Presenting yourself in a job interview

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Check Yourself from Head to Toe
First and foremost: Get a good night’s rest. Someone who looks tired may be perceived as lazy or sickly.

Shampoo your hair. Your hair will be one of the first things noticed and it makes a big statement about your overall hygiene and cleanliness.
Simple Hairstyle. To allow the interviewer to notice your face, eyes and expressions, wear a simple style that is not distracting.

Relieve the redness. Avoid red, irritated eyes by using eye drops.

Trim your nose hair. Be sure to blow your nose if needed prior to an interview. If your nose is running, bring tissues or handkerchief.

Use Q-Tips. Clean ears will not be noticed, but dirty ears could be a deal breaker.
Earrings. Wear only small, unnoticeable earrings.

Brush your teeth. In the morning; brush, floss, and use mouthwash. After eating, check your teeth and have a mint.
Lipstick. Avoid bright colors. Stay with a neutral tone and check your teeth for any smears.
Jewelry. Don’t wear tongue jewelry to a job interview since it might interfere when you speak.
Smile. Show them you want the job and smile big. It will relax you and help you appear more confident.

Trim your nails. The interviewer will notice when she/he reaches to shake your hand. Men; keep your nails short and clean. Ladies; nails that are too long may prevent you from doing the work and will be “red-flag”. If you can afford it, get a manicure.

Shave. Avoid “5 o’clock” stubble for the job interview. Presenting yourself clean shaven is ideal.
Makeup. Keep your cosmetics to a minimum. In a business environment, less is more.

Tattoos. Visible tattoos are not appropriate in all work settings. If unsure, cover them up.
Avoid excessive jewelry. Men; limit yourself to a watch and a ring. Women; a watch, a ring, a necklace, and a pair of simple post earrings is plenty.
Use deodorant and antiperspirant. Prevent any bad odors and be as cool as a cucumber. Also, you may apply a little on your hands to ensure a nice dry handshake.
Avoid strong perfumes or colognes. Many people are allergic to strong scents.

Shine your shoes. It shows that have an attention to detail and that you are a meticulous worker.
Close-toed shoes. It is best to avoid sandals and open toed shoes since many companies do not allow them.

What to Wear
Dress one level above the clothes that you would wear on the job. Business executives should wear suits. Support staff should wear conservative dress clothes. Be sure to ask the human resources department if you are not sure how to dress for the interview. Solid colors work best – so avoid bright colors, loud fashions, or bold patterns.
Classic Professional Outfits. Men; navy-blue blazer, gray slacks, white shirt, red tie, black lace-up shoes, black socks, and a black dress belt. Women; a charcoal gray or navy pantsuit, white blouse, simple necklace or scarf, with black pumps, and neutral hose.
Dry clean your clothes. Have your attire dry-cleaned and pressed. Looking sharp shows respect for the interviewer the job, and yourself.
Try on your outfit days before the interview. This allows you to check to see if your outfit still fits properly and feels comfortable. In addition, you can repair problems such as holes, tears, splits, stains, and missing buttons. Do not forget to check your hosiery and try on your shoes.

Do not wear the latest fashion trends. Many of the latest fashion trends may be great on the runway but they do not work in the interview room. Save your trendy clothes for a more appropriate setting.
Empty your pockets. Men; resist the urge to put your hands in your pockets. Playing with change and keys can be distracting.

What Not to Wear

  • Textured hose – plain and neutral work best

  • Cropped shirts or tops (midriff showing)

  • Exercise wear, bike shorts, leggings (tights)

  • Muscle shirts or half shirts

  • Hats (except outdoors)

  • Overalls, faded pants, or pants with holes

  • Skirts/dresses not appropriate length

  • Backless, low-cut, or shoulder baring blouses/tops/dresses

  • Big dangling earrings – small and simple works best

What to bring

  • Three questions to ask your interviewer’s

  • Copies of your resume and carry them in a simple manila folder

  • Social Security Card

  • Work permits and visas, if applicable

  • Work samples or a portfolio if needed

  • Money for gas, tolls, public transportation and phone

  • New notebook and a pen that works

Building: KSC 186

Phone: (602) 787-7073


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