Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Undress for Success

It’s senior year, and parties, internships and classes are about to become part of your past. You’re close to graduation, and as interviews are lining up for your future career, the day will soon come when you stare into your closet at the outfit that, along with your resume, will seal the deal.

Unlike changing your outfits for different events, moods or trends, proper interview attire should always be polished and conservative. Employers are going to weigh their decision on first impressions of your outfit- just as much as your resume.

Collegegrad.com advises one to leave one’s personal style in his or her dorm room, “While the college campus may be the perfect forum in which to exhibit your flair for the latest in fashion style, the interview is not the place to do so.”

For men, one or two tailored suits that are either black or dark blue can be worn for dozens of interviews. Employers will never know that the suit has been worn to a prior interview, especially if you change ties or shirts. Neckties should be silk material and have a simple pattern that conveys professionalism. When choosing colors for a long-sleeved shirt, white is always best.

When applying cologne, use little or wear none at all. Hair should be freshly cut, and facial hair (if any) should be well groomed. Fingernails should always be cut and clean.

Suit pockets should be kept empty to avoid jingling change and awkward bulges. There should be no visible piercings or tattoos; they should be covered as much as possible. Shoes should be a darker color, simply patterned and polished. When carrying a briefcase or portfolio, keep it simple and light.

For women, most trends should be left out of the interview. Stay conservative by pairing a pants suit with a jacket. Dresses are not appropriate for an interview.

Makeup and nail polish should be simple and natural: no bright colors. Perfume should be a light scent and not distracting. Jewelry should be kept to a minimum, with one set of small earrings or studs and one ring on each hand at most. For shoes, keep heels to a minimal height, but don’t wear flats. And be sure to leave purses at home. Instead, carry a light briefcase.

Eileen Higgins, vice president of global product and development at Avon, based in New York City, believes that dressing for an interview can change from company to company: “When picking out an appropriate outfit for a big interview, it definitely helps to research the company on how trendy or conservative they are.”

In her position, Higgins oversees and hires dozens of positions with Avon.

With over 20 years in the makeup industry, Higgins believes less is always more.

“I like to see very polished but simple attire, because I want the focus to be on why he or she would be a great employee at my company.”

At a more conservative corporation, Michelle Brooks, director of strategic planning and chief of staff to the CEO of MetLife Insurance, based in New Jersey, prefers trends be left out of the office.

“You are more or less marketing a product, yourself, to a potential buyer-the employer,” Brooks says. “Although what you are wearing will not get you the job, it may give you a competitive edge.”

As chief of staff for the last five years, Brooks is responsible for the process of interviewing possible employees and supervising their appearance, behavior and overall progress.

Brooks believes that crazy jewelry like chandelier earrings and casual attire (like khakis) will distract a possible employer from a resume. “The interviewer can interpret these [things] and see someone who didn’t care enough to dress properly.”

According to Brooks, “Your suit and accessories should tell the employer that you are polished, professional and qualified for the job.”

To Wear or Not to Wear…

Do Wear (Men):-Black or dark blue suit-Silk tie with conservative pattern-White or pastel long-sleeved button up shirt-Thin leather belt-Watch or wedding band-Light cologne or none at all-Clean/groomed nails and hair-Trimmed or no facial hair-Dark thin socks-Dark conservative shoes-Light/good condition briefcase

Do Wear (Women):-Dark/neutral suit-White/pastel blouse-Thin leather belt (if loops)-Heels that are less than 4 inches-Wedding band-Studs/small earrings-Light perfume-Neutral panty hose-Groomed hair/nails-Light colored nail polish-Natural make-up-Light/good-condition briefcase

Don’t Wear (Men):-Bright/old suit-Bright long-sleeved button up shirts-Multiple piercings/jewelry-Overgrown hair/facial hair/nails-White socks-Flip-flops/sandals-Sneakers-Loafers-Heavy cologne-Khakis-Jeans-Shorts/T-shirts

Don’t Wear (Women):-Bright/old suit-Bright blouses-Bare legs-Heels more than 4 inches high-Flats-Dresses-Short skirts-Heavy jewelry/costume jewelry-Dark nail polish-Dark/heavy makeup-Bright/old briefcase-Purse/big bags

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