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Career Coach

The 5 W's of Interviews: Wear

Published December 7, 2011 9:23 AM by Renee Dahring
My second big “W” in interviewing is “Wear.” See how cleverly I changed “where” to “wear!”

I’m no fashion expert but there are a few things you need to keep in mind when you are dressing for your interview. Remember, first impressions are crucial. It’s a fact that employers begin to size you up and form an opinion about you within the first few minutes of meeting you. Your appearance and attire play a major role in whether or not they can see you as someone they wish to hire.

Your clothing choice for any interview should always be business formal. When you dress your best you communicate how much you value and respect the employer and their potential position. I don’t care how laid back and informal the job setting may be you still need to wear your best duds to the interview. This holds true no matter how well you may know the people interviewing you or even if you work for or have previously worked for the employer in a different capacity. Guys, this means you need to wear a suit and tie. For women, a business suit is also appropriate but always be sure to wear hose and avoid all open toed shoes.

Don’t wait until the last minute to pick out your interview attire. If you haven’t had to wear your “good clothes” for a few months, be sure to try them on to see if they still fit properly. And this is another important detail, if you haven’t worn your “interviewing” outfit for a few years then please go shopping. There is nothing worse than showing up to an interview looking like a '90s or even a millennial throwback. Really. Remember, you want to be remembered for your poise and skills, not your clothes. This goes for your hairstyle too. Visit your stylist to see if you are in need of some updating, because an outdated look can make you appear tired and old. That’s not the sort of impression you want to make.

Go easy on the jewelry and perfume/cologne. And if you have visible piercings in places other than your earlobes you need to remove the jewelry from them. One of the most common complaints I would get from employers after I sent a candidate for an interview was “too much perfume” and “too much jewelry.” You are supposed to be on an interview, not a date.

Next time we will cover “What,” as in, “What will they ask me?”

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    Occupation: Nurse Practitioners and NP Recruiters
    Setting: correctional healthcare/career consulting/teaching
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