During an interview, you have limited time to make a first impression. Your appearance and dress can reflect how you present yourself as an employee. Follow these guidelines when selecting what to wear for interviews, and networking opportunities with alumni or prospective employers.
Women: A two-piece pant or skirt suit in black, charcoal, navy, or another dark color, a blouse with a collar (not low cut or sheer), and dark, closed-toe shoes are preferred. When choosing shoes, it is preferable to have a low to moderate heel to avoid the lack of professionalism that comes from limping or wobbling due to shoe discomfort or impracticality. Jewelry and makeup should be conservative and worn in moderation. Minimize or avoid the use of perfume in order to avoid triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer.
Men: A two-piece suit in black, charcoal, navy, or another dark color, a tie (solid color or a simple pattern), a white or conservatively colored dress shirt (button all buttons), and dark dress shoes are preferred. Make sure you wear the correct color of socks with your with your suit – white socks do not look good with a dark suit. Minimize or avoid the use of cologne to prevent triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer.
Women: A dress shirt with a collar, a blouse without a collar, a dress sweater, a turtleneck, or a sweater over a shirt with a collar. As with professional attire, make sure that your shirt or blouse is not sheer or low cut, and try to avoid distracting patterns or painfully bright colors. Blouses should either have sleeves or be covered by a jacket or cardigan – no sleeveless tops. A pair of dress slacks/trousers typically in black, charcoal, gray, brown or khaki. If you choose to wear a skirt, it should fall at the knee or slightly below the knee when standing and cover your thighs when you sit. Hosiery should be worn and should be a solid (not print) material that coordinates with your skirt and shoes. Shoes should be in good condition. Accessories and makeup should follow the same guidelines as professional dress.
Men: A shirt with a collar, a sweater or vest over a shirt with a collar, a dress shirt without a collar, a turtleneck, or a sweater over a shirt without a collar. A tie is not necessary for business casual. A pair of slacks or trousers, usually in black, navy, charcoal, gray, or khaki. Be sure to wear a belt and shoes that are in good condition. As with full professional dress, make sure that your socks and shoes are a color fit for your slacks.
What Not to Wear
Women: Bright colors and/or patterns, skirts shorter than knee length, jeans, sweatpants, shorts, tight-fitting clothing, three-inch+ heels, excessive jewelry and/or make-up, hair in high ponytail, wrinkled or torn clothing
Men: Bright colors and/or patterns, jeans, scuffed shoes, t-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, shorts, wrinkled or torn clothing, excessive amount of facial hair