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How To Dress For An Interview

You can never make a first impression two times. So make it count! The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. The first judgment is going to be based on how you look and what you are wearing. That's why, it still is important to pay attention to the dress code when you are interviewing for a professional job, regardless of the work environment.

So, what's the appropriate dress code for an interview? You'll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but a really great one. In general, the candidate dressed in a suit and tie is going to make a much better impression than the candidate dressed in old, saggy jeans and a printed t-shirt.

Here's what to wear to an interview for professional, casual and startup companies, when you want to make the best impression.

Here is How to Dress for a Professional Interview

Men's Interview Attire

  • Suit (well fitted, use solid color - navy or dark grey)
  • Long sleeve shirt (white or coordinated with the suit)
  • Belt
  • Tie
  • Dark socks, conservative dark leather shoes
  • Watch, but little or no jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Trimmed beard or facial hair
  • Limit the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase
  • Women's Interview Attire

  • Suit (navy, black or light/dark grey)
  • The suit skirt should be long enough so you can sit down comfortably
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Conservative shoes
  • Watch, but limited jewelry (no dangling earrings or arms with multiple bracelets)
  • No jewelry is better than cheap jewelry
  • Professional hairstyle
  • Neutral pantyhose
  • Light make-up and limited perfume
  • Neatly manicured clean nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase
  • When the workplace or the job is less formal, the dress code may be as well. If you're not sure what to wear, it's fine check with the person scheduling the interview. However, it's still important not to under dress or leave the prospective employer with a negative impression.

    Wearing the right colors can help convey your confidence, professionalism and your ability to fit into an organization's environment.

    What Not to Bring to the Interview

  • Gum
  • Coffee or soda
  • If you have lots of piercings, leave some of your rings at home (earrings only, is a good rule)
  • Cover tattoos
  • More Interview Attire Tips

  • Before you even think about going on an interview, make sure you have appropriate interview attire and everything fits correctly. Start ahead and go over what may be missing so you are ready on time.
  • Get your clothes ready the night before, so you don't have to spend time getting them ready on the day of the interview.
  • If your clothes are dry clean only, take them to the cleaners after an interview, so they are ready for next time.
  • Polish your shoes.
  • Bring a breath mint and use it before you enter the building.
  • Bring an extra pair of panty hose to make sure you can change if they get a rip.