Interviews are when first impressions are made and will determine a job candidate's success or failure in obtaining an offer for employment. In order to be viewed as a serious contender for the position, your physical appearance must meet the standards for whatever particular industry you desire to become employed within. Failure to meet any and all of these requirements, can result in missed employment opportunities.

Job candidates are usually sized-up immediately within the first few minutes of meeting an interviewer(s). Your choice of clothing and personal hygiene standards will determine whether or not you are a good fit for the organization. You must "look the part" in order to be successful.

Because clothing covers at least 90% of your body, it will have the most impact on how others view you. Your choice of clothing also determines whether or not you will fit into the "inner culture", by demonstrating your level of knowledge and respect for the industry's/company's standards. Always dress conservatively and your clothing will never do the talking for you!

In addition to your choice of proper interview outfits, personal hygiene ranks as equally important. Expensive clothing cannot be offset by poor personal hygiene. Having dirt under your fingernails will be noticed and remembered more so than an expensive well-tailored suit.

Select conservative/traditional, business-type, clothing that is neither trendy nor flashy. Remember the focus should be on you and not on your clothing. The best suit styles to choose for interviews are 100% tropical worsted wool in a year-round weight. They should be single-breasted, center-vented, and have either two or three buttons with the bottom button always left unbuttoned. Proper colors for interview suits are solid colors in navy blue and charcoal grey. Pants can be either plain front or double pleated. Plain front can be worn either cuffed or uncuffed. Pleated styles should always be cuffed. Traditional sized cuffs are either 1 1/2" or 1 3/4" in width. Plain front pants should always be worn with a belt. Pleated styles can be worn with either a belt or "button-type" braces (suspenders), but never both together. When purchasing a suit make sure that you find out what length you require for your particular height and weight. Suits are available in short, regular, long, extra long, and portly sizes. Try to find brands that allow selecting the jacket and pants seperately, in order to ensure the best fit for your individual body type.

Select shirts that are lighter than your suits in either white or light blue 100% cotton. Straight or buttondown collars are equally appropriate. Have your shirts professionally laundered for the interview, with some light starch added to hold their shape better. Never wear a dress shirt without a crewneck t-shirt underneath. Remember that there is no such thing as a short-sleeved dress shirt!

Traditional/conservative ties should always be 100% silk in widths between 3 1/4" to 3 1/2". Most ties can be bought in regular and long lenghts according to your height. Stick with conservative patterns or stripes, in shades of reds and blues. Your tie shuold never hang below the bottom of your belt. Proper tie knots to wear are the "four-in-hand" and the "half windsor".

Dress belts should be a good quality of leather and measure between 1 1/8" to 1 1/4". Black and burgundy (cordovan), should be selected in order that they be worn to match these two colors of your shoes. Buckles colors can be solid brass or nickle-plated brass. Some belts require purchasing them two inches larger than your actual waist size. So make sure to either try them on, or inquire if making an online purchase.

Suits are a semi-formal way of dressing-up and should always be worn with all leather dress shoes. Your dress shoes should have leather uppers, leather soles, and lace-up fronts. Colors should be black or burgundy (cordovan), to match your belts.

Last of all your socks shouls always be a solid "rib-knit", 100% cotton, or 100% merino wool. Both can be worn comfortably year-round. If you are on a low-budget, go with the merino wool as they are cool in the summer and warm in winter. Only wear socks that extend over the calves, known as over-the-calves or OTC. The hair on your legs should never be visible. Black and navy blue work best with navy blue and charcoal grey suits. With black shoes only wear black socks. Burgundy (cordovan) shoes, can be worn with either black or navy blue socks.

Outerwear includes trench coats/all-weather coats and wool top coats. Both should always be long enough to cover your suit jacket. Knee lenght is best for either of these styles. Trench coat colors should be tan or taupe to offset darker suit colors. These are usually all cotton, cotton blends, or micro suede materials. Wool top coat colors can be black, navy blue, charcoal grey, or camel (tan). Those with stricter budgets might consider trench coats/all-weather coats, as they have zip-out linings for year-round use.

Jewelry use should be limited to a leather-strapped, gold or silver-colored watch and a wedding band or school ring.

Before your interview, get a haircut if needed. Shave, trim, or remove any facial hair, then shave the back of the neck. Remove all hair from the ears, inside/outside of the nose, and between your eyebrows. Clean any visible earwax from sight. Brush/floss teeth and rinse your mouth throughly with mouthwash. Then shower and apply antiperspirant or deodorant.

Refrain from using any type of colognes or after shaves. Some finf certain scents repulsive. Others may literally have allergic reactions to certain brands. Neither will make a great impression of you during an interview.

Last do not use any type of tobacco products for obvious reasons. You might be looked at as a potential health-risk. If not, you might be seen as an employee who would possibly work less due to taking frequent smoking breaks throughout the day.

Hopefully these interview tips will get you through the process successfully along with your great interview skills and a perfect resume!

Author's Bio: 

Sixteen years of experience within the field of Job Development, Career Counseling, and Workshop Facilitating for a one-stop career center.
Owner of an Internet-based retail business, selling "American-made" men's and women's tailored business clothing.

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