6 Style Tips for Interview Success
Robert DiGiacomo | HotJobs
In a tight job market, what you wear to an interview could be the difference between getting an offer and getting rejected.
“By not really investing in your appearance, it can actually cost you the job,” says New York City-based image consultant and personal stylist David A. McKnight. “Nine out of 10 employers say, when all else is equal, they select the most attractive candidate, or the candidate that presents themselves the best.”
Here are six style tips to ensure your look is a career asset, not a liability.
Create Your ‘Visual’ Resume
Make sure your attire is sending the right message about your capabilities, says Mary Lou Andre, a Needham, Massachusetts-based image consultant and author of Ready to Wear: An Expert’s Guide to Choosing and Using Your Wardrobe.
“Shift your thought pattern on dressing from a fashionista type of approach to one tied to competency, communication, respect and appropriate boundary-setting,” Andre says. “You don’t have to be boring, but you do have to think about it.”
Unless you’re told otherwise, always wear a suit to a first interview. For women, a pantsuit is no longer a fashion don’t, and is as acceptable as the traditional skirted “power suit.”
“A suit is a sign of respect for the company as well as the person interviewing you,” McKnight says. “It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.”
The Rules Apply
Knowing an office’s “rules” — whether written or not — is critical, especially for younger job seekers, according to Andre.
A young guy who doesn’t wear socks to an interview at a financial firm won’t be taken seriously, while a young woman should be careful not to bare too much skin.