Dressing for Success
This should be such a no brainer.Â That said, I’ve interviewed folks that have come dressed just a step above what they crawled out of bed with.Â In fact, according to Randall Hansen, a professor of business at Stetson University in deal in Florida “the most basic mistake most new employees make is under dressing.”Â Give me an “amen!”Â In other words, you do not dress for success; you will have no success.Â When you’re job hunting the first impressions are critical.Â The first impression that the hiring manager made of you was when they saw your resume and cover letter.Â It was a good one, soÂ you made it to the interview, please do not blow it by the way that you dress.
Remember, that during the interview you’re marketing a specific product.Â And that product is you.Â The first thing I, or any employer, notice when I greet you at the door is the way that you’re dressed.Â Is this particularly fair or a good estimation of your qualifications?Â Probably not.Â But, in a conservative and traditional business environment, the way that you dress also says a lot about your ability to act in a professional manner.Â In fact, whether you’re applying for a major, management position, a hot sales spot, or a step above minimum wage (just to keep the lights on and the bills paid), you must dress well.
How you dress is absolutely going to shape the tone of the interview.Â In most cases you should err on the side of traditional and conservative dress, that is unless of course, you’re interviewing with a start up fashion designer who places great value on the funkiness of his staff.Â Now, does that mean coat and tie to apply for cashier spot or stocker position at Walmart, no.Â But a nice collared shirt, good slacks – conservative colorsÂ would makeÂ nice choices.
If its your first interview, you don’t have to run out and spend a lot of money on new clothes but you should make sure you have at least two sets of professional attire, whether you are a man or woman.Â Two is definitely enough to get you started and get your foot in the door until you can gain a greater understanding of the business climate in the office.Â For an experienced professional, this is all for granted, nevertheless, I am amazed at the times that I have had folks come in with out dated ties, colors that are just odd, or a pink streak in their hair.Â Why?Â So, have a couple of good looking professional attire – your Sunday best – that you look great in, conservatively.
Pay great attention to detail.Â In other words make sure that your shoes are cleaned and polished.Â Wear a well groomed hair style that engenders confidence.Â Pay attention to your fingernails which should be cleaned and trimmed and wear very minimal cologne or perfume if any.Â Nothing is more distracting during an interview then trying to think past the overwhelming odor of a perfume you can’t stand.
When you walk in to the interview your teeth should be well brushed and you should have fresh breath but you should have no gum, candy or any other objects in your mouth.Â You should be wearing minimal amounts of jewelry and you should definitely not have any body odor.
If you’re a woman it’s best to wear either a solid color or a very minimal print.Â Do not go with a dress or suits that screams at your interviewer.Â Wear a coordinated blouse and moderate shoes, no spiked heels.Â You may not usually wear nylons but for this occasion you should don a pair of tan or light colored hosiery.Â The impression is solid, serious professional.
For guy, I want to see you show up in a solid color conservative suit,long sleeved white shirt and conservative tie.Â This is not the time to debut your Disney tie that your five year old gave you for Christmas last year.Â Unless, it’s to make a point.Â Once, I wore a red, polyester tie with white, cartoony sheeps all over it, with one black sheep smack in the middle.Â It was conversation piece, broke the ice.Â It also made the point that I had no fear of bucking the crowd, if need to be.Â I had the courage to be a black sheep.Â Well, that was the narrative anyways.Â Hair styles should be conservative and professional, nails should be trimmed and go easy on the aftershave.Â Do not mix white socks with professional shoes and wear very limited amount of jewelry.
Remember that you’re not dressing to attract attention but rather to underscore your professionalism and your competence.Â Fact is, if you dress like a top notch professional, that’s how you’ll act, and boy, will that come through in the interview.