Posted by Robert Half on Sunday, July 26, 2015 - 09:08 | Follow me
Late summer and early fall are excellent times of the year for job hunting, and with more employers looking to fill a growing number of vacancies, it’s time to get out your best interview attire. You might also want to consider the needs of your fellow job seeker.
Robert Half is hosting our annual Suit Drive August 3 to August 14 to benefit Dress for Success, a nonprofit providing low-income women with new or gently used interview attire, shoes and accessories, as well as unused makeup.
If you’re interested in contributing to the suit drive, contact [email protected] for more information or for the location of the nearest participating Robert Half office.
In the meantime, here are five tips for dressing your best at your next job interview:
1. Ask the recruiter or hiring manager to describe the company dress code
Being inquisitive and informed are valuable traits in any employee. If you receive a call about an in-person interview, before you hang up the phone, ask the recruiter to explain the office dress code, and whether there are specific expectations for the position for which you are applying, so you look the part on interview day.
2. Pair your look with that of the role you aspire to hold one day
You have to look your professional best at work whether dealing with clients, coworkers or managers. The point is not to appear superior but rather to show initiative and shine. A business suit for men or women is never inappropriate for a job interview, unless the recruiter or hiring manager specifies otherwise.
3. Shop accordingly and don’t overspend
Bargains can be found everywhere. Most department stores offer affordable business attire. Inquire about online coupons and look for sales. Search your wardrobe for a shirt, accessory, or pair of shoes that can be dry-cleaned or polished to add the finishing touch to your perfect interview outfit. Borrow from a friend or check consignment and thrift stores. And don’t forget about nonprofit organizations such as Dress For Success.
4. Err on the conservative side
How you dress in your personal time reflects your individuality and style. But the workplace often demands a level of conformity. Save the animal prints for Saturday night. A modest skirt or pair of classic black dress pants will fit the bill. Choose a fashionable sweater — or opt for a colorful button down or dress underneath a blazer — and you will convey both a sense of style and confidence. Keep hair, make-up, jewelry and other accessories subdued.
5. Image aside, what’s more important is how you present yourself
Be prepared with a solid understanding of the expectations for the position. Be professional throughout the interview. Share your career history in a positive, engaging manner that demonstrates how your professional skills fit with the company’s needs and prove you’re the best candidate for the job. Be mindful of your body language. Maintain positive eye contact, sit up straight, and remember to smile. Keep your answers brief, on point and project confidence in your abilities and enthusiasm for the job!
Everyone is invited to contribute to the annual Robert Half Suit Drive, August 3 to August 14. Contact [email protected] for more information or for the location of the nearest participating Robert Half office. All donations of interview-appropriate clothing and accessories should be clean, stylish and in good condition.