Don’t Just Select Your Interview Outfit – Prepare It!

August 14, 2012

A common interview question is, “How do you feel about adhering to a dress code?” The answer to this question is often already answered by your choice in interview attire. Even if you know for a fact that you will only be required to wear a T-shirt and jeans in the position for which you are interviewing, you should always dress your best. As an experienced hiring manager in the medical field once said, “Although seeing an RN wear scrubs to an interview is not unusual, dressing professionally is always best.” Why take this extra measure? You will stand out that much more. When interviewing for a position that will require professional dress each day, many details can make or break a stand-out appearance for that first impression. Particularly if it’s your first time or one of a few times you’ve worn a suit, you don’t want to risk being obvious about that fact by making easily avoidable mistakes. Resource expertise Some stores have helpful associates who can give suggestions for the elements that will build your look. A friend that exudes professional style and works in a similar career may also be helpful to bring along on your interview outfit hunt. Any pieces that you already own and are planning on incorporating into the outfit should come with you on this shopping excursion. By doing this, you can ensure that pant lengths work with your shoe height, the jacket fits well over the shirt, and the belt fits through those loops. Practice your look Walk in the shoes, wear stays in your collar, sit in the skirt, and tie the tie the DAY BEFORE your interview. New shoes hurt, heels can be difficult if you don’t often wear them, collars can make your neck itchy, and ties need practice. The last thing you need during your interview is the distraction of pain or discomfort. Be prepared to discover avoidable changes to your outfit as a result of this practice – yes, those are your best earrings, but you can’t have them catching in that fluffy blouse collar every 5 minutes. Know the “rules” Beyond fit issues and style mishaps, there are a few commonly broken rules for what is considered to be appropriate interview attire. While you may interview with someone who has no issue with open-toed shoes or the lack of a tie, you shouldn’t take that risk. We’ll leave you with a few more quick tips for avoiding some of these common mistakes. Women should avoid:

  • Open-toed shoes
  • Short skirts
  • Bare legs with skirts
  • Sleeveless tops and dresses
  • Denim
  • Animal prints
  • Low-cut necklines
  • Strong perfume
  • Large jewelry
  • Exposed tattoos

Men should avoid:

  • Denim
  • Excessive jewelry
  • Graphic prints
  • Athletic shoes (even the dressier versions)
  • Strong cologne
  • Rolled up sleeves
  • Unkempt facial hair
  • Exposed tattoos

The interview process is a great time to inquire about the dress code for your potential position, but you should never assume that one detail of appearance is more acceptable for one employer than for another. You can get a more visual sense of these tips on Dallas Employment Services’ Pinterest board, “Professional Dress” .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *