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What Not to Wear

Even though many companies have relaxed the internal company dress code, interviews still follow the conservative standard. We’ve pulled together the do’s and don’ts for interviewing attire as a general guide.

If in doubt about interview attire at a particular company, don’t be afraid to ask the recruiter what is or isn’t appropriate to wear. You can also check with people you know at the company to see what others interviewing have worn.Men and Women
  • Conservative two-piece business suit (solid dark blue or grey is best)
  • Conservative long-sleeved shirt/blouse (white is best, pastel is next best)
  • Clean, polished conservative shoes
  • Well-groomed hairstyle
  • Clean, trimmed fingernails
  • Minimal cologne or perfume
  • Empty pockets–no bulges or tinkling coins
  • No gum, candy or cigarettes
  • Light briefcase or portfolio case
  • No visible body piercing (nose rings, eyebrow rings, etc.)

Men

  • Necktie should be silk with a conservative pattern
  • Dark shoes (black lace-ups are best)
  • Dark socks (black is best)
  • Get a haircut; short hair always fares best in interviews
  • No beards (unless you are interviewing for a job as a lumberjack!)
  • Mustaches are a possible negative, but if you must, make sure it is neat and trimmed
  • No rings other than wedding ring or college ring
  • No earrings (if you normally wear one, take it out)

Women

  • Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses
  • No high heels
  • Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
  • No purses, small or large; carry a briefcase instead
  • If you wear nail polish (not required), use clear or a conservative color
  • Minimal use of makeup (it should not be too noticeable)
  • No more than one ring on each hand
  • One set of earrings only

Contacts vs. Glasses
If you have the option of wearing contacts versus glasses, use the following as the guideline for which to wear:

  • Contacts – people positions – consulting, sales, advertising, customer service, etc.
  • Glasses – data/things positions – accounting, information systems, engineering, etc.

Comfort is important, since some interviews can be an all day process, so take great care in the outfit and shoes you decide on. If your clothes are too tight or your shoes are pinching your feet, it maybe prevent you from feeling your overall best and hamper your ability to be at the top of your game.

By Michele Groutage
Medzilla