How to Dress Up for a Job Interview (A Guide for Women)

by AMP

Interview Attire

Your entire wardrobe can usually be categorized in a million ways. Although your choices may be endless, the basic rule of toss and keep can help you zero in on what to wear for a job interview. Toss away items that do not fall into the formal category and keep those that you can pull off to create a good first impression.

How do you decide which ones to toss away and which ones to keep? First, get to know your target company. Use the help of people who are already working there. They should be able to give you an idea of what is best to wear for your big day. Once you know the existing dress code at the company, remember to go just a notch above on the day of your interview. Dressing up a notch higher is your way of putting your best foot forward and creating a good first impression.

While choosing the right dress does not guarantee a job offer, it will certainly make you stand out from the competition. Still, you need more than the right dress to ace the interview and secure a job offer. The way you interact, whether you think on your feet, how you articulate your thoughts and organize your ideas -- all these will contribute to the overall impression you leave behind. Here are some tips to help you make the right choices and prepare yourself for any job interview:

  1. Decide on what to wear. Knowing the dress code at the company you applied to is the first step. Eliminate low cut tops even if you have a good cleavage to show off. You do not have to appear too stiff, though. If still in doubt, choose a classic formal wear. You may choose to wear a pair of black pants as long as it looks good on you and it's the right fit. Make sure there are no loose threads or missed little stains anywhere on your outfit. If you are wearing a skirt, check and double check if it hugs your body just right. A perfect fit is key to feeling comfortable during the entire length of the interview. Mini skirts may not look professional on you, or anyone, for that matter. If you want to show off your sense of style, that's fine as long as you are not going a notch below their dress code. Although smart casual could work for some companies, it does not hurt your chances to stick to a professional formal look.

  2. Choose the right colors. A black pencil skirt is a safe choice, especially if it goes with a white top and a formal jacket. Keep the light colors in and dark colors out. If you are wearing a black skirt or a black pair of pants, match them with black leather shoes. If you must wear a belt, it has to match the color of your shoes. Aside from black, old navy blue and dark grey shades are also classic color choices for a formal ensemble. Accessories are all right, as long as you can coordinate the colors to enhance your overall look. Gold jewelleries are safe if used moderately.

  3. The shoes you choose to wear will say a lot about your work ethics. 4-inch heels say that you are stylish and chic, but will also tell your employer that you should not be expected to be up on your feet, rushing to beat deadlines. Once again, choose shoes that are safe. They should not cause you discomfort and they have to match your formal wear ensemble. Further, make sure that your shoes are clean and polished.

  4. Arrange a meeting with your manicurist if you want to color your nails. Otherwise, just make sure that your hands and nails are clean.

  5. Easy on the make up. While it is important for you to enhance your best features to show your best profile, overdoing it could hamper your chances. You may use a concealer and a light foundation, a lighter hue of red for your blush on and lipstick. If you want to draw attention to your eyes, mix eye shadow shades that will exude a formal finish. A run of eyeliner and a basic eye shadow should enhance your eyes. Wear your hair neat and simple, yet chic and elegant.

  6. Skip wearing perfume. If you must wear your good luck scent, keep it really light. The appeal of perfume is highly subjective, such that what smells light to you may cause an allergic reaction to another. Ideally, you want to avoid bringing allergens into the interview room.

  7. Show how attentive you are. Listen carefully when your interviewer speaks. Answer questions with calm and ease. Look straight into your interviewer's eyes. If there is just one question that you should be ready to answer, it is this: "Why should we hire you?"

  8. Wear a smart, quick-thinking head over your shoulders. Your confidence or lack thereof will show on your face, particularly your eyes, so stay relaxed. Think quickly and speak gracefully. Show confidence and a warm smile.

  9. Put on sophistication, class and charm. Your nerves will ease up if you're well-prepared. Choose your words carefully. Be friendly without breaking the barrier of interviewer and interviewee. Most importantly, arrive on time.

  10. Wear a smile. Anyone who sees your warm and genuine smile will want to keep you around.

Finally, boost your confidence before showing up. Your job interview outfit may look perfect but if you are a mess inside, your solid look will crumble.  Relax. You will get that job!

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