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What do I wear for an interview?

I've always wondered what is considered appropriate for an interview. I went with a short sleeve shirt to an interview, but I was then told that I had to wear a long sleeve.

#interview-preparation
#job-interview
#interview #interviews #interviewing #job-interview #interviewing-skills


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Austin’s Answer

Hi Yomaris,

Good question. Showing up for an interview can be stressful, and having to pick the right outfit is even more stressful. Despite the stress, I have learned a few things about how to properly dress for an interview from having interviewed for jobs at least 10 times.


For guys, suit and tie is the standard. It really depends on the job that you are applying for, but having a well fitted suit, nice tie, wrinkle free shirt, and shiny shoes is the standard that all guys should operate by when showing up to an interview. If you aren't working in an office or you are interviewing for a job that requires physical labor (i.e. farmer, fireman, forklift driver etc) then a suit/tie combination might me a little bit overkill. Guys, always remember to do your hair, shave, and brush your teeth; these little things make a huge difference when you are meeting your employer for the first time.


For girls (pardon my lack of familiarity as I am a man), a suit, nice dress, blouse+nice pants, and nice foot wear (think heels, nice flats, or wedges) are the standard. Every place has its own culture so you are going to have to judge for yourself what is the most appropriate to wear. Similar to the guys, little things go a long way so you likely do not want to show up with really messy hair. It is always better to play it safe and overdress than show up really under-dressed in tattered jeans and a T-shirt.


It's hard to say that you should "100% of the time wear X" as every employer has a different working culture and expectations. You will likely have to do some research and judge for yourself what is the proper attire to wear.


I hope this helps and I wish you the best of luck!!


Best,

Austin


It depends on the company culture so try and do your research (look on Glassdoor for company reviews/interview tips). But if you’re not sure, a good go to is a black or navy blue suit for women and men (wear a tie). Good hygiene and well groomed hair (including facial hair) and clean nails. Comfortable but professional shoes. Whatever you wear, make sure you’re comfortable. Interviews are stressful, you don’t want add additional stress by wearing something uncomfortable. Julia Le Gendre, SHRM - CP

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Matt’s Answer

In general, dress a bit more nicely than you'd dress on a random day for the job you're interviewing for. But, this varies geographically, and by industry.

In tech, especially US west-coast tech, showing up in a business suit is off-putting, and inappropriate. Showing up in a dirty hoodie and sandals with socks is probably equally poor form.

You can do a little recon to get an idea of what people wear in their day to day lives, to set your baseline: show up at a casual lunch spot in the neighborhood where you're applying for jobs, and look around. Find people who look professional, but not stuffy, and emulate them.

Your goal here is to dress in a way that is unsurprising, but pleasant. You don't want your fashion choices to be a part of the decision making process.

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Karina’s Answer

Hi Yomaris!

The industry dress code to be followed for interviews is wearing the 'Business Professional aka Full Business aka Formal Business' attire. What it means is:
1) Clothes should be solid, dark or neutral colors
2) Light colors can be worn underneath
3) No stripes or bright colors or bright prints
4) The color of your suit/jacket (whichever you are using) should be the same as that of your pants/skirt (whichever you are using). This means that a black suit/jacket with black pants/skirt works.
5) Shoes should be closed-toe heel or dress shoes

P.S.: This dress code can be followed for career fairs, professional networking and presentation events, business meetings, formal celebratory occasions as well.

Hope this helps!!!

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Drew’s Answer

When dressing for an interview, you will want to:

1. Match your clothes to the culture of the company - The most important thing to do is to pick up on the culture and vibe of where you are interviewing.

2. Dress nicer than normal - You will definitely want to dress a little bit nicer than the normal working day, but you don't wan to look so nice that you are out of place.

3. Pick a comfortable and confident outfit - You want to wear something that you are comfortable in and that won't be bugging you all day. For example, don't wear an itchy sweater (even if it's cute or looks nice) because it will distract you from the interview. If you're confident in your outfit, then it will show in small ways.

TL;DR: Blending in visually can help it look like you are already part of the team and fit in. I don't think it's something that people notice consciously, but it does make an impact.


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Samantha’s Answer

Hi! It totally depends on the industry you're interviewing for! If you're interviewing for a job in accounting, you'd wear a suit. If you're interviewing for a job at a laid back technology start up, jeans and a blouse/button down is probably more appropriate. If in doubt, it's always a good idea to ask what the dress code will be.

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Samantha’s Answer

Hi Yomaris,

Dress appropriately for a job interview. Generally, you want to wear professional, or business, attire.
Depending on the job position you are applying for.

Best of luck :)

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Gunjan’s Answer

During your interview, you want the interviewer to visualize you doing the job. So, dress like a well dressed person doing that job would dress up. Dress for the job. If you are interviewing for a role of a fashion model, dress up in a nice dress. If you are interviewing for a constructor worker job, wear comfortable clothes in which you like like you can take up any responsibility. While interviewing for a office position, wear nice office clothes.
Must Do: Whatever you wear and your body should be extremely clean. Don't look shabby.

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Flora’s Answer

I would suggest overdressing rather than underdressing. But look at the company's website and see if they have staff photos which will give you a steer.

As a rule of thumb, professional services are smart, so a suit, or smart trousers/dress with a blazer. For companies that looks a bit more casual, maybe slacks and a shirt (preferable ironed) or a dress or Skirt and top. I wouldnt be too revealing or wear trainers. I would tend ot wear closed toe shoes and not flip flops or sandal's too.

Even for very relaxed companies I would avoid trainers and hoodies. But a smart pair of black jeans and an ironed, not wrinkly, top.

Check the weather, and take an umbrella if if might rain, sodden isnt a good look. but make sure you are comfortable, if you wear something that is itchy or too small etc you wont be comfortable and interviews are nerve-racking at the best of times!

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Kinsey’s Answer

Hi Yomaris,

It is great to think ahead! I remember I applied for an externship and set up an interview for the next day; I was running around town trying to find something that worked!

I agree with a lot of the previous answers: knowing the culture of your potential employer is crucial. However, what I will say is it's always better to dress up than dress down in my experience. If you can't or don't feel comfortable asking a recruiter the dress code of the firm, going with a nice suit or blazer will always do the trick. First impressions are huge so don't wear an overwhelming perfume or an excessive amount of makeup that will draw away from you and your accomplishments.

All in all, confidence is the number one thing you need to bring to an interview. If you don't believe in yourself, why should an employer believe in you?

Hope that helps!

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Fiona’s Answer

Depends on the company and the role. For young professionals, i would suggest a black suit, white blouse - clean cut professional clothing. Nothing flashy - you never know who is interviewing you and you do not want to offend or give the wrong impression. Do not under dress - this will portray you are not taking your the interview seriously.

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Nikki’s Answer

Dress Smart and comfortable. Comfort before style :)

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Robyn’s Answer

Professional attire, it would be better to be over dressed than not dressed appropriately.

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Jack’s Answer

Ask the recruiter on dress recommendation. I would say dress as appropriate for the work environment, not necessary brand new outfit, but something you feel comfortable with materials and fit.

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Mark’s Answer

What you should wear to an interview varies quite a bit depending on your potential employer. It always good to ask the person / recruiter who contacted you to share the dress code for the environment. Some work places are more casual attire and others can be more polished requiring a suit and tie for example. I would focus on overall neatness, personal grooming, along with dressing for comfort are important regardless of what you're wearing. Don't assume what you should wear, take that extra step to find out and set yourself up for success ( first impressions make an impact ).



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Scott’s Answer

Take into account the field of work you are applying for. Generally speaking you cannot overdress for an interview (except tuxedo or prom dress...) I would vary my dress based on the environment and type of work I would be doing. For example, if I was interviewing at Fedex to load trucks I would probably wear a nice polo and slacks as a guy or nice pants and top for a girl with comfortable shoes. If I was applying to work in an office I would wear a suit and tie for a guy and dress pants or skirt and nice blouse or top as a girl.

You should be mindful of your personal hygiene such as combing your hair, brushing teeth, too much make-up, etc. This sounds obvious but as a hiring manager I have seen a lot of people either overthink or forget the little things. If you are a guy wearing a suit, wear dress socks...not athletic socks or ankle socks so your legs show when you sit down. Polish your shoes, wear deodorant and coordinate your outfit as best as you can. You want to show that you put thought and care into your choice of apparel. That infers that you care about the opportunity. Iron your clothes before hand, do not show up with wrinkles. Attention to details matters! Girls, be mindful of how much makeup you use and what jewelry you wear. Lots of bracelets that jangle when you move your arms can be distracting. Wear something appropriate...you are not going to the club. For both guys and girls, use half of whatever cologne or perfume you were planning on using. Typically interviews happen in small spaces and smells can be overpowering.

Aside from your physical appearance, take time to practice your non verbal actions. Are you fidgety, do you rattle the keys/change in your pocket, do you shake your leg when you are thinking or nervous, do you keep eye contact or look away, etc. Best way to watch for these is to do a mock interview and video record your body while you speak or have someone complete a mock interview and video record it so you can see what you do. While you are doing the mock interview audio record yourself separately to hear your verbal queues. Do you say "um" before you answer, do you say "like" in between every other word, do you speak at an appropriate volume, do you mumble, are you articulate, do you ramble or get off topic, etc?

Interviewing is like anything else...PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE. You don't have to wait until you blow the interview to work on your interviewing skill set.

Other things to prepare are:
ARRIVE 15 MINUTES EARLY (I turn away any applicant that is late. If you can't be on time to an interview I have zero confidence you will be on time for your job) - If there is an emergency and you have to reschedule or will be late - CALL the interviewer and make them understand how important this interview is for you and that you will make yourself available to meet whenever.
Work on your resume (look at online templates, watch videos, take workshops, etc)
Keep your resume to 1 page (I prefer a concise, well formatted design that highlights your accomplishments and background. I don't need every data point)
Always bring multiple copies of your resume (even if you are only meeting with 1 person, prepare in case more people sit in on the interview)
Print your resume on card stock - (this goes back to your image and personal brand)
Practice giving answers in the SMART format
Think back on your experience or life about situations that were challenging and how you overcame them
Tailor your answers to be relevant to the job you are applying for
Learn about the company you are applying for. Do a quick google search and get some talking points (was there a recent product release, is there a new leadership team, etc)
Look up your interviewer on LinkedIn or Facebook (Information is your friend, any data points that you can reference to build common ground will help you)

While in the interview take a deep breath and relax as much as possible. This is your opportunity to show the real you and what you bring to the table. Don't be afraid to humble-brag. You don't want to come off as arrogant and you know better than everyone else but you need to be able to confidently talk about your accomplishments and ambitions. Smile, be upbeat and positive and realize that eventually the right opportunity will come along.

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Alberto’s Answer

It depends of the job title you are pursuing.

If it's your first job I recommend a Business Casual Outfit. Use a cool Shirt and a pair of Chinos.


If you are looking for a serious enterprise (like legal) you have to use a suit.


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Angela’s Answer

Great question! A good rule of thumb is to always ask your contact at the office you are interviewing for what the dress is in the office. For my company, we are casual so a nie pair of dark jeans and a blazer would be totally acceptable. If you are interviewing for a position and the dress is business professional, a dress with a blazer or skirt/slacks would be a nice touch. I would say stick to basic colors and minimal jewelry/makeup.

Angela, I agree with you. I always err on the side of being overdressed, however, I think its important to ask and understand the dress code for the company where you are interviewing. We actually go out of our way to share that ours is a casual environment and a suit would be too overdressed! Never be afraid to ask the person who called you for the interview. Believe me, they want you have a successful experience. Kari Bertsch

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Stacy’s Answer

A lot of great advice has been given! Another thing you can also consider is asking the recruiter for feedback. They are there to answer questions and help you through the interview process so they can help provide insight to the culture and dress codes but even if they say the dress code is casual and jeans, it is always better to dress a little more business casual than jeans for the interview!

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Catherine’s Answer

Hello, Reminder, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Recommend the following for Interview dress

•No sleeveless shirts - in my experience short sleeve is permissible but really base that on the weather, temperature; comfortable shoes may have to walk around workspace, meet other Interviewers in different parts of building

• Have your clothes pressed

• Clothes should be comfortable

• avoid too tight, too short

• If have belt loops, wear a belt

• Jewelry – Minimal

• No perfume or aftershave

• Comb your hair

Catherine recommends the following next steps:

Purchase or have set aside a standard interview outfit and shoes that you can use specifically for when you have interview; you will be ready for any time that you are called to go for an interview

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Martina’s Answer

You want to wear professional, or business, attire. For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie, or a sweater and button down. For women, this might mean a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress.

Clothes should be neat and clean, and appropriately cover private areas such as the chest, stomach, back, and upper thighs.

Always dress professionally regardless of an interviewer's dress code.

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Kim’s Answer

Great question and you already have some great answers. I would just add that what you wear can sometimes make a powerful statement about you. If you walk into an interview with wrinkles, stains or untucked, even in the nicest of suits, it might suggest you don't care about the interview. So before you walk out the door, look in the mirror and make sure that the outfit you do choose sends the correct message. Another important aspect is body language. A smile goes a long way and a head held high shows confidence. Good luck!

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Ryan’s Answer

I would say it depends on the company you are interviewing for. Some companies have more or a casual dress and others are more formal. If you're unsure, always dress on the more formal side.

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Joemark’s Answer

Dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for which you are applying , avoid those with flashy and colorful dresses, dress should be clean and prepared a day before your interview.

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Daisy’s Answer

Dressing for success is vital. However, you should also feel comfortable in the clothes you wear to an interview. A pair of slacks (can never go wrong with black) and a blouse/button down shirt (avoiding anything too bright or flashy) is okay, but you also want to feel comfortable in the clothes you wear. There was a time I attended an interview in a lovely blouse, but it felt a bit tight by my neck. I was uncomfortable and unable to concentrate on the conversation during the interview. The lesson I learned is to dress professionally but also feel comfortable.


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Charlotte(Carly)’s Answer

Hi

Great question - wear what you are comfortable in, it will make you feel more confident if you are wearing something that doesn't cause you to fidget! Different companies are more casual so it is important to check with them before the interview to get a sense of what they think is appropriate.

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Yomaris,

My general rule of thumb is business professional. However, you can never be "over-dressed" for an interview.

Thanks,
Blake

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Radhika’s Answer

1. Confidence
2. Positivity with a confident smile
3. Any dress just make sure they are comfortable clothes preferably light colored shirt and polished shoes

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Luis’s Answer

Hi Yomaris,

For me it depends completely in the type of job and also on the company where you applying for. I always investigate the company before the interview to understand if, as a men I have to wear with suit and tie or if jeans, a formal shirt and a suit is enought.

I case of woman, black pants and a formarl shirt always work. For me a dress is too much.

Hope my answer can be usefull for you.

Regards

Luis | Cisco TAC


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William’s Answer

Seeing that each company/field is different, see if you can leverage your recruiter for some best practices and expectations of the day. In some cases due to OSHA standards, company policy, etc. you may need to dress differently than a typical interview to take a tour after the interview of the lab, office, warehouse, etc. Good luck!

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Anita’s Answer

The best attire for an interview is a suit. It doesn't have to be expensive. A suit is sharp good business look.

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Christina’s Answer

Hi! I do think that what you wear to an interview depends a bit on where you are interviewing. I think it is good to do some research on the firm where you are interviewing. Is it a formal company where a suit may be expected? Or, are you interviewing at start up where business casual may be expected. It's good to do that research or even to talk to the recruiter to understand the environment. Generally, though, you can do well in business attire--suits for me and suits/skirts/work dresses for women. Best of luck with your interviews.

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Bridie’s Answer

Depends on the job you are going for but I would always err on the side of being boring rather than trying to be fashionable. My rule of thumb with interview dressing is don't give your outfit a reason for them not to hire you. This goes for strong perfume too! Keep it simple. Clean, well-ironed and not revealing. Good luck with your interview!

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Sophie’s Answer

You should try to go for something classic, and professionnal.


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tatiana’s Answer

<span style="color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.87);">In many traditional industries, like finance or account, business professional dress will be appropriate. For example, a conservative suit, shirt and tie if you're a man, or a conservative suit if you're a woman. I always find it helpful to try and match the clothing that the employees of the company wear :)</span>


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Brian’s Answer

I suggest researching the culture of the company, and dress "one step up" from their culture. This way you can relate to the company and not seem out of place, while at the same time ensuring a good first impression.

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Ashley’s Answer

You ALWAYS want to dress for success. My dad always told me that even if I was applying for a job at McDonald’s I should dress like I was applying for the CEO of a company.


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Thomas’s Answer

I think dressing professionally is always a good idea. If you think a suit is too much, I would wear slack and a button up shirt at the very least. It's more of less depends on what the company is.


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Joemark’s Answer

Dress in a manner that is professionally appropriate to the position for which you are applying , avoid those with flashy and colorful dresses, dress should be clean and prepared a day before your interview.

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Victoria’s Answer

It really depends on what job you're interviewing for and the company's culture and policies.


Ensure you're dressed according to the company's policies but dress comfortably so you can feel like yourself!


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Nikshubha’s Answer

For an interview be sure to be dressed all neat and tidy. Choose a smart, comfortable outfit, something that is plain-solid or stripes, preferably(I would not suggest prints). Ensure that the dress is ironed.
Wear a smile :) and you are ready for the day!


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Cody’s Answer

I would reach out to the employer to ensure you are "dressed-up" enough and to ensure you are not wearing shorts/short sleeves. Lastly, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Typically, I would imagine dressing in either business casual or business professional. This is anywhere in between pants/button down to a suit. I would also recommend coming in with a business bag/briefcase as opposed to bringing in a "fashion statement bag". LASTLY - BRING A WONDERFUL ATTITUDE!

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Nadine’s Answer

It's very relative to the industry/position, but I would always caution you to over dress for the interview. You may feel silly wearing a suit/blazer or dress attire while everyone is more casual, but it lets the interviewer's know that you are presentable, polished, professional and take the job seriously.


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Michele’s Answer

What you should wear to an interview varies quite a bit depending on your potential employer and your industry. Focusing on overall neatness (no wrinkles, lints, stains), personal grooming, and dressing for comfort are important regardless of what you're wearing.

While you may feel embarrassed to ask (you shouldn't - it's always best to avoid assumptions), you can ask the person who contacted to you arrange the interview. Some companies even volunteer this information to job candidates in advance of their interview.


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Matthew’s Answer

For me interviewing is all about connecting with the interviewer and bringing your best self. Some companies promote just business casual but I don't think there is anything wrong with looking your best. Put on that suit and tie or dress and show up ready to crush the interview. Interviewing is all about confidence for me and personally I am more confident speaking when I am comfortable in my appearance. Managers appreciate someone who puts effort forth in anything. Never forget that

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Catherine’s Answer

I really think it depends on the type of job you are interviewing for and the type of company. If you are applying for corporate employment, then a suit would be appropriate (for both men and women - pants and jacket or skirt and jacket). Make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing. If you aren't comfortable, then it may set the wrong tone for you. When you are comfortable in what you are wearing, you have confidence which will shine through the interview.

If the job you are interviewing for is not specifically management or a corporate position, then pants, shirt/sports jacket may be appropriate. Just make sure everything is clean, including your shoes. Remember, you want to put your best foot forward.

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Carole’s Answer

Austin: Although the final selection of a job candidate are often eliminated because of inappropriate clothing. The facts are that the first impression of someone stays longer than the last impression. You make a statement when you walk through that door and it should be appropriate. Here are some of the inappropriate items that should not be worn:, forget jeans, and beach wear, or over dressing also can be inappropriate, along with too much make-up (for women) or too much jewelry, and for men (tattoos are sometimes not the best so maybe you should  wear  long sleeve shirt. A good rule to follow for dressing for an interview is dress for a position just above the one you are applying for. Keep in more on the conservative side unless you are applying for some type of fine arts job such as actor, designer, or others in the fine arts area. Men should wear conservative two piece suit, plain color shirt, and a nice silk tie with either plain or small stripe or dots, Wing tip or great for shoes.  This is a basic corporate  wardrobe, This shows that you are taking this interview seriously. Women  should choose a professional looking dress or suit with low heeled shoes makes. This makes the best impression. This is also the corporate look  maybe for baking or law  etc. For lesser jobs not being corporate you might want to wear a pant suit with or without  jacket (not as corporate). However, some hiring managers in creative industries like advertising or  publishing, look for a more informal attire but stylish look that is a reflection of your individuality. Use your best judgment and wear whatever is professional and comfortable  for you. With that said, personal grooming is even more important than finding the perfect outfit. Be sure that your clothes are ironed, clean, fit well and hair is neat and washed in a business manner. Both men and women should not have perfume or cologne that can be smelled by others, my secret is that body lotion can be better absorbed so that the smell does not affect others in a bad way. They could be allergic to some odors that you are wearing.

Carole recommends the following next steps:

If you are dressed appropriately, others will perceive your attitude and confidence and you will most likely do very well on the interview. To help you further try and relax with a few breathing techniques, giving yourself more time to get there, and being prepared for the questions that you will answer and ask. I wish you the best in you interview and if you follow these ideas I know you will do great. Pick up an interviewing book to help you practice your questions. "The 250 job interview Question" is a good book by Peter Veruki.

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