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Dressing for Your Post-College Interview

If you are heading for the employment lines and want to get the biggest edge possible, focus on how you are presenting yourself to the CLIENT (your potential employer). Here is a truth I have discovered: the fastest way to a potential boss’s inner sanctum is through your appearance. Your FIRST appearance, that is.

In school all you had to worry about most days was whether you had a clean (or at least moderately clean!) pair of pants and a decent shirt or top to go with it before you set out on your way. Now you find yourself ready to start a career (or just get a job fast) and you have NOTHING to wear. To make matters worse, you aren’t even sure what to wear. Your confidence is low, and you fret that this might hinder you in the interview process.

Are you following where I am going with this? You’re a ball of worry and you haven’t even started interviewing!!

Relax! Let’s get to the heart of successful first impressions for that successful job interview with my top 10 rules for interviewing dressing:

  • Rule #1: If what you wear makes you confident, then you will be confident.

  • Rule #2: Trying to look like someone you are not will backfire.

  • Rule #3: Sloppy casual dressing says just that: you are sloppy and casual.

  • Rule #4: Professional attire says you’re professional.

  • Rule #5: The most important person to impress upon first meetings is your potential boss and everyone who works for him or her.

  • Rule #6: Non-verbal communication is powerful. Practice your handshake, stand up during greetings, and sit up straight, directly facing your interviewer, during the process.

  • Rule #7: Tattoos, piercings, cleavage and underwear should remain hidden when you are interviewing. Until you understand the company culture, keep them hidden after you get the job, too. Always dress more conservatively than not during an initial interview, even for a more casual company setting.

  • Rule #8: The greatest sign of respect you can show anyone is suiting up and showing up - on time.

  • Rule #9: If it jangles, sparkles, rings or clangs, leave it off and leave it at home.

  • Rule #10 Your smile and eye contact win people over every time.

Follow these ten rules for successful interview dressing and the way you look won’t get in the way of what you have to say. Good luck!

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