Valencia College, Lake Nona Campus

How to Dress to Impress for a Job Interview

What comes to mind when you think of the proper interview attire? For most, it is a pair of slacks, a collared button up shirt and a suit jacket paired with dress shoes. But let’s be honest, not everyone is fond of that dull combination, and depending on the job you’re hoping for, it just is not the right fit. So here are some tips for creating a look that is out of the box, yet sophisticated and personalized towards your future job, ensuring that you will make a lasting impression.

Interviewing for a position in Retail
When it comes to selecting the perfect outfit for an interview, no matter the position, you should always look classy and respectful… duh, but applying for a job in retail allows for some wiggle room to be more playful with your look. It gives a chance to accessorize and wear bold colors, so take advantage of this opportunity. A smart fashion decision would be to match your outfit with the distinctive style that the clothing store embodies.

• Here’s an example: Let’s say that one is applying for a job at Forever 21. You should then wear an outfit that you could see the mannequin in the Forever 21 window display wearing. Dress as you imagine the ideal “Forever 21 girl” would look like.

Even wearing an article of clothing from the store your applying to can be impressionable. Future employers want to hire someone relatable to their everyday customer. Market yourself for the position you want!

Interviewing for a position in Customer Service
While working in customer service, you will most likely be given a drab uniform, but that does not mean you can not look fab for your interview while still abiding by the dress code.

Before the interview, go onto the company’s website and read about how they expect their employees to look when they are on the clock.

• Do they prefer natural looking makeup?
• Does your hair have to be up or pinned back?
• Are you allowed to wear colorful nail polish?

Remember you have to always look and dress the part; this, again, goes for any job you apply for.
Also, pay attention to the amount of accessories you use. If you are expected to wear a uniform, then chances are your choice of jewelry is limited.

Here are a few big “no nos” to take note of before your interview:
• Long dangling earrings
• Vulgar/exposing tops (no cleavage, ladies)
• Skirts not of the appropriate length (again… keep it covered girls!)
• Clothing with holes or stains
• Wrinkled clothing
• Clothes that are either too big or too tight
• Last but not least… a frown.

Always have a smile on your face, as it will induce a positive energy into the room and set the tone for the interview. If you do your research, your future employer will certainly admire the effort you put forth when preparing your look.

Interviewing for a position as a Waitress or Hostess

Depending on the dining establishment you wish to provide your services to, a uniform may or may not be required; either way, a dress code is bound to be implemented. So be mindful that you do not show up for your interview looking too casual.

• For men, a good pair of slacks and long sleeved collared shirt with dress shoes might just be the way to go.
• As for the ladies, the choice of a knee length dress or a pencil skirt paired with a crisp blouse and heels would be appropriate.

It is always better to play it safe and dress up no matter how casual the setting. If the restaurant has a relaxed dress code and you are doubtful that what you have prepared is too laid back, then consider some of the “safer” and boring choices because, even though they are quite dull, finding some patterned pieces could liven the outfit up and set you apart from the rest.

Knee length dresses could be striped or floral. Men could even add a fun and colorful tie to their ensemble. All you have to do is think outside of the box. Sometimes, less is more when taking into consideration the atmosphere you will be working in and the vibe you want to exude.

Now you know how to dress to impress for a job interview! I hope these style tips are helpful. Even if the job you are applying for has nothing to do with customer service, retail or waiting tables, always remember to dress the part while still showcasing a confident you.

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