Interview Attire

Make an Impression: Interview Attire and Professional Appearance


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By Jama Thurman, Career Services Manager and Counselor

Your interview attire and professional appearance can make or break you when meeting a prospective employer. First impressions are important. When in doubt, it is always best to dress professionally and conservatively. Unless you know the office setting is casual, wear a business suit and professional shoes, with minimal jewelry, perfume and makeup.

In an article for Business.com, Brian Hughes, a digital marketing expert, explains how you must make sure your interview attire is tailored to the job you are looking to get. “You customize your resume for a specific job. You rehearse interview questions in advance. You also need to target your look to the job for which you’re applying. The right attire will boost your confidence and help you land your dream job,” he said.[i]

There may be different dress codes for different industries. Typically, IT companies have a more relaxed dress code, and financial services professionals wear a suit and tie. Researching the company will help you learn more about the company dress, culture and mindset. You can connect with employees on LinkedIn, ask Human Resources or even stop by the company to see what employees wear to work.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Be prepared, arrive early, dress professionally, smile and introduce yourself with a firm handshake. Most importantly, dress comfortably and be confident. Make sure your clothes are clean and ironed.

Men should wear a navy, black or gray suit with a white or blue shirt. In addition, men should wear a conservative tie and shined dress shoes. Women should wear a skirt or pants suit with a neutral blouse and closed-toe, low-heeled shoes and simple accessories. Make sure your nails are clean and a neutral color. Hair color should also be neutral. Do not overdo the perfume or cologne; just use soap and deodorant.

The Office of Career Services at Hodges University would like to assist you in preparing for your upcoming interview. If you need assistance, please contact careers@hodges.edu or call 1 (800) 466-0019. Jama Thurman assists Fort Myers and distance students, and Lourdes Araujo assists Naples, ESL and students with disabilities.

[i] Hughes, Brian. “Interview Success Secrets: How to Project Confidence With the Right Attire.” February 22, 2017. https://www.business.com/articles/interview-success-secrets-how-to-project-confidence-with-the-right-attire/