You're about to graduate from college and you're getting ready for your first interview for post-graduate employment. What should you wear? It depends on the type of company and the type of job you are interviewing for.
If you are interviewing for a full-time professional position or a post-graduate internship at a professional organization, business attire will be expected.
For non-professional jobs, like summer jobs or a job in retail or hospitality, you won't need to dress as formally. Business casual attire is acceptable.
If you're not sure what to wear, keep in mind that it is always better to dress up than dress down. It's also acceptable to ask the person who is scheduling the interview for advice if you're applying for a job where the appropriate attire could go either way.
Here's information on what to wear for college grad interviews.
Professional Job Interview Attire for Women
- Suit - blazer with dress, slacks or a skirt
- Coordinating Blouse or Shell
- Pantyhose - even if you have never worn pantyhose, now is the time to start
- Closed Toe Shoes
- Moderate make-up and hair
- Limited jewelery and perfume
Professional Job Interview Attire for Men
- Collared Shirt
- Dress Shoes
- Dress Socks
- Hair Neatly Groomed
What to Bring With You to the Interview
For both men and women, bring a portfolio with extra copies of your resume and a list of references. Also, bring a pen so you can jot down names for thank you notes.
For more casual companies and jobs, here's advice on what to wear when you don't need to dress up in a suit.
What you shouldn't wear is important, too, regardless of the interview dress code. Your interview is your first opportunity to make an in-person impression and you will want to be sure that it's a good one. Here's what not to wear and what not to bring with you to the interview.
What Not to Wear and Bring
- No bra straps showing
- No sneakers
- No flip-flops
- No cell phone (or put away and turned off)
- No iPhone or iPad (unless you are using your iPad to show examples of your work)
- No coffee or other beverages
- No gum
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