Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Suit Up! Interview Attire Do's and Don'ts

          My thoughts on interview attire…

While working with one of our larger clients, I had the opportunity to interview recent college graduates for entry level positions. Eager, bright eyed college graduates looking for their first “big girl/big boy” job. With this opportunity came a challenge that took careful caution.  I questioned my “hipness.” While I support self expression, how did I mentor these “full of hope” graduates to take more of a conservative approach?  Let me try to explain…

I am a little old fashioned when it comes to some things.  Wearing your Sunday best, handwritten thank you notes, a firm handshake, and a yes sir/no sir mentality.  I can understand that in some industries expressing yourself and creativity is part of securing the job.  However, in my years of recruiting (primarily Accounting/Finance/Administrative type jobs)   and dealing with hiring managers, to err on the side of conservative is a safer bet.  A solid colored suit or pant suit, polished shoes and minimal jewelry.  (removing any “non-traditional” piercings)  Also, not exposing your forearm stating the love for your girlfriend is a good idea. Although, a sweet gesture, let’s save that for the club.   Do I sound like your Memaw?  Probably so, but she is such a wise woman.  So, suit up/cover up, flaunt that college education and land that job! 

Kim Roach, Staffing Consultant
Colvin Resources Group

 10 Interview Fashion Fails
 By Carole Martin, Monster Contributing Writer

  • Wild Nail Polish: This tip is for women or men. Extremely long or uncut nails are a real turnoff, too. Your nails should be groomed and neat. 
  • Jangly Jewelry: Don't wear more than two rings per hand or one earring per ear. And no face jewelry or ankle bracelets allowed.
  • Open-Toed or Backless Shoes: And mules are a definite no-no. Out-of-date shoes should be thrown out or kept for other occasions.
  • Bare Legs: Wear stockings, even in humid summer weather. Stockings can be in neutral colors or a fashion color to match your shoes.
  • Out-of-Date Suits: These have lapels that are too wide (three inches or more) or too narrow (one inch or less). A good tailor can alter lapels. The style for men's jackets is full-body and looser rather than fitted or tight. 
  • Short Skirts: Hemlines should not be more than three inches above the knee. Don't wear capri pants or leggings to the interview.
  • Leather Jackets for Men or Women: Even leather blazers are not good for interviewing purposes. They look like outerwear.
  • Turtlenecks for Men: A tie is preferable, at least in the first go-round. At the very least, wear a collared shirt.
  • Printed or Trendy Handbags: Purses should be conservative and inconspicuous.
  • Red Briefcases: Briefcases, purses and shoes should all be conservative in color and in good condition.

Fashion Fails
Interview Attire

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