We’ve all heard the expression, “Dressing for Success”. There may be no instance where this is more important than a job interview. The moment you enter the room, your interviewer gets his or her first impression of you from your appearance. So, before you shake hands, or utter your first word, there’s a chance of losing (or gaining) the position based on how you look.
Let’s look at that a little more closely. A personnel officer, manager, or business owner wants an employee that’s honestly interested in the position that’s being offered. That means he or she wants to see that you’ve made the effort to make that first impression a good one. So, obviously, the scruffy jeans and t shirt aren’t going to get you very far. We don’t need to tell you that. But, for the gentlemen, is a necktie too over the top for any interview? Read on.
Most men would consider the suit and tie an essential part of the attire when interviewing for a supervisory or managerial position. If you’re not one of those men, you probably need to revise your thinking. But, what about that position on the sales floor, the butcher’s helper, or carpenter’s apprentice? Maybe the silk tie would be out of place there, but let’s consider the interviewer’s perspective again.
A smart employer wants to hire individuals that present themselves well to the public they serve. Employees are the “face” of a business. If that “face” is clean and professional, the clients and prospective clients of the business are more likely to trust the company. Another point to consider is that most employers want motivated people, with an interest in advancement. After all, are you really interested in starting at the bottom and staying there? If so, go ahead and wear the Deff Lepard t shirt and shorts. If you get the job, you can probably rest assured you won’t be first on the promotion list. Otherwise, why not send the message that you have real potential and you’re looking for more than a dead end job?
By now, some of you are probably thinking things like, “I’m a welder. I get dirty. Why should I worry about my appearance?” Certainly there are valid exceptions to the advice we’re offering. In the final analysis, it’s your decision and you have to use your own judgment. Before you make the decision, though, consider carefully the kind of first impression you want to make. The worst case is that your interviewer may see some humor in your being a bit overdressed for the job. The other side of the coin, however, is a very shiny one in which your interviewer is impressed with your looks as well as your credentials, and you’re the next candidate for the management training program.
For the ladies, the general rules are the same, except that you can probably forgo the necktie. Your interviewer is going to appreciate an effort to look your best. Looking feminine is perfectly fine – usually preferred, but play down the sexuality and play up professionalism. Again, there are exceptions. The interviewer at Hooters may be looking for a completely different image, but maybe not.
Whatever the position, whatever the company, the chances are good that you’ll be a step closer to landing the job if you look good when you walk through the door. Dress the part, by all means, but when it comes to whether the tie is appropriate, there’s very little to lose if you opt for it, with or without the jacket. When the interviewer asks, “When can you start?” you can always say, “My work clothes are in the car!”
Before starting his own business, http://www.ties-necktie.com/ , Pohl made a career in sales and sales management. In his free time he enjoys sharing the things he has learned as an employee as well as an entrepreneur by writing articles for online publications and magazines.
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