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Dress for Success

FIRST IMPRESSIONS COUNT! DRESS FOR THE INTERVIEWFirst impressions are critical to a successful interview. Interviews have verbal and non-verbal components. In general you have only one opportunity to make a favorable impression on the interviewer. The interviewer makes their first decision based on your general appearance, handshake, eye contact, body language, posture, listening skills, clothing and accessories. Your appearance can be your competitive edge.

Here’s my advice:

Its always best to dress conservatively. For men and women the standard is a dark navy suit, or pant suit with a white shirt (and conservative tie for men). Skirts should never be above the knee and shoes should have a low heel and nicely polished. Makeup should be minimal. There should be no visible body piercing except earrings for women and tattoos should be covered. All jewelry should be minimal. All apparel should be clean and neatly pressed. Clothing should fit well (not too tight or too big). Perfume or after shave should never be strong. Fragrances may offend the interviewer or cause an allergic reaction. Pantyhose are a must for women in a neutral color (keep an extra pair in the car).

Its always best to dress conservatively and not be overdressed. Arrive at least 10 minutes early so you have time to check out your appearance and make the necessary repairs if needed. Leave your cell phone and beeper in your car. Good eye contact and enthusiasm go a long way during the interview process. Prepare ahead of time for the interview, research the company and practice answering questions. Bring a clean and crisp original copy of your resume in a portfolio or briefcase. Sit forward and do not slouch or lay back in the chair during the interview. Keep your hands still and avoid fidgeting. Listen carefully to the questions and give direct concise answers. You are marketing yourself and the first impression counts!

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