Dressing for Interviews and Beyond

Much has been written about dressing for success and dressing for the job you want.  So what’s new here…maybe nothing or maybe you have just become aware of how important dressing is in job search and in job success.  So let’s go over the basics.

You’re dressing your future self so do your research — whether online or in person — research the culture of your potential employer. You should feel comfortable and powerful — a version of yourself that already has the job.

This means that guys should opt for a white shirt, a suit, and a conservative tie.  Ladies, a suit is always in style or a pencil skirt, a blazer or jacket and slacks that can be paired to look like a suit will also work.These are all classic outfits that will serve you over time.  Both men and women wear dark-colored shoes that you can skip in.  If your feet hurt, it will show on your face.  Always wear closed toed shoes, medium heel height.

Your path to better wages, housing and self-confidence may well turn in part on your suit or outfit. “Your outfit should make you feel that you are worthy of great opportunities.*”

Try on your full outfit several days before your interview. Make sure all the buttons work. Look for stains, do “the sit-down test” to confirm the outfit functions in the seated position (especially important with skirts*). Feel free to wear more brightly colored elements, but don’t go overboard. Like it or not, interviewers pay attention to what interviewees wear. “A judgment is made within the first couple of seconds according to managers, recruiters and head hunters.

Don’t worry if you feel like an impostor. “Self-love and confidence are not something you can take off the rack and put back on the rack.”* Still, the right outfit can help you project self-worth. It’s enough if you can look in the mirror and think to yourself, I’m not there right now, but this is the best version of myself for now and for future career success.

*Adapted from the NY Times

Cheers, Marguerite

By Marguerite Busetti
Marguerite Busetti Associate Director of Career and Professional Development, Dobbs Ferry Campus Marguerite Busetti