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The Start of Something New


The start of something new in your career often depends upon the job interview; it is crucial to be as prepared as possible for the interview in order to leave the hiring manager with a good impression. Here are a few tips for both men and women on how to be well groomed and professionally dressed for a job interview. 

When the hiring manager sees that you have put a lot of time and effort into your appearance, they will assume that you dedicate the same amount of attention and detail to your work.

Overall tips:
  • Brush your teeth. The hiring manager does not want to smell or see what you had for breakfast or lunch. If you cannot brush your teeth, chew a piece of gum or eat a mint shortly before the interview. Just don’t forget to spit out your gum!
  • Cut your nails. Upon meeting the hiring manager, both of you will shake hands. You want to avoid stabbing the hiring manager with your sharp nails at the beginning of the interview.
  • Avoid all cologne and perfume. Certain perfumes and colognes are strong and cause people to wrinkle their noses. As long as you have showered and wear deodorant, you will smell just fine.
  • Remove body piercings and cover up visible tattoos.
  • Clean and press your interview outfit. Make sure it fits and that there are no holes, tears, or loose buttons. Also, wear something that is comfortable because you will be wearing it for several hours.
  • Choose appropriate footwear. Always wear closed-toe shoes of neutral colors, such as black, brown, navy, or tan. Wear shoes that look professional and are easy to walk long distances in.
  • Avoid bright colors and bold patterns - it is more professional to wear dark, neutral colors.
  • Avoid wearing too much jewelry because it can be distracting, flashy, and noisy. If you do wear jewelry, make sure it is simple and of the same metal - mixing jewelry of different metals is often frowned upon. Be prepared to answer questions about your engagement or wedding ring and know that you can decline to share this personal information.
  • Arrive at your destination early to make sure you are in the right place. Bring a notepad and a pen in a leather notebook, portfolio, or briefcase, several copies of your resume, and any questions you have for the hiring manager. Keep the manager’s contact info handy in case you end up in an emergency situation or get stuck in traffic.
  • Smile! No matter how nervous you are, put a smile on your face and radiate enthusiasm during the interview. The hiring manager will appreciate your cheerful disposition and interest in the open position.
Interview Outfits for Men:
  • Wear a navy or charcoal 2 piece button suit. For most times of year, a wool or wool-blend suit is appropriate. Underneath, wear a white, cotton, long-sleeved dress shirt.
  • Don’t forget to wear a white undershirt.
  • Choose a tie that matches the color of your suit – it can be either a simple pattern or a solid color, preferably made of silk.
  • Wear dark socks, clean and polished black lace-up shoes, and a matching leather belt.
  • Make sure that you are clean-shaven or have a neatly-trimmed beard. No stubble allowed!
Interview Outfits for Women:
  • Wear a 2 piece pant suit or knee-length skirt suit in dark gray, navy, or black. Again, a wool or wool-blend suit is appropriate.
  • Wear a white or light colored long sleeved blouse and button all the buttons, even the top. The blouse should not be too sheer or low cut – the less skin visible, the better!
  • Choose pantyhose that are neutral or sheer black in color; have an extra pair on hand just in case they rip.
  • Wear closed-toe dark shoes with a 1 or 1.5 inch heel.
  • Wash your hair and style it simply so the hiring manager can easily focus on your face.
  • Wear light, neutral, and natural make-up to complement and accentuate your features; leave the colored and sparkly eye-shadow for another occasion.
These are just a few basic tips and suggestions to help you prepare for a job interview. Our knowledgeable staff here in the Career Center can provide you with more advice on appearance and professional dress and can even conduct a mock interview. Stop by today and allow us to help you prepare for the start of something new!