Dressing for Success: First Impression at an Interview

Having the necessary skills and qualifications for a new position is essential when applying for a new job, but did you know that your appearance is one of the first impressions you give a hiring manager?  Make sure to put your best foot forward with these tips on dressing for success!

The attire you choose to wear during your job interview should be appropriate for the industry you are applying for.  Let the hiring manager know that you are capable of completing the requirements involved in the role by exemplifying professionalism through your experience as well as your appearance.  Since a sales candidate will have more face-to-face time with potential clients and customers, choice of attire will be something that hiring managers will take note of.  Before selecting your outfit, consider following these guidelines:

  1. Pick out your interview outfit ahead of time. By having your outfit prepared for your interview ahead of time you may reduce stress, have time to focus on what you will say during the interview, and feel more confident the day of.
  2. Research the company’s dress code or general attire. Start by visiting the company’s website to observe what managers and leaders are wearing.  Next, find an employee or staff member within the company on LinkedIn and see what that individual is wearing in their profile.  Lastly, combine a medium between these two roles’ clothing to use as a base for what you should wear during the interview.  If you are still unsure about what to wear, or if you are deciding between a couple of outfits- keep in mind that is usually better to overdress than underdress!
  3. Iron and press. If you have successfully chosen an interview outfit, make sure to have it wrinkle free by ironing and pressing the material beforehand!  Wrinkles in a blouse or in trousers may not seem like a deal breaker, but these small details left unattended can become a distraction during the interview process.
  4. Keep makeup and hair neutral and clean. Try to avoid using bright eyeshadows or loud hairstyles as they can be a distraction during the interview!  You want to look polished, approachable, and as professional as possible.
  5. Add a classy conversation piece to your attire. Showing you have personality is important during the interview process as well!  Consider wearing a piece of jewelry or cuff links that make you feel confident and are unique to those around you.
  6. Wear something that speaks professionalism, but that is comfortable. When interviewing for a new job, you want to appear pleasant, comfortable, and approachable.  You may have a great outfit chosen for the occasion, but if you are uncomfortable while wearing it- it may show during the interview process!  Avoid this mishap by trying on your outfit a few days beforehand to insure that you will feel comfortable and confident.
  7. Reference what you have worn to other interviews. Keep in mind what articles of clothing/accessories worked well during other interviews and what did not.  Avoid items that seemed to distract hiring managers, and focus on pieces that seemed to have gained approval.

No matter what you decide on wearing to your interview; remember that being polite, keeping good eye contact, and having a straight posture speak volumes of your confidence!  Make sure to wear an outfit that showcases your attention to detail, professionalism, and positive presence.  Good luck!