SHAWNEE STATE UNIVERSITY
Dress for Success
For the Interview
Present yourself as a professional
People will form perceptions of you based solely on your appearance.
Level of sophistications
Level of intelligence
Dress for the interview, not a party
Don’t distract the interviewer with your outfit—the interviewer should be
concentrating on what you have to say, not your appearance
Arrive early and go to the bathroom to check out your appearance
If you’re not sure when you’re shopping, ask the sales associate for help
Invest in the best clothes that you can afford
Shop smart! Buy during sales, ask for professional clothes for Christmas
and your birthday and don’t forget to look at consignment shops and thrift
Appearance & Personal Hygiene
• Men…don’t over style with too much gel or pomade
• Facial Hair
• Neatly trimmed
• Cleaned and trimmed
• Ladies….clear polish and only ¼ inch past your finger tips
• Well-brushed and fresh breath
• Don’t eat foods that will leave an odor or drink alcohol before the
• Body Odor
• Wear deodorant
Conservative dark black, navy, dark gray, brown or tan skirted wool blend suit.
Job experts and employers seem split on the notion of pants suits, so a skirted suit
is usually a safer choice.
Skirt length should be a little below the knee and never shorter than above the
Business dress with matching jacket is okay, but no party, cocktail or sun dresses
• Tank-top style or tailored shirt—should be cotton or silk and should be white, or
some other light color.
• Minimal—go for the “natural look”
• Always—it should be the color of your skin and flawless
Purse or briefcase?
Opt for a briefcase—it should be the same color as your shoes
Low heels, 2 inches or less—no spike heels
Leather should match the exact color of your skirt or pants.
Make sure your shoes are polished
Conservative black, navy or dark gray two-piece business suit
Single breasted, 100% light-weight wool
Jackets should have two or three buttons—only button the top two or the middle button, never all
White or light blue long-sleeved button-down dress shirt
100% easy-care cotton or cotton/polyester blend
Wear a short-sleeve, plain white shirt under your shirt
Learn how to tie it correctly
Ideally, it should touch the top of your belt
Conservative silk tie (that matches the colors in your suit)—keep clear of gaudy ties unless you’re
absolutely sure the interviewer will appreciate your individuality
Red is a power color
Should match the color of your shoes
Approximately 1 inch wide
No large buckles
Should be a continuation of your pants and should match your pant color
Polished dress shoes. The leather should match the color of your pants.
Small but Important Details
• Remove all extra buttons, tags,
• Minimal or no cologne/perfume
• Piercings and Tattoos
• No visible body piercing and tattoos with the exception of
conservative ear piercing for women
• Candy or gum?
Varies from one organization to the next
Find out how your organization defines “business
Stick with classic rather than trendy clothing
You should look appropriate to meet with a CEO,
supervisor or an administrator
NO cocktail, party or picnic attire
It’s always better to be overdressed rather than
Your clothes should be clean, ironed and not show
This presentation was adapted from Kenneth Abel, Work Experience Coordinators'
Association of New York State
Elements of this presentation were taken from Clarion University of Pennsylvania