When it comes to job interviews, there are plenty of things to think about, from the introduction, to your answers, to your enthusiasm.
But in running through your job interview checklist, don’t forget about how you dress. It is one of the first impressions you will make walking through the door. If you are not dressed appropriately, it may ruin the interview.
The way you dress should help you get across the image of yourself that you created through your résumé and responses during the interview. They should all work together.
You need to dress appropriately for the type of job for which you’re interviewing. For example, if you are applying for a job in a law firm, or in the financial services industry, a business suit is a necessity. And it should be on the conservative side. However, it is perfectly acceptable to add some personal touches to your outfit to help make an impression, although nothing too ostentatious. It helps the interviewer get a little better idea of who you are, and you will feel more comfortable during the interview.
Don’t overlook the smaller details – does your belt match your shoes, are your shoes polished? Are your fingernails trimmed and clean? Make sure you are well groomed. Getting a trim before the interview might be helpful as well.
If you are applying for a job in a more creative field, a business suit may not be necessary. But for whatever job you’re applying, you should never wear casual dress to the interview. If you are not sure how to dress, go to a business where people in your field are working and see how they dress. But if you are unsure at all what is appropriate, always err on the side of more formal dress.
Also, be careful about adding too many extras to your outfit. They might only get in the way. Try to bring no more than a briefcase or portfolio for your résumé and any other necessary documentation. That means also avoid bringing things such as cell phones, iPods, gum, cigarettes, or coffee to the interview.
Dressing the part is an essential part of preparing for any interview and should not be overlooked.