How to Dress for an Interview

Two applicants have similar resumes and credentials. One gets the job over the otherâÂ?¦and let’s just say it wasn’t you. What gives? For starters, maybe your clothes weren’t pressed or your shoes weren’t shined or your perfume offended the interviewer. Sound trivial? According to Barbara Glass, Image Wardrobe Consultant and Fashion Editor for Chicago’s NBC 5, it’s all in the details. “Why does everyone want to unwrap the present that’s the most attractive during the holidays? Believe me, they’ll pick that one first. It’s how you wrap yourself. It can be the determining factor between which candidate is chosen.”

Most people don’t have a clue that these details can affect the way an interview goes. You need to package yourself appropriately. Barbara explains, “The idea here is to keep the focus on YOU, not what you’re wearing. It’s about blending in with the culture you’re interviewing for, not setting trends. Impress the interviewer with your ability, not with your clothing.” She offers 12 crucial tips to keep in mind when dressing for the interview. Lucky for us, we never make the same mistake twice! ?

Glass’s DRESSING FOR THE INTERVIEW 101

1. Avoid trends, stay with modern classics. “You’re not on a runway! If you want to walk around with funky outfits and pierced body partsâÂ?¦ fine, go into advertising! But if you want to be in an executive role, it’s not going to fly.”
2. Invest in one good suit. Keep it neutral. Black, navy or grays always work. “When your Donald Trump, you can wear pink. When you’re the CEO, you can wear whatever you want. Until then, follow what the culture does.”
3. Your clothes need to be tailored to fit. Don’t war short skirts or roll up your hems! A simple white or blue shirt under your suit is appropriate. “If you have to think about it, don’t wear it. Go with your instincts.”
4. No Distractions! Keep the noise level down. Avoid bangles that clank, backless shoes that clunk, earrings that dangle. “Pearls may sound boring, but there is a reason they still sell at Tiffany’s.”
5. No Logos. You never know who you’re going to offend. “Stay away from symbols, initials or pictures.”
6. Groomed, healthy hair is important. “Anyone dealing with money, keep your hair off your face in a knot or French twist. The point is, when you are talking to someone and dealing with money, people want you to look serious. You can wear your hair down in the evening.”
7. Nails should be clean and clear, at a reasonable length. “I’m shocked at the number of people I see wear nail polish. Red is a no-no.”
8. Keep makeup minimal. No heavy mascara or eyeshadow. Neutral lipstick is fine.
9. Anchor yourself with one thing to express your identity. “Wear something that gives you stability or character. A vintage watch is a great piece.”
10. No heavy perfume! It’s offensive to the interviewer and you never know what allergies they may have.
11. Arrive 15 minutes early for the appointment. Check yourself out in the bathroom. “Make sure you didn’t get splashed from a cab going by or have a run in your nylons. It will also give you a chance to relax.”
12. Have a good attitude. “People forget to smile. No one wants to work with people who are unpleasant. This is as elementary as shaking someone’s hand firmly or looking them in the eyes when you speak. They may be old rules, but they sure haven’t changed for most people!”

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