Written by Alexia Pierce
Have you ever ordered a meal and when you received it, it looked nothing like what was pictured? Did you immediately want to send it back to the kitchen and ask for a new meal? Did it look as though the cook just thrown some ingredients together and rushed it out to you? This is exactly how the hiring process can appear. You see a resume for a potential candidate, you call and have a great phone screen conversation and invite the candidate in for an interview. Once they arrive, you find yourself puzzled because the candidate is not dressed for success. They look as though they just left from hanging out with their friends, or even worse, like they just got out of bed and threw on the first clothing items they picked up. The excitement that you initially had after your phone interview immediately dwindles because the great candidate that you spoke with now looks like they are not serious about starting a career. Their appearance instantly tells you: they might not be the best candidate for the position.
Presentation is Everything
When seeking employment, you want to ensure you present yourself accordingly. Dressing the part provides a great first impression to your potential employer. It shows that you took the time to consider how you look and that you understand the difference between seeking employment and maintaining employment. What you wear when you’re interviewing for a job and what you wear to your job could be completely different, depending on the line of work you are applying for.
Here are some suggestions for a creating a strategic interview look:
- Shower so that you are fresh and don’t smell stale or musty
- Dress in Business Attire:
- Ladies, you can wear professional slacks, a dress or skirt with a blouse or a sweater. You can add a blazer if you have one that matches. Black heels or casual flats are a great option for your shoes.
- NOleggings, jogging pants, UGG boots, flip flops, tank tops, or gym shoes.
- Men, you should wear solid color slacks, a collared shirt or sweater, dress shoes and a jacket, if it’s appropriate for the position you’re interviewing for.
- NOjogging pants, hoodies, or gym shoes.
- Brush/style your hair (ladies, please don’t wear any type of hair bonnets, scarfs, etc.).
- No overly excessive perfumes or colognes
- Nice clean-shaven face (men), light makeup (women)
- A pleasant attitude and a smile!
Personally, I dress as if I am the CEO of the company where I am applying to get hired! My mindset is to go in looking like I already belong in a position with the company. I have a smile on my face and throughout my process my body language that shows I am ready, and excited, to get to work!
Make sure that you have the necessary documents that you will need to verify your identity. Showing up without identification can make you appear unprepared to start working. Current and valid identification is a must! It is always a plus to have your resume handy, as well, either as a hard copy or an electronic version.
The next time you are invited to interview, take that extra time and show up like you are serious about your career! It will definitely set you apart from the rest of the applicants!