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Professional Attire

What to Wear to an Interview for Women

Grooming:

  • Hair should be away from your face and neatly cut and styled.
  • Wear daytime, natural-looking makeup—no heavy eyeliner or glittery shadows.
  • Nails should be clean and manicured; avoid overly long fingernails and nail art.
  • Lip color and nail polish should not be too trendy or bright.
  • Perfume should be avoided--the employer may be allergic to it!

Suit:

  • Wear a conservative, two-piece matching business suit. Knee-length skirts or pant suits are both appropriate. Color should be dark grey, navy, black, or brown.
  • A lighter-colored professional button-down shirt or blouse should be worn under your suit jacket. Be prepared to take off your jacket.
  • Hosiery: Never show bare legs! Wear at- or near- skintoned pantyhose, and always have a spare pair in case you get a run.
  • Shoes: Low-heeled and closed-toe pumps are a must. Don't forget to polish your shoes!
  • Accessories: Keep it simple. No more than one ring on each hand.
  • No visible tattoos or piercings, except for one pair of earrings and a small necklace or bracelet.
  • Carry either a purse or professional bag, but not both.

General Tips:

  • Bring a professional briefcase (or portfolio) to carry extra copies of your resume, keys, pens, and breath mints.
  • NO CELL PHONE — leave it in the car or at home.
  • Appropriate professional dress depends on the industry. If you are unsure about what is considered appropriate, it is always best to dress conservatively.

 

What to Wear to an Interview for Men

Grooming:

  • Have your hair neatly trimmed, including facial hair.
  • Heavy cologne or other overpowering scents should be avoided.
  • Nails should be clean and neat.

Suit:

  • Wear a conservative dark-colored, two-piece matching business suit (of natural fibers, such as wool, if possible). Two- or three-button suits are preferred.
  • Shirt: Wear a long-sleeved, light-colored, button-down shirt. Shirt should fall ¼ to ½ inch below suit sleeve. Be sure to iron your shirt! Cotton shirts breathe well. (Hint: Wear a white t-shirt underneath to hide perspiration and protect your suit)
  • Ties: Choose a tie with conservative pattern (silk ties work well) that ends at mid-belt.
  • Shoes: Comfortable shoes with laces. Don't forget to polish your shoes!
  • Socks: Wear dark-colored socks to match your suit. Socks should go past your ankles and cover half of your calf or more.
  • Accessories: Leather belts should match the color of your shoes.
  • No visible piercings or tattoos.
  • Bring a portfolio.

For more information on dressing for interviews, visit:

More than 70% of your first impression is what people see. Appearance is an important aspect of interviewing. Make a good impression by dressing professionally and being well groomed!

 

Business Casual

When is business casual appropriate?

During the interview process, it is appropriate when attending an employer information session and the session is more a lecture than a reception, or when your invitation clearly indicates business casual. Once you’ve landed the job or internship, your office may recognize Casual Fridays or have a less strict dress code.

What are business casual guidelines?

Much like interview attire, business casual should still be crisp, conservative, and neat. It is not as formal as a full interview suit, but not as casual as attire you would wear to a sporting event or picnic. You are still in a business environment and want to be comfortable meeting even the CEO.

Basics:

  • Wear black or khaki pants, neatly pressed, and a pressed long-sleeved button-down shirt.
  • Polo shirts (also pressed) may be appropriate if the environment will be more casual or outdoors.
  • Wear a leather belt and leather shoes. Athletic shoes are inappropriate.

Men:

  • Ties are generally not necessary for business casual, but if in doubt, you can wear a tie.
  • Facial hair, if worn, should be well-groomed.
  • If you choose to wear jewelry, be conservative.
  • Removing earrings is safest. Observe other men in your industry to see what is acceptable.

Women:

  • Don’t confuse club attire with business attire. Follow the same rules regarding skirt or pant length and fit as you would in interview attire.
  • In addition to tailored shirts or blouses, tailored knit sweaters and sweater sets are appropriate business casual choices.
  • For the most conservative look, toes should be covered; sandals which are neither extremely dressy nor extremely casual might be appropriate. Chunky heels and platforms are not appropriate.
  • Hose are not essential for business casual, but can still be appropriate in certain situations.

Not sure if the event is professional or business casual? Stick with a suit. It never hurts to slightly overdress; by dressing nicely, you pay a compliment to your host.