How you dress says more about you than you may realize. It demonstrates your attention to detail and your judgment of what is appropriate. These are two very important pieces of information for a potential employer. Whether we like it or not, people judge us by how we look. First impressions matter.
Conservative! Many organizations may allow casual attire or a casual day, but until you are quite certain about what it is, it is best to err on the conservative side. Conservative is also the rule on a job hunt. Even in companies where the culture is more casual, they still look for job seekers who stick with the classics.
Conservative suits in dark colors – black, charcoal or navy – are ideal. Men should be in slacks, tie, suit/sport coat and dress shoes. Women should wear slacks or knee-length skirts, tailored suit coat and one-inch heels. All clothing should be ironed, and shoes should be buffed. Again, those who pay attention to every detail of their clothing probably pay attention to every detail on the job.
It’s also imperative that you have a good haircut that is styled neatly, your hands and fingernails are clean and your breath is fresh. Also, wear a minimal amount of jewelry. Men should only wear a watch, a college ring and/or a wedding band. Women should limit their jewelry to stud earrings, two or three rings and a watch. All accessories should be simple and kept to a minimum. Lastly, do NOT wear cologne or perfume. You have no way of knowing whether or not your interviewer is allergic to perfumes. Play it safe.
There is no one perfect outfit. The general rule of thumb when interviewing is to dress one step above what you would wear on the job. Ultimately, you must decide what you are comfortable wearing and what is most appropriate for your situation. And don’t forget – a smile is always the best accessory.