Dress­ing for in­ter­views

The Manica Post - - Teenchat/ Weekender Guy &girl/ Fashion -

BE­FORE you say a sin­gle word to the in­ter­viewer, you have al­ready made an im­pres­sion based on how you’re dressed. The guide­lines given here are com­monly ac­cepted as ap­pro­pri­ate for in­ter­view­ing. Ev­ery com­pany has a dif­fer­ent dress code; how you dress at the job may have very lit­tle to do with how you dress for an in­ter­view.

Men

Dress in a man­ner that is pro­fes­sion­ally ap­pro­pri­ate to the po­si­tion for which you are ap­ply­ing. In al­most all cases, this means wear­ing a suit. It is rarely ap­pro­pri­ate to “dress down” for an in­ter­view, re­gard­less of com­pany dress code pol­icy. When in doubt, go con­ser­va­tive. You should wear a suit to in­ter­views. “Suit” means the works: a match­ing jacket and pants, dress shirt, tie, co­or­di­nat­ing socks and dress shoes. A dark-coloured suit with light coloured shirt is your best op­tion. Your suit should be com­fort­able and fit you well so that you look and act your best. There is a dif­fer­ence be­tween not yet feel­ing at ease in a suit and try­ing to fit into the same suit you wore to your sis­ter’s wed­ding when you were 15. (In the lat­ter case, it’s time to in­vest in a new suit!)

◆ Avoid loud colours and flashy ties.

◆ Cloth­ing should be neat, clean, and pressed. If you don’t have an iron, ei­ther buy one or be pre­pared to visit the dry-clean­ers of­ten. Shower or bathe the morn­ing of the in­ter­view. Wear de­odor­ant. Don’t wear cologne or af­ter­shave. You don’t want to smell over­pow­er­ing or worse, cause an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion.

Make sure you have fresh breath. Brush your teeth be­fore you leave for the in­ter­view, and don’t eat be­fore the in­ter­view. Don’t smoke right be­fore an in­ter­view.

Your hair should be neat, clean, and con­ser­va­tive. While it may be ap­pro­pri­ate to dress more ca­su­ally for a sec­ond in­ter­view, you must still dress pro­fes­sion­ally. It’s much bet­ter to be too dressed up than too ca­sual. A good rule of thumb is to dress like your boss. Shoes should be well-pol­ished and in good con­di­tion, not scuffed or run-down at the heels. They should also match your belt. You will get a great deal of use out of a good-qual­ity pair of dress shoes in a tra­di­tional style. Ask the sales­per­son at the shoe store for ad­vice. Be sure to shave the morn­ing of the in­ter­view, even if you don’t or­di­nar­ily shave ev­ery day. If you have a full beard or mous­tache it should be trimmed and neat-look­ing. This may sound like a lot of rules, but th­ese are the gen­er­ally ac­cept­able guide­lines you should fol­low when de­cid­ing what to wear to an in­ter­view.

Dress­ing pro­fes­sion­ally shows re­spect for your­self, the in­ter­viewer, and the com­pany. You may not have to dress like this ev­ery day, but you are more likely to be taken se­ri­ously when you present your­self in a pro­fes­sional man­ner and take the time to at­tend to de­tails.

Women

Gen­er­ally, you should wear a suit with a skirt or pants. When in doubt, be more con­ser­va­tive. Your suit should be com­fort­able and fit you well; if your waist­band is cut­ting you in half or your jacket is too tight, you won’t look or act your best. Some stores of­fer free al­ter­ations when you pur­chase a suit, or you may want to find a tailor to ad­just a suit you al­ready own.

In­ter­view suits should be sim­ple and dark in colour. Any­thing tight, bright, short, or sheer should ab­so­lutely be avoided. (In­ter­view­ers have been known to com­plain about the length of in­ter­vie­wees’ skirts; if you have any doubts, it’s prob­a­bly too short.) Knee-length skirts are sug­gested. Very long skirts, while mod­est, are also con­sid­ered too trendy for an in­ter­view.

Wear a con­ser­va­tive blouse with your suit. Do not wear bright colours, an­i­mal prints, or any­thing lacy, sheer, or low-cut.

◆ Make-up and nail pol­ish should be un­der­stated and flat­ter­ing; shades that are neu­tral to your skin tone are gen­er­ally ad­vis­able. Avoid bright or un­usual colours or very long nails.

Keep your jew­ellery and hair ac­ces­sories to a min­i­mum, and stick to those that are not flashy, dis­tract­ing, or shiny. One ring per hand is best. Shoes should be con­ser­va­tive and fairly low-heeled. They should be in rea­son­ably good con­di­tion, not scuffed or run-down at the heels. Don’t wear shoes with an open toe or back; any shoes you would wear on a date or to a club are prob­a­bly in­ap­pro­pri­ate. A ba­sic pump is flat­ter­ing, ver­sa­tile, and will stay in style for­ever (once you own pumps, you can spend the rest of your money on fun shoes). The sales­per­son in the shoe store can steer you in the right di­rec­tion.

◆ Your hose should be neu­tral (matched to your skin tone). Make sure the heels are not dyed black from your shoes and that there are no snags or runs. Only use the nail pol­ish trick in an emer­gency; you may want to carry an ex­tra pair of hose with you in­stead.

◆ Dress in a man­ner that is pro­fes­sion­ally ap­pro­pri­ate to the po­si­tion for which you are ap­ply­ing. In al­most all cases, this means wear­ing a suit. It is rarely ap­pro­pri­ate to “dress down” for an in­ter­view, re­gard­less of com­pany dress code pol­icy. When in doubt, go con­ser­va­tive (is this start­ing to sound fa­mil­iar?).

◆ Your cloth­ing should al­ways be neat, clean, and pressed. If you don’t have an iron, ei­ther buy one or be pre­pared to visit the dry-clean­ers of­ten.

◆ Shower or bathe the morn­ing of the in­ter­view. Wear de­odor­ant. Don’t wear per­fume: you don’t want to smell over­pow­er­ing or worse, cause an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion.

Make sure you have fresh breath. Brush your teeth be­fore you leave for the in­ter­view, and don’t eat or smoke be­fore the in­ter­view.

Your hair should be neat, clean, and con­ser­va­tively styled. Ba­nana clips, brightly-coloured scrunches or elas­tics, and cheer­leader-type pony­tails look out of place with a suit. You may want to wear your hair in an up-do, pull it back into a low pony­tail, or wear a bar­rette (this sug­ges­tion does not in­clude the tiny lit­tle bar­rettes that only hold the front of your bangs back). The idea is to look pol­ished and pro­fes­sional, not to ad­ver­tise what a cre­ative ge­nius your hair­dresser is. While it may be ap­pro­pri­ate to dress more ca­su­ally for a sec­ond in­ter­view, you must still dress pro­fes­sion­ally. It’s much bet­ter to be too dressed up than too ca­sual. This may sound like a lot of rules, but th­ese are the gen­er­ally ac­cept­able guide­lines you should fol­low when de­cid­ing what to wear to an in­ter­view. Dress­ing pro­fes­sion­ally shows re­spect for your­self, the in­ter­viewer, and the com­pany. You may not have to dress like this ev­ery­day, but you are more likely to be taken se­ri­ously when you present your­self in a pro­fes­sional man­ner and take the time to at­tend to de­tails.

In­ter­view dresss­ing

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