As Will Rogers said, "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." Your interview image must be buffed and polished until you have mastered a flawless presentation of yourself. Your personal image extends well beyond the interview. Every contact with the interviewer (résumé, cover letter, telephone calls, information sessions, etc.) must reflect your professional image.
Your appearance tells people how you feel about yourself as an applicant, as well as how you feel about the interviewer(s), the company, and the process of interviewing itself. The correct image at an interview will give you a real edge over your competition, and will add to your own sense of self-esteem and confidence.
Within the first five seconds of meeting someone, you are generally evaluated on your appearance. It is important that your appearance match the culture of the company. One way to do this is to visit the company to see how people who work there are dressed or ask people that you know in the professional workplace. For example, in most public and private accounting firms women wear skirted suits. Therefore, interviewing in a pantsuit would most likely be unacceptable for such accounting positions. Many companies do have business casual dress one or more days a week. Business casual dress is still inappropriate for interviewing.
Invest in your interviews as you have invested into your education. If you need a book for a class, you buy it. If you need a suit for interviewing, buy it. Buy the highest quality suit you can afford. We recommend a lined, all-season wool suit. It will pay off in the long run.
Examples shown above include both professional dress and business casual. When interviewing (for both jobs and internships) follow the professional dress guidelines (a suit).
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