Dressing for the Interview

Business professional dress is essential for an interview, a career fair, or a formal networking event.

WOMEN'S PROFESSIONAL

Grooming - Hairstyle should be simple and away from your face. If your hair falls below the shoulders, pull it back. Wear daytime, natural makeup. Keep fingernails short to medium length and manicured. Avoid bright nail polish colors and chipped nail polish. Perfume should be limited.

Suit - Wear a conservative, two-piece, matching business suit. The color should be black, dark grey, or navy. The jacket should button easily without pulling across the back. The sleeve length should be at or just below your wrist bone. The skirt should be around knee length and should easily turn around your body. Straight skirts should hang from buttocks in a straight line and not form-fitting. Make sure there are no visible lines under the skirt.

Blouse - Wear a light colored blouse or button-down shirt with a conservative neckline. Your blouse should be long enough to be tucked in and should not pull across the chest.

Hosiery - Hose should match your skin tone. You might want to buy an extra pair and carry them with you in case you get a run.

Shoes - Wear closed-toed, low-heel pumps. Avoid sandals or "strappy" shoes.

Accessories - Count your accessories, including glasses, and wear no more than seven pieces. Think conservative and avoid dangling or hoop earrings. Do not wear more than one ring on each hand; cover up visible tattoos and piercings. Carry a purse or professional bag, but not both.

MEN'S PROFESSIONAL

Grooming - Hair should be neat and styled and should not touch your collar. Facial hair should be well-groomed. Keep your fingernails clean and trimmed. Avoid heavy fragrances.

Suit - Wear a conservative two-piece dark colored suit. Your jacket should cover the buttocks and the sleeve length should be at or just below your wrist bone. Make sure the jacket does not wrinkle across the back and the collar lies flat against the shirt. Your trousers should fall straight from the buttocks and the pockets should remain flat and not bulge.

Shirt - Wear a long-sleeved, light colored shirt that is well pressed with no wrinkles in the collar or cuffs. The collar of your shirt should be loose enough for one finger to fit in the neckline and should stand one-fourth to one-half inch above the collar of the suit. The sleeves should extend one-eighth to one-fourth inch below the jacket.

Ties - The width of your tie should match the lapel width and end at the top of the belt. Choose a small to medium pattern and leave the tie tack or clip at home.

Shoes - Select a dark colored, thin-soled shoe that ties. Make sure they are polished. Socks should blend with the trousers and shoes in a subtle pattern that looks solid from a distance. No white socks. Buy socks long enough to cover your calf so no skin shows when you sit or cross your legs.

Accessories - Your belt should be a simple, classic design in a color that matches your shoes. Remove all sports watches, bracelets, chains, piercings, earrings, or fancy rings.

BUSINESS CASUAL FOR MEN AND WOMEN

You may be invited to a recruiting event where the recommended dress is business casual. Business casual is not as formal as a full interview suit, but not as casual as what you wear to class. When in doubt as to what is appropriate, simply ask. Err on the side of caution; it is best to dress up rather than dress down.

Men - Khakis, trousers, or suit pants can be paired with a knit shirt, or a collared, long-sleeved shirt that does not demand a tie. Add a leather belt, hard-soled shoes, and socks, and you will be well within the range of appropriate business casual dress. Leave the athletic shoes at home.

Women - Tailored shirts or blouses paired with skirts, slacks, and pantsuits are appropriate business casual choices. Other choices include a jacket or sweater set. Shoes should not show the toes. Do not confuse "after five" attire with business attire.