Great news! You've landed an interview. Now, you need to decide what to wear to this important meeting. However, choosing the right outfit can be easier said than done. Often, it's hard to know what's most appropriate when meeting with a hiring manager. Here are some pointers:
- Your go–to outfit should be a suit.
- Both men and women should opt for neutral colors, such as navy blue, gray or black. You want the interviewer to focus on what you have to say during the interview, not on any loud colors or prints you may be wearing.
- Avoid clothes that are too sheer or revealing; always take a second look before heading out the door.
- Even if you're meeting at a company known for business casual attire, it's wise to dress more formally to show your professionalism. You're not an employee yet, so you want to demonstrate that you take the opportunity seriously.
- Check that your clothes are clean, pressed and in good condition at least several days before the interview. This will give you time for a quick trip to the dry cleaner or to have last–minute alterations made, if necessary.
- Flip–flops, sandals, clogs and other casual footwear are never appropriate for an employment interview.
- Instead, opt for closed–toe, conservative shoes that won't detract from your outfit. Make sure they are polished and not in need of repair.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewelry or facial piercings.
- All accessories should be simple and small.
- If you have to ask yourself whether a particular ring or pin is appropriate, chances are it isn't.
- Hair and makeup should be kept simple.
- Don't go overboard with styling products, fragranced soap or cologne, and avoid smoking right before the interview.
- Unwelcomed scents may not only be annoying to the hiring manager but also could lead to an allergic reaction — causing you to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.
- Before you leave, check that your fingernails are neatly trimmed and not too long. Women wearing nail polish should make sure that it's not chipped and that the color is subtle.
Finally, be sure that you take into account the work environment before finalizing your look for the meeting. For instance, if you'll be interviewing for an administrative position at the local animal shelter, you may look out of place in a suit. You should aim to dress professionally, however, even in casual situations. So choose slacks and a button–down shirt over jeans and a T–shirt. You'll increase your chances of making a positive first impression — and landing the job.