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How to Dress for Your Interview

Students have lost out even for part-time jobs because they made the mistake of arriving for an interview dressed inappropriately. It really doesn't matter if you are applying for your first career job after graduation or a part-time job while you are still in school, give yourself the best possible chance by presenting yourself appropriately.

Interview Attire For Women & Men

Tips for Both Men and Women
  • Good hygiene (clean hair, nails), clean attire.
  • Check your breath (coffee, cigarettes, garlic etc. linger longer than you might think). But if you chew gum to cleanse your breath, throw it away in a trash can before you enter the building.
  • Conservative two-piece business suit (solid dark blue or grey is best)
  • Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)
  • No jeans
  • No skin showing at the midriff, no undergarments visible
  • Clean, polished conservative shoes
  • Well-groomed hairstyle
  • Clean, trimmed fingernails
  • Minimal cologne or perfume
  • Empty pockets--no bulges or tinkling coins
  • No gum, candy or cigarettes
  • Light briefcase or portfolio case
  • No visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.)
  • Cell phones turned off and put away
Additional Tips for Men
  • Necktie have a conservative pattern
  • Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best)
  • Dark socks (black is best)
  • Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews
  • No beards or at least, neat facial hair
  • Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed
  • No rings other than wedding ring or college ring
  • No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out)
Additional Tips for Women
  • Suit with a jacket; no dresses. 2nd choice: professional skirt with tailored blouse or pantsuit
  • Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
  • No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead if possible
  • If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color
  • Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)
  • No more than one ring on each hand
  • One set of earrings only
  • Nothing that jangles!
  • Nothing too tight, too short or sheer.
When in doubt, conservative is best. Basic rule of thumb: if you wear it to the club on a Friday night, it's NOT APPROPRIATE for your interview!

If you are still not sure how to dress for the interview, you can always call and ask. Ask to be put through to Human Resources or ask the person who called you to schedule the interview:

"I have an interview with _____ in the _____ department for a position as an _____. Could you please tell me what would be appropriate dress for this interview?"