Professional Dress


The way a candidate dresses for an interview is very important because research shows it only takes six seconds or less for someone to make a decision about what type of person you are, and if you could be a good fit for their company/organization. This decision can be made before you even speak! It is for this reason that your attire needs to be considered a crucial part of the interviewing process. It is always best to be formally and conservatively dressed for an interview because you will feel more confident about your appearance, and as a result will be more confident when answering questions about yourself. Below are guidelines for appropriate attire, accessories, and grooming habits. Please contact Career Services if you have further questions about appropriate interviewing attire.


Suits -
A suit should be worn for all interviews. The suit should be a dark color, such as black, pinstripe, navy blue, or dark gray, and should be conservative instead of trendy. A suit makes a much better impression than a dress shirt and pants, and is something that will last well into your career. Make sure that the suit fits properly; for example, the sleeves should come to the top of your wrist, the material should fit properly in the shoulders and around the neck, and the pants should just touch the top of your dress shoes. Most department stores will give guidance in this area.

Ties -
Conservative is the key word. Do not wear anything with bright colors or wild patterns on them. A tie with a small print or conservative stripes that matches the suit is ideal.

Shirts - A long-sleeved white shirt should be worn under the suit, and should fit properly in the shoulders and neck.

Shoes, Socks, and Belts -
Shoes should be a dark color, matching the color of the suit, and should also be conservative. Trendy shoes should be avoided,  Shoes should be freshly shined and not scuffed! Dress socks should be dark in color, and should match the suit. These include colors such as black, navy blue, and dark gray. White socks should never be worn! A black or brown belt should be worn, depending on the suit color.

Jewelry - Earrings, bracelets, neck chains, or any type of body rings such as tongue rings or eyebrow rings should not be worn. Men can wear a wedding band and class ring, as long as it is limited to one ring per hand. A nice watch is also acceptable.

Grooming -
Hair, facial hair, and nails should be short, clean, and neatly trimmed. Be aware that some employers do not allow any type of facial hair.  

Miscellaneous -
Clothes should be clean and neatly pressed. Avoid wearing cologne or aftershave. Try to keep tattoos covered at all times. Do not chew gum. Do not have the odor of cigarette smoke on your clothes and/or body.   


Suits -
A conservative skirt or pants suit is considered appropriate business attire for interviews. Dark colors such as black, navy blue, dark brown, and dark gray are best. Do not wear a trendy or low cut suit! The skirt length should be slightly above the knee, and one that is shorter is considered inappropriate as business interviewing attire.  

Tops -
Bright colors and bright stripes should be avoided. Long sleeves are best if the jacket might be taken off, and the top should have a modest neckline.  

Shoes and Pantyhose -
Shoes should complement the suit. Trendy shoes should be avoided, along with ones that are open-toe or open-back. It is best to buy simple and classic-looking shoes for an interview. Heels tend to look dressier than flats, but heels should not be longer than two-and-a-half inches. Shoes should be freshly shined and not scuffed! Pantyhose should closely match the color of your skin tone. 

Accessories -
Minimal jewelry should be worn. One pair of earrings, a simple chain and bracelet, a nice watch, and one ring per hand are acceptable. Any other type of body ring, such as a nose ring, eyebrow ring, or tongue ring should not be worn! A lapel pin or neck scarf can also be worn as long as it matches the suit and is a subtle color. However, do not wear any accessory that will draw negative attention to you or make you look unprofessional.     

Grooming -
Hair should be clean and neatly trimmed; and out of your face. Make certain not to over-do your makeup; avoid bright and dark colors as well. Again, you do not want to attract too much attention to yourself. Nails should also be clean and neatly trimmed; nail polish is acceptable as long as the polish is a subtle color and is not chipped.  

Miscellaneous -
Clothes should be clean and neatly pressed. Avoid wearing perfume/cologne. Try to keep tattoos covered at all times. Do not chew gum! Do not have the odor of cigarette smoke on your clothes and/or body.