DMA Portland: What To Wear to an Interview

WHAT TO WEAR TO AN INTERVIEW!

Women’s Interview Attire

  •  Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

 

WHAT NOT TO WEAR TO AN INTERVIEW!

  • Flip-flops or sneakers
  • Underwear (bras, bra straps, briefs, boxers, etc.) that is visible. Don’t wear any underwear that shows – even if your bra straps match your top
  • Shorts
  • Jeans
  • Skirts that are too short
  • Pants that are too low-rise or too tight
  • Blouses that are too low-cut or too short – don’t show your cleavage or your belly

 

TRENDY VS. CLASSIC

  •  A classic interview suit that will last for years is a better investment than the latest trendy attire that will only last a season.
  • Your idea of trendy might not match the interviewer’s perspective on what’s fashionable, so err on the side of dressing conservatively when you interview.
  • Shop Wisely – Visit outlets, shop sales, shop online, and use coupons to get the most mileage out of your interview budget.
  • Plan Ahead – If you have that one classic interview suit in your closet, you’ll be prepared for an unexpected interview, regardless of when it occurs.

 

YOUR PROFESSIONAL PRESENCE

  • Your Social vs. Your Professional Presence -What you wear off-the-job and socially doesn’t have to be what you wear interviewing or at work. In fact, your professional presence may be very different from personal presence, and that’s fine. They don’t have to mesh -you can have a closet full of fun clothes and a wardrobe of work clothes.
  • Perfume and Cologne – Your scent (even if you smell good) can be an issue. I once worked for some who wouldn’t hire anyone he could smell from across the room. Also, scent is one of the strongest senses and your favorite perfume or cologne might be the same scent the interviewer’s ex-girlfriend or ex-husband wore. That subliminal negative impact could squash your chances of getting a job offer. With any type of scent, less, or none, is better.
  • Tattoos and Piercings– Depending on where you are interviewing, you may want to consider covering your tattoos and taking out your rings. There are companies that have policies which limit both.
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