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How to Dress and Conduct Yourself on a Job Interview For Women

Updated on November 24, 2017

Dress Properly for Your Job Interview

Imagine you are minutes away from meeting your job interviewer, but you have a bad taste in your mouth and a sinking feeling of dread all over. To reach the office interview location, you walked passed impeccably, professionally dressed women in the hallway. You now have this sense of doom because you did not follow your instinct to wear the dark blue suit that is still hanging in your closet. Instead you tried to calm down your anticipated nerves by wearing your comfortable jeans, complete with the holes and the faded tee shirt that screams the message to the world, "AC DC Rocks!"

When you are greeted by a distinguished gentleman wearing a dark gray tailored suit, white shirt with dark blue tie and shiny black alligator shoes, you want to disappear somehow. You erroneously thought the vacant job was at a creative firm, so you were showing how laid back and creative you were by dressing down for the job interview.

Unbeknownst to you, the CEO was performing the interview instead of the happy-go-lucky sounding gentleman you spoke to earlier on the phone. Of course, you are already at the interview, so it is not possible to run home, change and return in a more appropriate outfit. What should you do in this instance? Unfortunately you will have to go forward with the interview, and hope the CEO knows that you are aware of how to dress properly in the future and will do so -- that is, if you get the job.

Women dressed appropriate for a job interview.
Women dressed appropriate for a job interview.

Dress Professionally for Your Job Interview

Dress professionally in an appropriate fitting dark suit, nude hosiery and plain pumps unless you are interviewing for a particular type job that requires showing off your assets. Even on those jobs, I would recommend showing a business-like appearance because the person who is interviewing you is still judging how you present yourself.

Remember -- Your goal is to be viewed as the right person for the job, instead of giving the interviewer all kinds of reasons not to hire you.

First Impressions at Your Job Interview

Your first impression starts from the time you walk into the building, meet the receptionist and finally sit in front of the interviewer. Do not discount the opinions of other people you talk to or see before you are actually interviewed. Their opinion could be even more important than that of the interviewer. Unfortunately, first impressions do count, and I'm afraid, in the particular instance illustrated above, you have made the wrong one. To avoid this happening to you again, heed my advice on how to dress for a job interview.

On the other hand, if you did not dress properly for your interview the first time, the good news is all may not be lost. Many times, depending on the type of job and the level, i.e., trainee, journeyman etc., there may be more interviews, in addition to the one you just had. So you may have a second chance to prove that you are the right person for the job. In other words, you may get to wear that dark blue suit after all.

Do you dress for an interview based on the job you are being interviewed for?

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Job Interview Hiring Decisions

It is no secret that many managers make the decision on whether to hire you, sometimes in the first few minutes of seeing you. Some make hiring decisions based on a simple handshake. Some job interviewees greet the hiring official with a dead fish handshake that exudes a weak character and low confidence. A nice firm handshake with eye contact without starring is how you should greet the interviewer.

Unfortunately, managers tend to hire those who resemble, or who may look and act most like themselves. They are looking for someone to do a competent job and contribute to the company's success. Many can size you up from the first time they meet you. They are looking at your demeanor, your actions, how you respond to interview questions, and yes -- how you dress.

Remember, even if the company is lax, it is still a business, and management is looking for people to move the company forward. During your job interview, in addition to your resume, the interviewer has only how you look and your mannerisms as a barometer to determine if you are a good fit for the company.

Show Your Likeability at Your Job Interview

Even though dressing properly for your job interview is important, an engaging personal demeanor is essential as well. Show a friendly smile with clean teeth when you meet the interviewer. Be sure to check your face in a mirror before the interview to make sure lipstick is not smeared on your teeth. When the interviewer is talking, be attentive to what he or she is saying. Listen with the goal to understand. If during the interview, you are asked a question, you want to be able to answer it, rather than asking the interviewer to repeat the question.

Some companies are not as concerned so much about your technical knowledge as your likeability. The reason is they can easily train someone on the technicalities of the job, but it is difficult and almost impossible to train someone to be liked. Try to keep a happy medium with your technical knowledge as well as your likeability.

Do not forget that you are being interviewed for your job skills and company-fit. If you give the impression you are more interested in and focused on the social aspect of your job instead of getting your job done, you might get hired, but remember -- you can just as easily and quickly be fired.

Telephone Job Interviews

Since you are at home and noone from the company will see you slouching around in your sleeping clothes, (unless you use face-time etc.), you may think you can eliminate "dressing up" for your job interview. This is possible; however, personally -- to get myself in a job interview mode, I put on my professional work outfit which helps me to feel like I already have the job, even if I am at home. Now, this is totally up to you. Maybe you are one of those people who do well on telephone interviews, regardless of how you are dressed. If you are, then stay in your comfortable clothing; however, if you are not, it does not hurt to take the effort to put on a professional suit and groom yourself as if you are being interviewed in person.

Do you dress up for a telephone interview?

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Show Confidence at Your Job Interview

First and foremost, present yourself professionally as well as make a good first impression. However, remember, sometimes the interviewer may think there is someone who is more suited for the job than you. Your job is to make sure the interviewer forget all of the interviewees before or after you and select you for the position. Follow my advice on how to dress and conduct yourself during your job interview and you may find yourself getting so many job offers, you might end up turning some down. Good luck!

Job Interview Dress Dos and Don'ts for Women


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    • courtlneygdtm profile image

      courtlneygdtm 5 years ago from United States


      Thanks ! I appreciate you commenting on my hub.


    • Didge profile image

      Didge 5 years ago from Southern England

      NICE hub!

    • courtlneygdtm profile image

      courtlneygdtm 6 years ago from United States


      Thanks for your comments and for voting useful! I will certainly consider your suggestion for another hub for men!


    • Iintertrans profile image

      Iintertrans 6 years ago from New Delhi

      This is really good for all the young ladies going for an interview.

      Nice collection .I think you should do one hub on men also.

      I had voted this useful.