job interview tipsAttention to details is crucial, so here are some tips for both men and women. Make sure you have:

·         Clean And Polished Conservative Dress Shoes

·         Well-Groomed Hairstyle

·         Cleaned And Trimmed Fingernails

·         ·Minimal Cologne Or Perfume

·         No Visible Body Piercing Beyond Conservative Ear Piercings For Women

·         Well-Brushed Teeth And Fresh Breath

·         No Gum, Candy, Or Other Objects In Your Mouth

·         Minimal Jewelry

·         No Body Odor

Riskiest grooming and attire for both men and women:

  • Visible body piercings/tattoos
  • Body odor; too much perfume/cologne

Dress for success-Tips for women

The standard job interviewing attire for women is a conservative dark navy or gray skirted wool blend suit. Job experts and employers seem split on the notion of pants suits , so a skirted suit is a safer choice.

Other conservative colors — such as beige or brown — are also acceptable. Red is a power color. A blazer with blouse and skirt is a possible second choice to a suit. You should always wear a jacket.

Skirt length should be a little below the knee and never shorter than above the knee — no nightclub attire here. Avoid wearing a dress (unless accented with a jacket). Blouses should be cotton or silk and should be white, or some other light color. Shoes should be low-heeled.

Make-up should be minimal, with lipstick and nail polish conservative tones. Pantyhose should be flawless (no runs) and conservative in color. Avoid both body odor and excessive cologne.

Pantsuits vs. skirted suits

Whenever I want to watch my students’ jaws drop down to their desks, all I have to do is tell them that the “safest” attire for women to wear on a job interview is a skirted suit and that pantsuits — while almost universally acceptable in the workplace — are still somewhat risky attire for interviewing.

My students can’t believe it. They are stunned that such a sexist double-standard could still exist in the business world. They are incredulous that they should be expected to wear attire that is so clearly gender-specific.

I can’t blame them. I can’t disagree with any of their protests. All I can do is prepare them for reality: That they might be perceived as less than professional and even lose a job offer if they wear a pantsuit to an interview instead of a skirtsuit. And that they can rarely go wrong by reaching for the highest standard of traditional dress — especially in such conservative fields as banking, investments, and law.

Women should make their own choices about interview attire, but just as with any of the “rules” for dressing for success, they should make those choices fully informed about the risks and realities. Thus, we present the pros and cons of wearing pantsuits to an interview:

Pros:

  • If the pantsuit is widely acceptable attire in the workplace, it should be acceptable for job interviews.
  • The idea that a pantsuit is unprofessional is outdated. It emanates from a male power structure that seeks to keep women in their place.
  • Many employers (some surveys indicate the vast majority, in fact) say it doesn’t matter as long as the pantsuit looks professional.
  • Many recruiters themselves wear pantsuits.
  • If you are not comfortable or confident wearing a skirted suit, you might not interview well. You should be true to yourself, and your clothing should reflect your self-image and help you project your most confident self. Some women feel they look better in pantsuits than in skirted suits.
  • Pantsuits may be more acceptable in colder climates.
  • Some professionals view pantsuits as actually more professional than skirtsuits because they make women seem powerful and more equal with men.

Cons:

  • It’s better to be overdressed than under. Whereas you might go wrong wearing a pantsuit, it’s almost impossible to go wrong wearing a skirted suit.
  • It’s not the pants that determine professionalism as much as it is whether the candidate wears a jacket (true of both men and women).
  • Many experts say a pantsuit is OK for a second or third interview, but the skirted suit is still the best bet for the first interview. When Andersen Consulting recruits on college campuses, for example, the firm recommends skirted suits for the first two rounds of interviews, with pantsuits acceptable for the third round.
  • Employers want to hire candidates who are a good “fit” with the organization; if you interview in a pantsuit in a company where all the female employees are wearing skirtsuits, you won’t be perceived as fitting in.
  • One study, albeit with a limited number of respondents, indicated that 25 percent of employers would think twice about hiring a woman who wore a pantsuit to a first interview.

With all these conflicting opinions, how can a woman decide? The best strategy may be to ally yourself with the assistant to the recruiter or hiring manager with whom you’ll be interviewing. Call up the assistant before the interview and ask about the company culture and whether pantsuits or skirted suits are the norm for interviews. If you really want to wear a pantsuit, but the assistant says it would be out of place, best to stick with the skirted suit. Consider regional differences also. If you’re interviewing in an unfamiliar area, be aware that the culture may be different from what you’re used to, and it pays to do some research.

A more difficult question is — if most people agree that the skirted suit expectation is outdated and sexist — what can we do to change this tradition? That’s a question that both women and men should be asking themselves. This is the 21st century after all.

Riskiest grooming/attire for women:

  • Hair in eyes; wear hair up or back
  • Too much make-up
  • Dress for success-Tips for men

The standard job interviewing attire for men is a conservative dark navy or gray two-piece business suit (of natural fibers, such as wool, if possible), a white long-sleeved button-down dress shirt, a conservative silk tie (that matches the colors in your suit), and nicely polished dress shoes.

If you do not own a suit, or the company is a bit more informal, wear a conservative sports coat (no plaids or wild patterns and preferably a dark color), nicely pressed dress slacks, a white long-sleeved button-down shirt, a conservative silk tie, and nicely polished dress shoes.

Your belt should always match your shoes.

If you have a beard or mustache, your facial hair should be neatly trimmed. If you have any visible body parts pierced, most experts recommend removing all jewelry, including earrings. Avoid both body odor and excessive cologne.

Riskiest grooming and attire for men:

  • No matching suit
  •  Long hair/ponytail
  • Facial hair ( untrimmed beard/mustache)

Finally, check your attire in the rest room just before your interview for a final check of your appearance — to make sure your tie is straight, your hair is combed, etc.

 

Subscribe Now For Job Interview Tips

Get the report "100 Cover Letters" totally FREE by joining our mailing list.

You have Successfully Subscribed!