How Should I Dress For My Interview?

After all of these years of schooling, the time will eventually come where you have to interview for a full-time position.  Sure, most of us have interviewed for a service job, where the main guideline is “no jeans or t-shirts.”  But when you’re looking for a professional job, the guidelines are a bit more strict.

For Girls:

  • Save the four-inchers for the club.  I’m a huge fan of shoes.  And my motto has always been, “the taller, the better.”  Unless you’re going into an interview.  Don’t wear heels higher than 3 inches, and definitely no platforms!  A pair of classic black pumps or booties would be a good investment for your upcoming job searches.
  • Hide the cleavage.  It’s okay to wear a form-fitting blouse, you don’t want to look frumpy, but make sure you don’t  have cleavage showing.  If you’re wearing a button-up, either button it up far enough, or wear a tank top underneath.  It may be advisable to skip any kind of v-neck that has even a bit of a plunging neckline.
  • Skirts shouldn’t be any more than an inch above the knee.  And definitely not super tight.  Look “nice” and “presentable.”  If you look in the mirror and think “Wow, I look  hot,” you’re probably doing it wrong.
  • Keep it neutral.  This goes for you outfit and makeup.  Stick with basic colors like, black, white, navy, or brown, with pops of color. You don’t want to draw a lot of attention to yourself.  After all, you want your interviewer to remember you by your awesome performance, not your bright pink blazer.  When it comes to your makeup, less is more.  Play up your eyes a little bit, but don’t go overboard.  Then put some light colored lip gloss or lipstick on.  I cannot stress how many girls don’t seem to know the difference between daytime and nighttime makeup.  Save the red lipstick, smoky eyes and glitter for date night.
  • Last but not least, your hair.  The hair is a tough one.  Wear it styled simply down, or in a crisp ponytail. You don’t want to give off the impression that you don’t care, but you also don’t want to give your interviewer the impression that you took an hour to curl and crimp and blow dry and spray your hair.  It looks unnatural and may give them the idea that you’re high maintenance.  No interviewer wants to hire someone who spends so much time on their hair that they’re late for work.

For Guys:

  • Wear clothes that fit nicely.  Too often I see guys walking around in dress clothes that don’t fit properly, and they would look so much more professional if they did!  You don’t want to look like you’re swimming in your dress shirt, with the back all puffed out because of all of the access material, but you don’t want to look like the lead singer of an indie band, either. You know what I mean.
  • Wear clean shoes.  It’s not very becoming to see a pair of dress shoes caked in dirt.  Some guys will spend loads of time cleaning up their sneakers, but completely neglect their dress shoes.  And this baffles me.
  • Do your research.  Sorry, guys, this goes for you more so than girls.  Office attire for a woman is office attire.  But depending on the office, men’s formality rates differ.  Some places call for just a polo shirt and dress pants, and others call for suits and dress shirts.  After all, you don’t want to end up like these guys.

“You’re wearing tuxedos to a job that requires you to clean bathrooms.”

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Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski

Carmen Bojanowski is a senior at Eastern Michigan University, double majoring in journalism and communications. She writes for her college newspaper, mostly covering local bands and interns at 89x, a metro-Detroit radio station. She frequents the movie theater and when she has free time, she likes spend it with her friends. Carmen hopes to one day be a music journalist.