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2 Big Tips for Interview Wardrobe

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Gelila Sebhatu
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Published on September 17, 2015

Yikes! I have an interview in a few days and I have nothing to wear. Let me put you at ease and give you some tips or reminders regarding your wardrobe.

An interviewer’s first impression of you is based on your appearance, before you even open your mouth. Clothing is a way of expressing yourself. From head to toe, you are branding yourself and projecting how you want the employer to perceive you. Hair, make-up, style, etc. all sums up what you are trying to project to the world. However, for an interview you need to keep in mind of your main goal, which is not so much expressing your individuality, but is GETTING THE JOB!

The following tips are geared towards traditional wardrobe attire. However, dress for the industry and geographical area, so if you are in fashion, dress fashionable; if you live on the west coast, the attire might be more casual. I highly recommend you do some research about the specific company’s culture before making any assumptions. However, it’s also a good idea to err on the side of caution and be more formal than informal.

Here are a few things you might want to consider before your big day:

Style, Fit, & Colors: For the older, more conservative organizations and intuitions I would recommend a full suit. Men, you can wear fitted khaki pants with a dark blue blazer for more relaxed environments. It’s always better to err on the side of caution and be over dressed than under dressed. Men, please don’t have baggy or wrinkled suits. Women, please, please, don’t wear too tight or too short outfits, especially dresses/skirts. If you wear a dress, try to have it knee length and compliment it with a blazer. I would recommend dark colors for more formal interviews: black, blue and grey. However, it’s okay to have a pop of color in a subtle way. For example, a purse or a few bright colors in your tie.

Appearance, Hygiene & Grooming: This might be something simple, but please make sure you smell good. If you are a person who tends to sweat a lot and you are running around, or trying to catch the metro before the interview, you might want to bring a change of clothes so that you won’t have sweat spots everywhere or have bad odor. Also, make sure not to go overboard with the cologne or perfume, simply spray in the air and walk through it. You don’t want the interviewer to be distracted by any distinct smells. For women, make sure your hair is not wet from the shower. It should be pulled pack nicely or hair down, but combed thoroughly. Your make-up should be soft and natural; you aren’t going to a nightclub. For men, just try to have a fresh clean look. Also, everyone should hide any visible tattoos with makeup, fellas take out any earrings, make sure your hair and facial hair is well-groomed. Again, once you get the job and over time, you’ll have the freedom to be more yourself.

Remember, dress appropriately for the industry. If you are in an industry like entertainment, fashion or fine arts, then you are expected to wear clothing tailored towards that industry to showcase your artistic side. Represent the brand you are trying to project. But regardless, you should look polished, sharp and exude great confidence that any company would be ecstatic to have you represent their organization.

Good Luck!

Gelila Sebhatu

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