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BY Joel Junker

How to Dress for a Professional Interview

In a previous blog posts, we have written about professional communication, specifically verbal communication, interview tips, etc. Today’s blog post is about professional non-verbal communication, particularly business attire for interviewing. So, how should you dress for a professional interview?

Roger Cameron writes in PCS to Corporate America, 4th Ed., “Your physical appearance should imply that you are professional and competent and that you can get the job done. This does not mean you should look dull, but if you err, it should be on the side of being conservative versus highly fashionable. Remember that you are not trying to please your friends (I add spouse here) or the fashion experts but rather the people who make the hiring decisions. These individuals are usually older and conservative (at least in their business appearance), and care more about what you can accomplish than how good-looking you are.” (page 103, PCS, 4th Ed.)

In my 11+ years of recruiting, no recruiter has ever said “Yes” to a candidate because of the great looking shirt, tie or suit. In fact, I have never even heard a recruiter provide a comment even close to, “I really liked his shirt or tie.” On the other hand, I have heard recruiters make negative comments and provide constructive feedback about shoes, ties or shirt style.

Additionally, and most importantly, you want your answers, competencies, accomplishments, stories, leadership style, problem solving methodologies, questions, and statements of interests to stand out and make the difference with the recruiter.  But make no mistake, your interview attire matters.

Below are two recent videos we put together to help men and women JMOs identify what they should be looking for and considering when it comes to professional interview attire.  The videos directly align and compliment with Chapter 4, “Physical Factors of Interviewing from PCS to Corporate America, 4th edition.