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Professional Attire

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.


 

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Professional Attire

A two-piece pant or skirt suit in black, charcoal, navy, or another dark color (solid color or a simple pattern), a conservatively colored dress shirt or blouse with a collar (not low cut or sheer), and dark, closed-toe dress 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. Make sure to wear the correct color of socks or hosiery with your suit – (white socks do not look professional with a dark suit).  Jewelry and makeup should be conservative and worn in moderation. Minimize or avoid the use of perfume or cologne in order to avoid triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer, co-workers or visitors to your work space.


 

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Business Casual

A dress shirt with a collar, a blouse without a collar, a dress sweater, a turtleneck, a vest over a shirt with a collar, or a sweater over a shirt with a collar are all appropriate clothing choices for business casual occasions. 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 – sleeveless tops are not recommended for interviews, and in many offices are not considered business casual attire. A tie is not necessary for business casual dress.

A pair of dress slacks or trousers are appropriate, typically in black, charcoal, gray, or khaki. As with full professional dress, make sure that your socks and shoes are a color fit for your slacks. 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 with skirts and should be a solid (not print) material that coordinates with both the skirt and shoes. Shoes should be in good condition. Accessories and makeup should follow the same guidelines as professional dress. Minimize or avoid the use of perfume or cologne in order to avoid triggering an allergic reaction in your interviewer, co-workers or visitors to your work space.


 

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What Not to Wear

Bright colors and/or patterns, jeans, skirts shorter than knee length, shorts, sweatpants, sweatshirts, t-shirts, sleeveless shirts, tight-fitting clothing, scuffed shoes, heels taller than 3 inches, excessive jewelry, excessive make-up, excessive cologne or perfume, hair in high ponytail, wrinkled or torn clothing, or an excessive amount of facial hair.