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How to Dress for Success at Your Next Job Interview

January 15, 2014 | Staffing Blog


There’s something to that old adage “dress the part.” And nowhere is that more true than in a job interview. First impressions can make or break a job interview. If you’re not dressed appropriately, a potential employer may decide you’re not a good candidate before you’ve even finished the handshake. 

It is impossible for a potential employer to take you seriously if you come to your interview wearing pajamas, sagging pants or a low-cut top. It’s unlikely you’ll need a three-piece suit for the interview, but that doesn’t mean you can abandon a professional and put-together appearance. It’s about finding a balance – you want to look the part without going overboard.

One trick is to dress like the job you want as a way to demonstrate you’d fit into the company. That might mean driving by the business a couple days before your interview as people are arriving for work and getting a feel for the dress code.

A good rule of thumb is simply to dress appropriately and give off an air of confidence and professionalism. That usually means a knee-length dress or skirt, dress pants and a nice button-up shirt or jacket. Leave the shorts, slippers and ripped-up jeans at home. 

Other tips for dressing for a job interview: 

  • Don’t go overboard on the cologne/perfume or the jewelry – it’s distracting and may come across as tacky.
  • If you have facial piercings, you may want to remove those and cover any tattoos. Again, it depends on the industry and company culture. Consider whether they would be distracting or off-putting.
  • Don’t neglect personal hygiene. Give yourself plenty of time to shower and make sure your nails are clean and nail polish is neutral and touched up. Your hair should be neat and clean. 
  • Have more than one professional outfit in case you’re called back for a second interview. Here at Allegiance Staffing, we have a 3-Day Hiring Process that requires job candidates to come to our office on three different days for interviews and testing. We expect professional dress all three days.

Need more advice on having a successful job interview? Download our free ebook “10 Tips to Ace Your Next Job Interview.”