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Interview Dress Code

There are many components to a job interview that need to be considered in order for a person to be successful. Having the right amount of experience, a positive attitude, and a flawless resume are just a few of the things that you need. Equally important to whether you end up being hired is how you look during an interview. How well groomed and well dressed you are has just as much impact on job interview success as anything else.

Needless to say, if you show up for a job interview wearing jeans and a t-shirt and you smell a little musty because you have not showered for three days, the odds are pretty good that the interview will not only be very short, but you will not get the job. This is common sense stuff, and most people realize that they cannot show up at an interview dissheveled and expect to get the job. Unfortunately, some people overcompensate for this and dress to the nines when it would not necessarily be appropriate to do so. Obviously, it would not be a good idea to show up for an interview in a tuxedo or cocktail dress.

Most people dress for their interview in the type of clothing that they expect to be wearing if they actually get the job, but this can be hazardous as well. If you are applying for a roofing job, for example, you will probably be wearing jeans on the job. The problem is, you still need to make a good first impression.

So as you can see, it can be confusing to try to figure out how to look and what to wear to a job interview in order to have the best possible chance of getting the job. As for hygiene and grooming, use common sense. You should show up to the interview freshly showered, hair styled neatly and conservatively, and women should not apply too much makeup. Go light on the perfumes or colognes, if any at all.

As for what to wear, it does really depend on the job you are applying for. If it is an entry level customer service type job, such as at a fast food restaurant or a mass merchandiser store, there is no need to show up in a power suit. For men, wearing unwrinkled khakis and a button-down shirt or sweater should be sufficient. Women can get away with the dress slacks and a conservative blouse, or a long dress and cardigan sweater.

For professional positions being applied for, you will need to step it up a notch or two for the interview. Men should really be wearing dress slacks, dress shirt, and a tie, not to mention a jacket that matches the slacks. Until you are aware of the protocols within the company, do not try to show your individuality by wearing a colored shirt or loud tie. Go with navy or black for the suit, white for the shirt, and a subdued color for the tie. Women do well wearing either pant or dress suits in solid dark colors.

It is important to remember shoes and accessories when dressing for success. Tennis shoes are never going to be appropriate, especially when worn with dress clothes, so make sure that you have the right shoes. The shoes should match in color to the main color of your outfit.

Men's accessories are pretty simple. Wearing a watch signifies that you are concerned with being on time, and can give that impression of timliness to the interviewer. Earrings should not be worn, and if you wear a necklace, keep it inside your shirt.

Women tend to go overboard sometimes with jewelry and other accessories, so keep it toned down. A small necklace that complements the outfit, small earrings, and maybe a tasteful lapel pin are sufficient.
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