for neutral colored dresses or skirts.
If you are interviewing for a corporate job, you may want to wear a “power suit.” What is a “power suit?” Well, typically it is a blazer, dress slacks, well-tailored trousers, pin-straight suit sets (knee-length skirts), or vests. Stick to navy blue, black, grey, or beige, when selecting your interview attire. Moreover, make sure your suit is clean and pressed before you head out for your interview.
Try to stay away from open-toe shoes, stilettos, and slippers if you are going to an interview; rather off opt for dress shoes. If you are a woman, make sure your heels are modest and low to the ground (pumps or dressy flats in grey, beige, or black). Do not wear dirty, unpolished, or “scuffed up” shoes to the interview. Also, do not wear tennis shoes or boots. Keep your shoes simple. Why? Well, trendy shoes may not be appealing to your potential employer. And, he or she may take your “over the top” shoes as a sign that you are an “attention-seeker.”
Jewelry, Nail Polish, Purses & Glasses
If you are going on an interview, opt for modest but classic jewelry. You do not want to look too gaudy during your interview, because it will distract your potential employer. Therefore, opt for minimal jewelry. If you decide to wear jewelry, select small pieces, like diamond or pearl studs, and a simple necklace or bracelet. If you have rings on your fingers make sure your fingernails are clean and manicured. If you decide to color your nails, stick to neutral colors or a French manicure.
Make sure your nails are not too long. Also, select a black, brown, navy blue, or black purse to take with you to the interview. Make sure the purse is not too large. And, if possible, select a purse that resembles a briefcase, or if you are a man, take a briefcase with you, especially if you plan to offer a presentation or resume during the interview. Furthermore, do not be afraid to wear your prescription glasses to the interview. Why? Well, it will make you appear studious and smart. And, who doesn’t like a smart girl or guy?!
Bourne, L. (2009). The perfect interview outfit. Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/2009/07/30/interview-outfit-fashion-forbes-woman-style-budget.html
Sylvester-Williams, R. (2012). What is business causal? Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/reneesylvestrewilliams/2012/05/09/what-is-business-casual/2/
Virginia Tech. (2015). Interview appearance and attire. Retrieved from http://www.career.vt.edu/interviewing/InterviewAppearance.html#WOMEN
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