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When you feel good about the way you look, you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude.
Interviews are formal situations. A clean and neat professional appearance is an important step in making a good first impression. You want the interviewer to focus on you and your skills not your clothes. Dress as you want to be seen: professional, successful, and the kind of person the company wants representing them.
You will want to have at least one good outfit ready to wear. That way you won't have to scramble when you get a last-minute interview.
While there are no absolute rules, a good tip is to dress as you would if you were working at the company. Before you interview, visit the company to see how people in positions similar to the one you applied for are dressed. That way you can show up for the interview dressed as if you already belong there.
Not all workplaces require employees to wear business suits. Those industries could include factory assembly work, fast food restaurants, building maintenance, and many retail positions. Some positions may also require you wear a uniform. In both cases, a business casual outfit would be more appropriate. This might be khaki pants and a sweater or long-sleeve shirt. Don't go too casual.
In any job interview, you need to make sure that your clothes fit well and are clean, not wrinkled or stained. Clean, appropriate shoes are also important. Below are clothing items that are not acceptable for interviews:
If you are interviewing for a corporate, professional-level job, your wardrobe basics should include formal business wear:
Men should wear a conservative tie that coordinates well with the suit. Dress socks should match shoes and pants. Pants should be high enough to cover the ankle and leg while sitting.
Women's hosiery should be a neutral tone or sheer black. Skirt suits should be no shorter than the top of the knee, and you should be able to sit comfortably. Heels should be closed-toed and no higher than 1 1/2 inches.
Many organizations collect clothing donations for working adults. If you need help getting work clothes, check out resources like Goodwill and Salvation Army in your area.
Personal grooming is just as important as what you wear. You may select the right clothes, but neglecting personal hygiene can ruin the image you wish to present. Review the following grooming checklist before meeting with an employer.
Source: Adapted from Creative Job Search, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and the SYMS Dress to Achieve website.