You’ve heard it before, and it is true. First impressions really do count.

If you are wanting an edge on interview success, keep this in mind before your next interview, internship, or career fair. Even if you are a student, when trying to score a job leading to a career, you will want to dress for the career you want. Your interview attire will depend on the career in which you are searching. If you are looking for a non-business career, you will want to dress in "business casual" attire. If interested in a non-management industrial career, you may be able to "relax the rules a bit". If it is a business career you seek, you will need to show up in "business" attire.

BUSINESS CASUAL attire is recommended for NON-BUSINESS interviews, as follows:

Men –

  • Dress Slacks in black, gray, dark blue, burgundy or even tan chinos
  • Long sleeved, buttoned down shirt
  • Tie (optional); be sure it’s void of a lot of patterns; plain is best
  • Belt
  • Dark socks
  • Dress shoes

Women –

  • Dress pants or skirt in black, gray, dark blue or burgundy
  • Blouse
  • Closed toes shoes

INDUSTRIAL, NON-MANAGEMENT interviews may be EVEN MORE RELAXED, but whether you are a woman or man, be sure that your clothes are clean and pressed. Have a clean, neat hairstyle and men, groom your beard and/or shave. Nails should be clean and trimmed. Strong colognes and perfumes are not recommended.

BUSINESS or MANAGEMENT careers require you to "up the anty" and the following is recommended for interview attire:

Men -

  • An attractive suit in black, navy, brown or gray
  • A white shirt with sleeves extending one quarter of an inch beyond the suit jacket sleeve
  • Dress socks in a complementary color; never athletic socks
  • Lace up, dress shoes are best
  • Coordinating belt
  • Jewelry limited to a watch and ring (optional)

Women -

  • Pants or skirt suits in black, gray, dark blue or burgundy; If you choose to wear a skirt, the hem should be just above or below the knee
  • Always wear skin colored hose with skirts and knee highs with a pant suit
  • Dress shoes, preferably "closed toe" pumps
  • Purses or brief cases are acceptable, but please, not both
  • Camisole and slip when wearing light colored or lightweight materials
  • Jewelry limited to watch, ring, and a perhaps a basic necklace (optional)

Sometimes budget is a concern, and you cannot purchase interview clothing new. If you find yourself in this situation, consignment shops and thrift stores may be a good short term answer. You can also save money by shopping the off-season sales at larger department stores. Women, you can purchase items that you can mix and match. Once you are "in line" for a new career, gradually add clothes to your wardrobe that are appropriate for your work environment.

Cleanliness, neatness and dressing for the job you want, will help put you on a more positive path for success during your interview.

We wish you much success in your job search and in your future employment!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email