You know by now that, like it or not, a lot of how we’re seen by the world depends on our appearance. This is certainly true of a job interview, no matter how casual the employment may be. You have one chance and one chance only to make a first and lasting impression. Your clothing, hair, makeup, and jewelry should reflect the best you possible. So read on to learn how to dress for the job interview.

How do you know what is appropriate attire? The person in the suit and tie is going to make a better first impression than the candidate in the torn jeans and faded t-shirt because taking the time to dress well says something about how important this job is to you. It gives your potential employer his first glimpse at how you operate.

What to Wear is key. You only have one chance to make a good first impression!

• A traditional suit, preferably in a dark color such as black, navy blue or gray, skirt or slacks
• Skirts should not be so short that sitting down causes embarrassment or discomfort
• Conservative shoes
• Neutral colored nylons
• Light, clean-looking make up
• Hair that is cut and styled
• Trimmed nails

What to Avoid

• Loud colors or patterns, or clothing with wording or promotions on them. Infomercials don’t work anyway
• Inappropriate clothing that is too tight, too short or exposes too much cleavage
• Cheap, excessive and dangling jewelry. Limit to simple earrings, a ring and a watch
• Heavy goth-type makeup, unusual hair colors
• Inappropriate footwear – either worn and scuffed shoes or spiked heels

Other Tips for Interview Attire

Like it or not, many employers frown on piercings and tattoos. Remove any piercings other than earrings for the interview and be sure to find out the company (and the boss’s) policy on these at work. Cover any exposed tattoos for the interview. While employers are becoming more relaxed about these adornments, some still have issues, particularly in sales positions, fearing they will make some customers uncomfortable.

Don’t show up smoking, chewing gum or carrying a coffee or soda into the interview. Make sure your cell phone is turned off or set to vibrate. The idea is nothing should distract the interviewer form from noticing you and what you can bring to the job. Paying attention to the power of your education and tuition is crucial as well

Preparation Tips

If you haven’t worn your interview outfit for a while, try it on ahead of time. Make sure it still fits, that all the buttons and zippers work and that it has no tears or stains. If need be, have it dry cleaned, repaired and pressed, well in advance of the interview date. Polish your shoes and lay everything out the night before. You don’t want to be late because you had to spend time at the last minute locating a lost shoe or buying nylons you thought you had. Make sure the interviewer understands that you are ready to further your education and develop your skills via online courses!