Dress for Success: Tips to Improve Your Image for that All-Important Job Interview

Dress for Success: Tips to Improve Your Image for that All-Important Job Interview
September 15, 2016 Polished.

It’s hard enough landing an interview for that “dream” job never mind spending hours preparing for it so you don’t come off sounding arrogant or scripted (like you’ve memorized their website and standard interview questions). But what about spending time to ensure your image, including your clothing, are spot on?

Based on a 2015 nationwide online survey, conducted by Harris Poll for CareerBuilder, over 2,500 hiring and human resource managers said while candidates might take their time when prepping for an interview, it doesn’t take long for a hiring manager to make a decision. Fifty percent of employers know within the first five minutes of an interview if a candidate is a good fit for a position. And the way an interviewee dresses is part of the equation.

Obviously, your skills and experience count. But in today’s competitive job market, your image matters a lot and can often make or break the job offer. In fact, according to the Harris Poll study, 50 percent of employers ranked dressing inappropriately fourth among their top five deal breakers. (Lying, using cell phone, appearing arrogant and swearing were the others.) Employers want candidates who come dressed for success – from head to toe – as it emits confidence, respect and polish. It speaks to their professionalism and that they want to be taken seriously.

Even if the employer maintains a casual dress code for employees, you should plan to dress conservatively and professionally. According to CareerCO, in a survey of 2,000 bosses, over 30 percent reported they know within the first three minutes of an interview whether or not they will hire someone. Yet just another reason to put your best foot forward. And 70 percent of those bosses report they don’t want applicants dressed sporting the latest fashions or trends.

So before you head to that interview, think about the kind of message you — and your image — are sending. And remember, you’re never fully dressed without a smile!

Follow these dress-for-success tips to help you ace that interview.

Women’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse / top
  • Flats or moderate-heeled, polished shoes
  • Limited jewelry, avoid dangling earrings
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Light hosiery
  • Minimal use of makeup (It should look natural)
  • No or very light perfume
  • Manicured nails with neutral polish
  • Logo-free purse / briefcase
  • Portfolio

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White or pale blue long-sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie (Learn how to tie a Windsor knot)
  • Dark socks
  • Dark shoes, polished
  • Belt should match shoes
  • Wristwatch (No earrings)
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Light aftershave or cologne
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Contact Polished, today to help fine-tune your image, which are your personal attributes that enable you to interact effectively and harmoniously and become more confident and successful.

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