Mirroring the dress code of your interviewer is a good strategy. If you want a guarantee of making a great first impression, match your dress code to the company you are applying for. Check the company’s website as well as profile pictures of key company leaders on LinkedIn. This helps you determine if the company has a conservative, fashionable or more business casual environment.
Be careful not to look like a clone, however. Do not hesitate to ask an employee ahead of time about preferred interview attire. When in doubt, always lean toward conservative professional.
Never leave out the details. Of course, an eye for fashion isn’t usually a requirement to be successful in most jobs, though it is important to check for minor details that can damage your appearance including shirt and pant wrinkles, stains, iron marks, odors, and unkempt nails.
Don’t forget to try your outfit on several days before the interview. That way, you’ll have enough time to make adjustments. Make sure the outfit you’ve chosen fits appropriately and comfortably when you sit, stand and extend your arms.
Minimize distractions. Make sure to avoid wearing clothing and accessories that will pull the focus away from you and your conversation. Avoid wearing a strong perfume and keep your makeup to a professional minimum. Heavy makeup is troublesome because it has a greater chance of smearing. As for jewelry, keep your accessories to a minimum and remove anything with plastic and strings.
Leave the luggage. Leave your large purse behind. It’s cumbersome, it can wrinkle your clothes, and can prevent you from using your arms and hands freely during the interview. Instead of bringing a bag, bring a simple two-pocket folder or portfolio with your resume, paper, pens, necessary documents, and prepared questions. If you must bring a bag, try to match it with your outfit and make sure it’s neat and clean.
Get rid of the drink. Avoid entering an interview with a water bottle in hand. If you need to bring a drink with you for medical reasons, make sure to tuck it discreetly in your purse or briefcase. (Most employers will offer water in an extended interview.)
These tips should help on interview day. Avoiding image pitfalls can help you set the stage for a positive meeting.