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Interview Day: What Should You Wear?

Your appearance tells the employer how you see yourself – your clothes, hairstyle, choice of accessories, and makeup will either reinforce or damage your professional image.

The best colours for men’s suits are dark gray, navy blue, and black. Wear a three-piece suit to an interview for a professional job, but not for blue collar jobs. Shoes are extremely important; make sure they are polished and appropriate. Select a simple tie; you don’t want the interviewer’s attention to be on your funny-looking tie. If the place of business is “casual” or “semi-casual,” don’t wear jeans, even if the staff does, and even if it is casual Friday.

Strive to dress professionally without over-dressing. A pair of dark, casual pants and a white shirt will look great. Although it is important not to over-dress, it is equally important not to be under-dressed for an interview. If you believe you are over-dressed, you can always remove your suit jacket.

For women, a tailored classic suit is always appropriate for an interview. An investment in a good interview suit is an investment in yourself and your future career. It will be part of your wardrobe for years to come. Choose wool fabrics for the cooler months and linen for the warmer months. Stay away from 100% polyester blends. Conservative colours are appropriate for interviews; you won’t go wrong if you choose a solid, basic colour such as tan, brown, or grey. The blouse or sweater you select to accompany your suit should be white, off-white, beige, or a colour which complements your suit. For example, a burgundy or red blouse can spice up a grey suit – especially if those are your best colours. A tailored, solid-coloured dress is acceptable for interviewing. Make sure you choose fabrics that are suited to the season.

There are many other important dos and don’ts about what to wear to an interview. Contact us to schedule a coaching session; we will go into great detail about all the stages of interview preparation.

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Candace Davies ACCC, CRW, CIC, CPRW, CEIP, CECC
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