Job Interview Preparation: What To Wear

Job interview preparations, though the rules of dress within the workplace are quickly changing, appropriate job interview attire has remained consistently business-like.

When it comes to job interviews, what you look like counts! As shallow as it sounds, your appearance is one aspect of your overall person that can make or break an interviewer's decision of whether or not they should hire you.

Though dress codes in the work place have become much more informal in the past several years -- it seems that the "Casual Friday" sentiment has invaded Monday through Friday as well -- job interview attire has remained strictly professional. A pair of khakis and a button down shirt may work once you get to the office, but before being hired, such an ensemble is always a no no. Both men and women alike are expected to wear business suits to any and every interview, and any exception to the rule may be a real cause of concern for the interviewer.

For women, the best choice of interview attire is a smart business suit in a conservative color such as navy blue or black. Although pant suits have become the choice of apparel for many female professionals, proper interview etiquette still calls for female interviewees to wear a skirt to the meeting. When abiding by this rule, be sure to use good judgment as far as the length of the skirt is concerned. When in doubt as to the appropriateness of skirt length, think of knee-length as the ideal.

Other tips for women including making sure to tone down any makeup. If you are going to wear nail polish (though you may want to refrain altogether), a very light color or clear coat is the best option. If you choose to wear jewelry, make sure that the styles chosen are conservative ones. Earrings should be small, and the number of rings and bracelets you choose to put on should be minimal.

For men, a suit is still the required uniform. Again, a conservative color like navy blue or charcoal gray is your best bet. Aside from being more professional looking, dark colors like these make it easier to change the entire look with just the change of a tie or shirt. This can be a particularly useful trick to employ when you need to interview more than once at the same company, but don't have a wardrobe full of new suits to wear. Men too should choose to leave the jewelry at home, as the only thing you want to call attention to is your world of experience.

Careful grooming is something that both genders should pay careful attention to. Make sure that your hair is neat and professional looking. Long hair should be pulled back and out of your face (for both men and women). For men with facial hair, be sure that your beard or moustache is neat and trimmed. If you prefer the freshly shaven look, be sure and take the extra few minutes to get a shave in before the interview.

A final tip to remember - for men and women alike - is to go easy on the perfume or cologne. Though you certainly want to smell good for the interview, you don't want to send an allergic interviewer running out in the midst of a sneezing fit.

So, while the rules of dress in the workplace may be more casual, stick to the rules of professionalism when dressing for an interview. Only when you land that job (because of your impeccable job interview appearance) can you start applying the business casual look to your eveyday work life.

© High Speed Ventures 2011