What should you wear to an interview?
To steal a line from my dear friend Barney Stinson on How I Met Your Mother, “suit up.”
You should always wear a suit to an interview. Wearing a suit and dressing professionally means that you take what you are doing seriously. It means you want to be taken seriously, and you want to be considered for the position. If you can’t represent yourself in a clean, professional manner, how will you represent the company?
I recently overheard a conversation with a photographer friend and a client and he made the comment that the day you come to interview is the best you will ever look while working for him. It’s probably true. Your first impression should hopefully be your best, and once you land the job you aren’t expected to meet those expectations every day.
Here are some secrets that I’ve always heard about dressing for an interview.
· Don’t wear too much perfume or cologne.
· Don’t chew gum.
· Be conservative (no short skirts, low-cut shirts).
· Less is more when it comes to jewelry.
· Leave your cell phone in the car.
· Make sure your shoes are clean.
I interviewed a guy that wore so much cologne the mere thought of having him in the office every day was an instant turn-off. You could still smell him in the hall after he left.
And, a note from my own personal interview collection – leave your accessories off if you tend to mess with them when you get nervous. In my very first interview I was messing with my watchband so much I noticed my potential employer watching me. I stopped immediately.
I also encourage you to “suit up” for all important occasions. Dressing professionally during a pitch or first meeting with a potential client is a sign of respect for their business. It’s important to show them you value their time, by not only being on time but also by looking your best. After all, you want them to hire you and treat you as an extension of their company, so you want them see your most professional side.
When in doubt, suit up.