Don't believe me? Here are some solid reasons to dress your absolute best:
- Your tasteful outfit might not always give you a huge reason to be remembered, but a bad one certainly will. While you might have much better qualifications than the other guy, poor choices in fashion are distracting and your almost future employer might be focused on your dirty jeans instead of your credentials. If you don't even know how to work your own washing machine, how could you possibly handle closing a huge deal with the entire country of China?
- You are a representation of your company, and while you are very talented and intelligent, you might not get the chance to say so. You never know what big shot client is going to walk into your place of business at any given moment. So, let your clothes do the talking when words aren't enough.
- You're more confident about yourself when you're dressed well. This is a proven fact. (Just watch any episode of What Not to Wear.) People are drawn to confidence. Maybe you'll get yourself a job and a girlfriend.
- The way you dress is a representation of your personality. You like to wear jeans and a t-shirt every day? It means you like comfort, and you're lazy. You only wear dresses? Well either you go to an extremely strict conservative college, or you always like feeling pretty and easily determinable from the opposite sex. You only wear athletic clothing? You're either at the gym every spare moment you get, or you want people to think you're at the gym every spare moment you get.
- Picking out a great outfit is fun and fulfilling. (Guys, it'll probably take you a lot less time to do this.) Trying this shirt with this pair of pants, and these shoes with this belt, and this skirt with these tights, it can be a little frustrating at times. But, when you arrive at the perfect outfit, the taste of victory is sweet, sweet, sweet.
Now that we're all in agreement, here's a tip to get you started:
The key to dressing well for any interview is to pick an outfit that will make you look able to go to work immediately after the interview.
If you're applying at a fitness center, a nice polo by an athletic brand and khaki pants and tennis shoes are great choices. Looking at a sales or business oriented job? A simple button down shirt, fancy shoes, and dress pants/skirt. Aiming for retail? You had better show up in something stylish, even if it's the only nice dress or non-denim pants that you own. Going the restaurant route? You can pick from any of the above. A design business, perhaps? You should probably wear some cool, modern glasses and have great hair. Throw in those fancy shoes for good measure.
I trust that each of you are smart enough to pick out a great outfit (I mean, you're smart enough to read my blog), so I won't dwell on the do's any longer. But I will hammer out a few quick and very important don'ts.
- Do not wear jeans. Avoid denim at all costs. Don't get me wrong, I'd wear jeans every day of my life if I could, and they totally have the capability of looking professional, but most employers aren't so keen on them. For example, TJ Maxx seems like the type of store employees would be able to wear jeans to work, right? Wrong. We're never ever allowed to wear them. What's a casual Friday?
- Do not wear athletic clothing. Even if you are interviewing for a fitness job, there are standards. No yoga leggings. No gym shorts. No muscle shirts. No t-shirts with writing on them outside of a small logo. NO SOCKS WITH SANDALS. (Actually, don't wear that ever. Unless you're walking from your place of habitation to your car and back.) You get the picture.
- I can't believe I'm even typing this but I've seen it in action, do not wear clothing that is dirty. I know there is that random chance that you could spill your coffee all over yourself ten minutes before the interview, that's one thing. So, don't drink or eat things that can stain your nice attire beforehand. If a woman is interviewing you, she will notice. If it's not stained, but worn a few times, wash it. There's a good chance you can't smell your own stank.
- Do not use your cell phone for a clock. Wear a watch. It shows that punctuality and timeliness are of importance to you. And watches are classy. Not to mention, cell phones can be really distracting, and they need to not be near you during the interview unless there is an emergency. Candy Crush and Instagram can wait.
- Do not dress like a slut. (I don't know how that applies to men, but I'm sure it's possible.) Don't wear ultra tight clothing, things that are short in length, or low cut. Unless you're looking for a career as a stripper. Then that's probably the only time it's okay. If that's the case, I highly advise you to look for a different career path. Most business are looking for people with integrity.
Now, my sweet, young fashion apprentices. you are ready for your grown up job interview. (Not that I ever had any doubts.)