Seven seconds. That is the amount of time you have to make a first impression that could determine the entire course of your interview. Like it or not, those seven seconds are based strictly on appearance and professionalism. One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is in their wardrobe choice for an interview. Here are a few guidelines that should be followed when dressing for an interview where the culture is business professional.
|Guidelines for Women||Guidelines for Men|
|Suits, Dresses: Conservative business suit, pantsuit, or dress of natural or woven-blend fabric; skirt length should be at your knee. Choose a color that complements your skin tone and hair color; beige, black, navy, or gray. Make sure your clothes are not too tight or too loose.||Suits: Preferred dark blue, gray, or muted pin-stripes. Muted brown or black also acceptable. A quality woven blend of natural fibers looks professional. Avoid bold pin-stripes, contrasting slacks and sport coat, or light colors.|
|Blouses or tops: Simple style. Avoid low-cut necklines or very frilly styles.||Shirts: A nice quality white button-down or white classic collar is preferred. Oxford blue or a muted stripe is also acceptable. Be sure it is ironed.|
|Shoes: Polished pumps or medium heels in a neutral color that matches your outfit.||Ties are a MUST|
|Shoes: Highly polished slip-ons or laced dress shoes; brown, cordovan, or black.|
A good rule of thumb: Dress for the job that you want, not necessarily the job that you are interviewing for. If you are interviewing for an entry level position, dress like you were interviewing for a more senior position. Why? Because employers like to hire people that they believe can grow in the company. Someone who presents sloppy doesn’t exactly scream a go getter. Nailing a good impression in the first seven seconds will set the tone of the interview. Don’t let something as simple as your choice of clothing get in between you and your dream job.
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