Appearance can make or break an interview. This may seem petty, but the bottom line is that an employer needs to have confidence that you’ll represent them well while on the job.
1. Dress Professionally … even if it’s Friday
Unless told otherwise, for communications and marketing positions, wear a suit. For men, this means the obvious: jacket and tie. For women, slacks and suit jacket, or a conservative dress with a blazer. And even if your interview is on a Friday, which is business casual for many companies, you should still go with professional dress attire.
2. Always Ask Your Recruiter
They know their client and can tell you what would be most appropriate. There are exceptions to the professional dress rule, and the recruiter would know.
3. No Heavy Cologne Or Perfume
This can be extremely distracting. I once had a client call me to tell me that she could not physically interview a candidate due to heavy perfume; it gave her a headache. There is no reason for this to be your downfall during an interview. Keep it light.
4. Don’t Forget The Little Things
Trimmed nails, combed hair, hidden tattoos, and ladies, no crazy make-up: save the purple eye shadow for the weekend.
5. Critical First Impression
Combine your freshly pressed clothes with a strong, confident handshake and good eye contact. If what you wear looks right, your interview has a good chance of getting off to a good start.
Regardless of what you think to be the dress code at an office, it makes sense to dress your best for an interview. This means minimalist, clean, and professional. Aim high, slightly overdress if you’re not sure. You can always make a pleasant joke about it during the interview.
Amy Segelin is the President and co-owner of Chaloner, a national executive search firm focused on communications, public relations, and marketing recruitment.
This story originally appeared on Chaloner’s The Interview Room blog.