Summary: The first impression at an interview will set the tone immediately as to whether or not you will be hired, so make it a good one with professional attire.
You put forth all the effort to get an interview for the past several weeks. Now is the time to prepare your outfit for the interview so you make the best first impression possible. Men can never go wrong with a two-piece suit with matching shoes. Women can go with a simple suit and skirt outfit for a true professional look.
Always go to an interview freshly groomed. Wash your hands and hair. Men need to trim or shave any facial hair. Women should put on natural makeup – no red lipstick or smoky eyes. Women need to also keep any nail polish to a natural color. Here are more specific guidelines.
– Pick a conservative colored two-piece suit such as dark grey or navy. Wool, wool blends and other quality twines will be the best looking suits. Tailor the suit to fit you.
– For the shirt, make sure it is long-sleeve in white, light blue, or a conservative print.
– Ties need to be a high quality silk with a small pop of color. Look at what other men in your industry are wearing to get an idea of what colors are most popular.
– Your belt and shoes should match.
– Jewelry should be at a minimum – a classic wristwatch is all you need.
– Socks are in a dark color at mid-calf length.
– Shoes can have laces or be a slip-on but they should be leather.
What not to wear:
– Character ties
– “Formal” shorts
– Trendy dress shirts
– Powder blue suits
– Two-piece suits need to be tailored to your body to be fitted but not tight. Grey, dark grey, black, or navy is acceptable colors. If you decide on pants over a skirt, have them hemmed so the cuff is just above the floor. A skirt must match the blazer and must cover your thighs completely when sitting.
– You can wear a tailored blouse, kit sweater, or shell under the blazer. Keep cleavage to a minimum and stay away from shirts that are see-through.
– Hosiery should be neutral in color to match your suit, plain or sheer is best.
– Leather pumps in a color that match your suit will look best. The heel height should be a medium height unless you need to wear shorter.
– Wear minimal jewelry, just earrings, a ring or two, and a simple necklace at most.
– Your handbag should not look to costume-like or ostentatious.
What not to wear:
– Mini skirts
– Large jewelry pieces
– Deep-V sequin shirts
– Platform or stiletto pumps
– Tote bag
To learn more about what you should be wearing to an interview, read these articles:What to Wear and Not Wear to Interviews by Amanda Griffin