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The Hall Staffing Group

General Attire Advice



Many employers are relatively conservative, but there are exceptions.
In any case, each employer treats the interview process very seriously.
Keep this in mind when thinking about what to wear for your initial interview or subsequent callback interview.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, so give careful thought to your appearance.
The best way to dress for the first meeting is clean-cut and professional. In other words, dress "like an attorney." It is better to be over-dressed, rather than too casual.
Remember that your appearance makes a statement. If you look neat and professional, you project an impression that you take pride in yourself and your work.

Appearance has little to do with the brand labels of your clothes or good looks. Rather, someone with a nice appearance looks neat, self-confident, and professional.
It is safer to err on the side of conservative dress.

For women, this generally means a suit or other similarly professional attire. Depending on the nature of the employer, you may also choose to wear a dress or pants.

For men, conservative dress generally means a navy, gray, or other dark-colored suit, coordinated shirt, and a tie.
Here are some additional tips
  • You can never go wrong with conservative colors such as gray, navy, taupe, and black. Coordinate colors and patterns.
    Women can accessorize a conservative suit with a nice scarf or pin.
  • Some fabrics are more appropriate for interviews than others. Try natural fiber blends of wool, silk, or cotton over polyester or linen, which wrinkle easily. Your clothes should be fresh, neat, and pressed.
  • Your hair should also be neat and combed, and your fingernails should be clean and trimmed. Check your appearance in a mirror before entering the interview.
  • Keep jewelry to a minimum.
  • Avoid too much cologne or perfume.
  • Get a good night's sleep the night before the interview.
  • Shine your shoes.
  • Don't smoke, drink liquor, or eat foods that will leave an odor on your breath before an interview. If you have bad breath, eat a breath mint, but don't chew gum!
  • Pack an extra pair of hose or an extra tie. Carry your luggage on the plane. Accidents can happen!

Other Factors
An equally important part of your professional appearance is the way you carry yourself, the gestures you use, and your body language. You should be self-confident and comfortable with the way you look. So, choose styles, colors, fabrics, and patterns that make you look good.
The better you feel about yourself, the better you will come across in an interview.
  • Arrive 5-10 minutes in advance of your interview.
  • Take a few minutes to freshen up, compose yourself, and gather your thoughts.
  • Greet your interviewer(s) by introducing yourself with a firm handshake.
  • Sit tall with your shoulders back, not stiff, and head erect.
  • Sitting up properly makes you appear visually strong and interested in what's going on.
  • Avoid intimidating gestures such as stabbing with a finger or winking.
  • Maintain eye contact and don't take notes during the interview.
  • Be sure to smile.


Receptions, Cocktail parties and Dinners
Some employers will invite you to a reception, party or dinner as a part of the interview.
Consider the event an extension of your interview even though it may take place in a relaxed setting.
Wear attire appropriate to the setting and time of day. For example, if a firm is having a dinner that night at a nice restaurant, chances are it will be more formal.
If they are having appetizers and margaritas at a more casual location, then chances are you will not be expected to wear business attire.
Often, employers state that an event is "business casual."
For men, this generally means khaki pants and a buttondown or short-sleeved shirt with a collar.
For women, this means a casual pantsuit or modest sundress or skirt.

 
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