Interview Attire

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By Cara Hedgepeth>Junior>Journalism>University of Maryland

Whether we like it or not, at some point, our days of staying up until 3 a.m. and sleeping until noon will be over, and we’ll all have to go out and get real-people jobs. I know, I know, it’s a scary thought. But when that day does come, we’ll most likely have to interview for that real-person job. And while your sweat pants, favorite tee and Uggs may be appropriate collegiate wear, this get-up is typically frowned upon in the professional world.

While your attire may vary slightly depending on the type of job you’re interviewing for, there are a few things that you can count on. Ladies, it’s always a good idea to minimize your make-up, jewelry and perfume. While you hope to make a good impression, you want the employer to remember you for your skills not for your fragrance or abundance of eye-liner. And for you guys, a clean shave and well-manicured nails will show that you spent more than the usual 6 minutes getting ready.

For business professional jobs, senior business major Abby Widom says, “nothing more casual than a three-piece suit” is appropriate. The same holds true for men interviewing for a corporate position.

For interviews outside of the corporate world,  a suit is not mandatory. Still, your appearance should still be neat and well-put together. Slacks, dress shoes and either a sweater or button down shirt will make a good impression. But just wearing the clothing isn’t enough. It’s important to make sure the pieces fit you, match and are ironed when necessary.

After a mock interview, senior Emily Hepler said the interviewers’ only negative comment for her was that, “… [her] sweater was buttoned and was puckering a bit, which didn’t look too classy.”

If you’re interviewing for a position in fashion or art where creativity is part of the job description, it’s acceptable to make a statement about your personal style with your clothing, hairstyle and make-up. That being said, remember you do want to be hired. A funky scarf, bag or other accessory might showcase your individuality without overwhelming your interviewer. Guys, if these suggestions don’t appeal to you, try adding a touch of color with a bright colored tie or handkerchief or wearing a pair of stylish glasses.

While a snazzy outfit won’t compensate for a lack of knowledge or skills, being presentable will show an employer that you are confident and are taking the interview seriously.

College Magazine Staff

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