DRESSING FOR THE INTERVIEW Unless you are interviewing for an artistic or creative job, recruiters expect to see conservatively dressed candidates. It is appropriate to dress according to the norm for the office environment, but for the interview, conservative dress is expected. You may find the following suggestions helpful when interviewing in a business setting: WOMEN’S WARDROBE: Suit: Dark, long-sleeved jacket and straight or pleated skirt. Black, dark gray or navy are best. Skirt length should be at or just below the knee. Jacket sleeve should end at the joint of the wrist. Avoid tight clothing and keep the neckline high. Shirt: Color - white or off-white. Avoid shiny material and frills such as lace and puffy sleeves. If the collar buttons, be sure it is fully buttoned. A collar pin, simple gold necklace, small single set of earrings, and one ring per hand is enough jewelry. Footwear: Shoe color - black or the color of the suit. Sheer stockings or pantyhose near your natural skin tone. Shoes should be simple, polished pumps in high quality leather, with one-to-two inch heel. Shoes should be comfortable enough for you to walk quickly and steadily. Accessories: Post earrings (none that dangle). One ring at most per hand, watch, and one bracelet, if any. A lapel pin is fine, but not together with a collar pin. Avoid jewelry which clinks and jingles when you move. You may want to carry a leather briefcase. A portfolio is required with extra copies of your resume, notes regarding company and position, extra paper, and a nice pen. No backpacks. If you choose to carry a purse, make sure it is of medium size and of good quality, preferably leather. Consider transferring the items you carry in your purse to your briefcase so that you will only need to carry one item, leaving one hand free for shaking hands. Make-up, etc.: Subtle never heavy. No frosted or bright lipstick, eye shadow, or bright nail polish. No long, acrylic nails. Keep hair out of face. If it’s long, consider pulling it back. If you use hair spray, keep it light. Avoid perfumes. Can be distracting and some people are allergic to them. Cover any tattoos or anything else that would distract from your professionalism. MEN’S WARDROBE: Suit: Two-piece, single- or double-breasted, in a solid color and dark, either black, dark gray or navy blue. Hem of the pant should reach the top of the shoe. Jacket sleeve should end at the joint of the wrist and hand. The jacket bottom should cover your seat. Shirt: White or other conservative light color, preferably a variation of off-white, with standard or button-down collar. Tie: Silk is preferable. No bright colors. Patterns should be conservative and repeating with no more than three colors. Background color should be neutral. The knot should be small but not tiny. Footwear: Shoes - polished, dark leather in a simple or wing-tip style. Socks - patternless and match color of pants or shoes and long enough to cover shins. Accessories: You may want to carry a leather briefcase. A portfolio is required with extra copies of your resume, notes regarding company and position, extra paper, and a nice pen. Wear a nice watch. No backpacks. Hair, etc.: Conservative haircut (short is preferable). If you have a beard/mustache, it should be shaved for the interview or neatly trimmed. Avoid fragrances. Can be distracting and some people are allergic to them. If you have an earring, remove it for the interview. Cover any tattoos or anything else that might distract from your professionalism. BUSINESS CASUAL: Occasionally recruiters will indicate on their invitations that candidates are invited to dress casually. Below is the commonly accepted definition of business casual: Men - slacks and a collared shirt. No jeans or sneakers. Women - a pantsuit, blouse with slacks or skirt, or simple dress. No jeans or sundresses. Be sure to dress modestly. DRESSING FOR THE RECEPTION: Dress a notch above business casual - sports jacket for men, nice dress or pantsuit for women.
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