Dress for Success

Career Services

Dress for Success

Does it really make a difference how you dress for an interview? 
You bet it does!

Get a good night's sleep.toothbrush.jpg
Someone who looks tired might also look sickly. Nobody wants to be around someone with a
cold or the flu.

Take a shower. 
It will help you look sharp, alert, and healthy.

Shampoo your hair. 
One of the first things the manager will look at is your hair. It makes a huge statement about your overall hygiene and cleanliness. 

Brush your teeth. 
Get the manager to remember your ideas, your skills, your personality - not what you had for breakfast. Brush, floss, and use mouthwash.

Use deodorant and antiperspirant.  
The manager will think you're cool as a cucumber. Rub a little on your hands and you'll have a nice dry handshake too.

Use eye drops. 
Get the red out and your eyes will twinkle.

manicure.JPGTrim your nails. 
Guys: long, dirty nails are a turnoff. Most hiring managers will notice when they reach to shake your hand. Ladies: managers won't be impressed if long nails might prevent you fro doing the work.

Hair styles. 
Choose a simple style that makes you look good. Get the manager to focus on your face, your expression, and your eyes- not your hair style.

Avoid strong perfumes and colognes. 
Odors linger. The manager might become repulsed after you leave.

In business, less is more. The idea is to look professional so you'll be taken seriously.

Guys, a two-day stubble looks great on the weekend, but not in an interview. Showing up with a stubble means you didn't shave.dressforsuccess.jpg

Body piercings. 
One or two piercings are fine. A half dozen or more becomes a distraction. Don't wear tongue jewelry to a job interview since it might be a distraction.

Avoid trendy fashions. 
It's been said that fashion gets attention- but it doesn't convey power. Classic clothing conveys power. Conduct your job interview from a point of strength, not novelty.

Dress in clothes that you would wear on the job.  
Executives should wear business suits. Office people should wear dress clothes. Workers should wear work clothes. If you're not sure what to wear to your interview, call the company and ask someone in their human-resource office. They'll be glad to tell you.

The classic white-collar outfits
For men- navy-blue blazer, gray slacks, white shirts, stripped tie, black lace-up shoes, black sox, and a black dress belt. For women- a charcoal gray or navy pantsuit, white blouse scarf or necklace, with black pumps, black hose, black belt, and a simple black bag.

iron.JPGCheck your clothes. 
Make sure they fit properly and feel comfortable. Check for holes, tears, splits, stains, missing buttons, runs, frayed hems, worn cuffs, puckers, pulls, or wrinkles.

Wear clean, freshly-pressed clothes. 
Send your jacket and pants off to be dry-cleaned and pressed. Have your shirt or blouse laundered, starched, and pressed. Looking sharp shows respect for the manager and the job.

Shine your shoes. 
It says that you are a meticulous worker and you pay attention to details.

Avoid bright colors, loud fashions, and patterns that clash. 
It's a sign that you need lots of attention.

Avoid excessive jewelry. 
For men, a wristwatch and a ring are plenty. For women, a watch, a ring, a necklace, and a pair of earrings are ideal.

Empty your pockets. 
No bulges to ruin your profile and no jingling change to fall out of your pocket when you sit down for the interview.



Some Last-Minute Thoughts


  • Bring anyone with you to a job interview. Go alone.
  • Eat, chew gum or tobacco.
  • Bring your phone or at least turn it OFF.
  • Fidget, play with your hair or jewelry.
  • Be too quick to answer, listen to the entire question.
  • Be too brief in your response; give details and follow up with specific and related examples.


  • Bring several copies of your resume and carry them in a simple manila folder.
  • Bring work samples or a portfolio if needed.
  • Bring money for gas, tolls, public transportation, and telephone.
  • Bring a new notebook and a pen that works.
  • Write the manager's name, department, address, and telephone number in the notebook.
  • Write the names, addresses, and phone numbers of three people who have agreed to serve as personal references.
  • Plan to arrive 10 minutes before the interview begins.
  • If something happens and you are going to be late, call the manager.
  • When you arrive, ask to use the rest room and check your appearance.