- Err on the side of conservatism. Job-seekers are often advised to dress in the manner of other employees in the organization in which they are interviewing, but hiring managers have been saying recently, especially at the executive and senior levels, that it’s best to dress in the most conservative business attire (not business casual). That means a matching jacketed suit for both men and women, conservative colors (such as black and navy, though women can usually get away with a broader range of colors), polished shoes, and ties for men.
- Keep your hair neat hair and off your face. One of my pet peeves as an interviewer is seeing hairstyles that obscure my view of the candidate’s face. Especially in a panel interview, remember that interviewers may see your face in profile, so hair should not block that view. Long hair is sometimes risky for men, even when neatly pony-tailed.
- Less is more when it comes to makeup, jewelry, and especially fragrance. Tone down these enhancements. Fragrance should be at a bare minimum or omitted completely because your interviewer could be allergic to your fragrance.
- At the same time, don’t stink! Avoid bad breath and body odor (but don’t chew gum or suck on a mint in the interview).
- Watch your grooming. Be sure your fingernails are clean. Although neat facial hair (beard, mustache) is only minimally risky for men, five ‘o clock shadow is a turnoff.
- Hide any body piercings or tattoos. While these adornments are less risky than they once were, plenty of employers still disdain them, so make sure piercings and tattoos can’t be seen.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Among Quint Careers’ favorite resources for interview attire are Syms’ The Complete Interview Outfit for Women and The Complete
- Interview Outfit for Men, which show photos of appropriate interview attire.