How to dress professionally for an interview

Maria Ly
News Editor

One of the first things that interviewer’s notice is the interviewee’s appearance. Making sure you’re dressed appropriately along with your hygiene and hair is the most important step when preparing for an interview. 

Although we are told from a young age to not judge a book by it’s cover, employers definitely do. No one wants to hire someone whose clothes are offensive, has stains, unkempt hair and nails, holey socks, and an overall unprofessional look. 

The Career Development Center (CDC) at Minnesota State University has a few tips for students who may be preparing for an interview and have no idea what to wear. 

First of all, the CDC recommends to dress conservatively. When in doubt, a suit is always appropriate. 

They also suggest to wear clean, polished, moderate shoes. Make sure to wear dark matching socks or socks that coordinate with your outfit. 

Although tempting and quite fashionable, it is not a good idea to wear your neon yellow spongebob squarepants socks. 

The CDC also says it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. They recommend to try your outfit on the day before your interview. If it’s too tight, too lose, too short or too long, it’s better to throw it in the trash rather than your hopes and dreams of being employed because you were too cheap to buy a pair of nicely fit trousers. 

Along with your clothes, accessories are important too. However, wearing too much jewelry can be distracting and can look unprofessional. 

If you are preparing for an interview during the winter months, it’s best to leave coats, scarves, and mittens, in your car. 

Clothes and accessories are not the only thing the interviewer’s pay attention to. Making sure your hair is well groomed and neat, that you’ve showered before, that you don’t overdo it on the cologne/perfume, that your skin is nice and flake free,  your lips are not chapped, and that your nails are nice and neat are all important too. You got to show them you can handle your hygiene and that job. 

Dressing professionally can be daunting as prices for the proper interviewing attire can be hard on your wallet. The CDC has a guide on their website that gives tips for dressing on a tight budget. They give tips such as shopping for clothing with multi-use potential, beginning by selecting neutral versatile colors, purchasing matching components, etc. 

Investing in professional attire is an investment that pays off. As the CDC states on their website, “Quality is key. Your professional wardrobe is an extension of your education investment.” 

To get more information on dressing for an interview, visit: mnsu.edu/cdc/

Header photo courtesy of Flickr.

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