Your resume and cover letter landed you a job interview. Congratulations! Now that you’ve researched the company and rehearsed your answers to tough interview questions, you have to decide what to wear to the interview. First impressions are critical and if you’ve ever conducted interviews yourself, you know not everyone has the same idea of what constitutes an appropriate outfit. In order to land the job you want, you must look the part, and this doesn’t necessarily mean dressing the same way you would for a day at work—it means dressing better.
STEP IT UP A NOTCH
Your interview outfit should be one step up from your daily work ensemble. So when you’re considering what to wear, think of what you would wear to a normal day at work if you landed the job. Then, step it up a notch. For most professional environments, this means a suit. But if you know the company allows their employees to wear jeans in the office, you could probably get by with a nice pair of slacks and a blouse. When you dress too casually, recruiters think: If this is the way she presents herself to the job interview, I don’t even want to know what she’ll wear once she gets the job.
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DON’T SHOW TOO MUCH SKIN
Latinas often get a bad rap for dressing too sexy. Depending on who you ask, this can be an asset or a curse. Regardless of whether your curves make all of your outfits look sexy, you have to dress conservatively if you want to be taken seriously as a professional. This means no cleavage and no short skirts. If you opt for a dress or skirt always make sure they are at least knee-length, and wear panty hose. Your outfit should not fit too tightly and should not accentuate an already hard-to-miss chest or butt.
WEAR SUBTLE MAKEUP
There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup, but reserve the dramatic smoky eyes and glitter for a night out dancing. If you wear signature red lipstick, downplay the rest of your pallette. When it comes to cosmetics and a job interview: less is always more.
GO EASY ON THE PERFUME
Never, ever wear too much perfume. As a matter of fact, skip the perfume altogether. It might be your favorite or signature scent, but it could give your potential employer a headache. We don’t all share the same preferences when it comes to scents, and if your interviewer is drowning in your perfume or happens to be allergic, you could be eliminated from the pool of applicants immediately. Obviously, you’ll want to wear deodorant and smell good, but stick to a lightly scented lotion or body spray rather than an alcohol-based fragrance.
GET A SECOND OPINION
As you model your interview outfit, snap a picture and send it to a career savvy friend or two. This is precisely what girlfriends are for. They might notice something you didn’t think of, or may have the perfect suit for you in the back of their closet.
Your appearance should be as neat and professional as your resume when you show up to meet a prospective employer. It should be classy, not flashy, and professional, not provocative. You could have all the right qualifications, but be turned down for the job because you look ill-prepared or out of place. Dress the part, and your interviewer will be focused on what you can offer the company rather than be distracted by how you look.