By: Len Adams, CPC, CTS

Job interviews are the first date of the business world, so it is important to dress for success in order to impress the interviewer with both appearance and knowledge.

A good guideline to follow is when interviewing for a white collar or office job wear a suit and for those applying for a blue-collar type job then dress business casual; it is never acceptable to wear casual clothing to an interview.

The most important thing to remember when dressing for an interview is cleanliness. Pig Pen from Charlie Brown may walk around with a cloud of dirt, but that does not mean the rest of us can. Men should have their hair cut and keep any facial hair well maintained.

Hair and Makeup

Some PR representatives even recommend completely shaving off any facial hair for interviews, but that is up to each person’s discretion. Women should brush their hair and make sure it looks styled. This may mean straightening it, adding in some curls, or pulling it back in a clean ponytail.

Ladies also make sure to wear some makeup, no you do not need to paint your face completely, but some powder, mascara, and lipstick go a long way in helping you look your best! Cleanliness also applies to fingernails: make sure to clean any dirt from underneath and women may want paint their nails a neutral or soft color. This should be an obvious statement, but make sure to take a shower and put on deodorant. Clean is the best smell there is, so do not load up on fancy perfumes or colognes and let soap do its job!

When choosing clothing to wear to an interview, fit is imperative. Clothing should not be too tight or too loose, and if you have issues with finding clothes that fit then any tailor can help modify your outfit to fit you like a glove. Also remember that you should feel comfortable in your outfit, so this is not the day for ladies to test out their new heels. Seductive does not equal attractive.

Men should make sure to wear dark socks and polished shoes. It may seem excessive to worry about what goes on your feet, but shoes do matter when it comes to overall appearance. Another thing that should be understood is to wear properly fitted undergarments; bra straps should be hidden and please no visible underwear lines. Your clothing should be another way to help you feel confident as you go into your interview, so you can worry about impressing the employer and not on how much your shoes pinch.

Tattoos and Piercings

Tattoos and piercings have been a hot topic of debate amongst employers recently and every person has a different opinion on the matter. Just be aware of any visible body art that you have, and try to keep it looking clean and understated. Small tattoos or pieces are fine, but this is not the time to show off your sleeve or multiple piercings. Some companies may have their policy about body art on their websites, but it is always safe to show less until certain of their views.

Follow these simple rules and remember the most important one of all: a confident smile and clean look will get you far with any employer.

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