What Nobody Tells You about Dressing for a Job Interview

BreakingModern — By the time a young adult enters the workforce, professors and mentors have provided dozens of tips about the job interview process. Tips like “never wear jeans” and “leave the flip flips at home” are almost insulting, they’re so obvious. Still, on the day of a big job interview, most of us are left standing in front of our closets, thinking nothing quite seems sufficient to impress a potential employer.

Complicating matters is the fact that the job market has changed since your professors and parents started out. As the job market changes, so do the suggestions for appropriate interview attire. Here are a few things you may never hear from a job interviewer that could cost you a great job opportunity. Business people waiting for job interview

Dressy Isn’t Always the Answer

Traditionally, recruiters and hirers have advised that dressy is always better. Yet many employers today have been advised to hire for culture fit. If you walk in wearing a business suit, you may stand out as too stiff and uptight for the environment.

Today it’s easy to find out information on a company’s dress code before the interview date. Review the company’s website and note how the employees dress and groom themselves. If it seems to be a jeans-and-T-shirts environment, business casual interview attire may be more appropriate. Just be sure you slightly overdress for the interview to show you respect the interview process.

Too Casual Is Never the Answer

Some people believe that if they are true to themselves, they’ll naturally get the job that’s right for them. While some elements of that are true, if you show up for a job interview with nose rings and tattoos showing, you’ll likely send the wrong message. Landing and maintaining a job often involves showing that you’re willing to play the game, which for interview purposes means dressing as though you’re showing up to meet your girlfriend’s parents, not attending a frat party.

job interview 02

Inappropriate Dress is a Red Flag

Tight, revealing clothing will send the wrong signal in any office, even if you’re attractive. Skirts should fall below the knee when sitting and necklines should be high enough to avoid revealing too much skin, and tats. An inappropriate outfit will distract the interview and keep you from being taken seriously. Additionally, avoid wearing overwhelming perfume or cologne.

Mind the Details

You may have never given a single thought to the condition of your shoes, but your interviewer likely will. Scuffs and broken heels stand out in a job interview, as do chipped fingernail polish or a scruffy beard. Prior to your interview, pay a visit to a local hair salon and have a fresh haircut. Your nails should be trimmed and devoid of flashy nail polish. Leave the flashy jewelry at home, as well.

As the job market continues to change, it’s important that job applicants use the Internet to carefully research a company before interviewing. When in doubt, contact the human resources person for the company and ask how the hiring manager prefers candidates to dress. Often HR personnel are more than happy to help candidates increase their chances of having a favorable interview.

For BMod, I’m .

Featured/First Image Credit: © Africa Studio / Dollar Photo Club

Second Image Credit: © WavebreakMediaMicro / Dollar Photo Club

Stephanie Faris

Author: Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of two middle grade novels, 25 Roses and 30 Days of No Gossip, as well as the upcoming Piper Morgan chapter book series. A graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, she worked in information systems for 13 years. Her work is regularly featured on a wide variety of blogs and websites, both under her own name and as a ghostwriter. She lives in Nashville with her husband, Neil.

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