Proper Interview Attire & Grooming

Your appearance and interview attire plays a supporting role in your interview. Appropriate attire and grooming projects an image of someone who takes the interview process seriously. Even if the company has a “casual” or “business casual” dress code, it is better to be slightly overdressed. A professional appearance is a compliment to the person with whom you are meeting, and demonstrates your understanding and appreciation of the professional nature of your meeting.

The following is a list of guidelines to help men and women present a professional, appropriate appearance during an interview.

 

Guidelines for Men

Suit

  • Wear a two-piece matched suit in navy or dark gray.
  • Do not combine a suit jacket with pants that don’t match.
  • Cut off any tacking stitches holding vents in place (often on jacket back or sleeves).
  • Cut off any tags stitched to the outside of your sleeve.
  • Carefully inspect your suit for any dangling threads, etc.

Shirt

  • Wear a long-sleeved shirt under your suit jacket, even in the summer.
  • Wear a subtle color, such as white.
  • Do not wear flashy colors, fabrics, or patterns.
  • Make sure the shirt is clean, pressed, and crisp.
  • Wear a shirt prepared by a laundry or cleaners whenever possible for a crisper look.
  • Always tuck your shirt in.

Tie

  • Wear a good-quality silk tie in a conservative color.
  • Solid colors or simple, conservative patterns are best.
  • Avoid extreme ties with busy patterns or characters in interviews.
  • Do not wear a cheap tie – it will downgrade even the most expensive suit.

Socks

  • Wear solid-colored, dark dress socks.
  • Socks should be mid-calf length so no skin is visible when you sit down.

Shoes

  • Wear dark-colored leather business shoes.
  • Invest in a good pair of dress shoes, even if you don’t wear them daily.
  • Make sure shoes are polished and neat looking.

Belt

  • Wear a dark-colored leather belt that matches the color of your shoes.

Hair

  • Hair should be clean, well groomed, and conservative in appearance.
  • Avoid “trendy” hairstyles such as long, shaggy hair.

Facial Hair

  • If you do not have facial hair, make sure your face is clean and freshly shaven.
  • If you do choose to wear facial hair, make sure it is well-groomed and appears tidy and neat.

Nails

  • Nails should be clean, trimmed, and well-groomed.

Jewelry

  • Be as conservative with jewelry as possible.
  • Remove earrings.
  • Do not wear a necklace, bracelets, or rings (other than your wedding ring).
  • A conservative watch is acceptable.

Tattoos & Piercings

  • Cover all visible tattoos with clothing whenever possible.
  • Remove all jewelry from visible piercings.

Cologne

  • Do not wear cologne to an interview. Interviewers could be allergic or bothered by the scent.

Guidelines for Women

Blouse/Skirt

  • Wear a two-piece suit with a crisp blouse; skirt, or trouser (skirt is more formal)

Hemlines

  • Hemlines should hit right below the knee

Hair

  • Wear your hair up if it’s longer than shoulder length

Nails

  • Nails should be clean, trimmed, and well-groomed.

Makeup

  • Light, well applied makeup gives polish and is an inexpensive way to professionalize your image

Jewelry

  • Be as conservative with jewelry as possible.
  • Remove earrings.
  • Do not wear a necklace, bracelets, or rings (other than your wedding ring).
  • A conservative watch is acceptable.

Tattoos & Piercings

  • Cover all visible tattoos with clothing whenever possible.
  • Remove all jewelry from visible piercings.

Fragrances

  • Don’t wear fragrances; people can be allergic or it can detract from your professional image