The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Dress for success: what it takes to land a job

It is one of the most nerve-wracking decisions to make. With a job interview just under an hour away, what should I wear?

If you find yourself wearing flip flops, jeans and a striped polo shirt from American Eagle before the interview, then you already are on the road toward rejection.

There are unwritten rules in what to wear for job interviews. Attire may be as critical as the answers you give to the interviewer, so you must make an effort to look your best.

Some guidelines may be applied to both men and women. The point is to dress formal, regardless of what the dress code is in the workplace.

A business suit is the best option. Whether to go with a three or two-button suit is your choice, but for husky (or big-boned) guys, a two-button suit may give you a slimmer look. Navy blue or dark grey are the best colors to go with on an interview. If you do not like those colors, then go with what you feel comfortable in, as long as it is a dark color that looks formal. You do not want to light up the room with a lime-green suit, save that one for the office party.

A nice long-sleeve shirt should be worn, preferably in white or pastel. The shirt should be accompanied by a silk tie, and yes, it has to be a silk tie, or at least a silk blend.

The tie should, preferably, be plain, or not have much of a design on it. Showing up with a tie with squares or smiley faces will most likely have the interviewer cut the meeting short and send you home with a sad face.

Black lace-up shoes are the best shoes to go with, but make sure they are clean and polished.

Other colors of shoes can be worn, as long as it matches with the rest of your attire. Brown shoes with a navy blue suit is not a good combination, and will be noticed. Black is always a safe color, so go with it. Calf-length dress socks matching your suit should go nicely with your shoes.

The pants should, of course, match your coat. Slim indviduals should go with flat pants, and the huskier individuals with pleated pants.

If dress slacks have the belt loops around the waist, that means you must wear a belt. A dress belt is probably your only option. Wearing a belt buckle the size of Texas may not go well with the interviewer, so keep it simple.

If you happen to not own a belt, but own suspenders for some reason, then be bold and wear them. Do not attempt to wear both a belt and suspenders because it just does not look right. Choose one of the other, preferably the belt.

Just dress up following these guidelines and you will look sharp at the interview. Of course, wear clean and pressed clothing because every detail counts. You never know when a wrinkle can cost you your job.

Do not be afraid to accessorize, but do not go too crazy on that idea.

A nice looking watch is a good addition to your attire. Refrain from wearing a sports watch. Stay away from any electronic multi-task watches. I doubt you will be needing a calculator or be timing the meeting.

It is not necessary to go out and buy a Rolex watch because watches can be very expensive.

But there are a number of nice watches at reasonable prices.

If you tend to get nervous easily and constantly check time when you feel uncomfortable, then do not take a watch. It is rude to continually check the time on your watch during your interview. If you would like to resist temptation, then leave the watch at home.

Any earring(s) or piercings should not be worn, unless they are not visible, then by all means keep it.

Unless you want to show off your collection of colonial coins, do not have any change in your pocket. Do not store anything in your pockets. Pockets should be free of any change or anything that can make noise, including your cellular phone.

If you are carrying your cell phone, turn it off. The interviewer will not be pleased to be interrupted by Lil’ Jon’s “Snap Yo Fingers” or Justin Timberlake’s “Sexy Back” ring tones.

Leaving the phone on vibrate is not a good idea because then all you hear is that awkward sound that is like a wasp that is unbelievably loud. There is a reason why voicemail was put into the cellular phone. Just let it go, and turn it off.

I do not recommend keeping your cell phone on you, but you can keep it in your briefcase. A briefcase may seem like too much, but it is a nice addition to your look.

Taking a briefcase not only makes you look more professional, but it also helps in case the interviewer needs another copy of your resume or any other information. A briefcase with extra copies of your resume is a good thing to carry with you to your interview because it shows that you are prepared for anything.

Clothes are not the only things you need to worry about. Being well-groomed is also important, so get a haircut, especially if you have long hair. If you love your long hair so much that you cannot cut it, then slick it back and keep it in a pony tail.

Facial hair is not recommended for any interviews, but if you, somehow, are very attached to it, then trim it down. Trimming facial hair is important to your look because you do not want to be dressed to kill and then have a scruffy goatee to ruin it.

Beware of having the five o’clock shadow. Make sure you shave well the morning of the interview.

You’ve got the look down, you’ve got the watch and briefcase and there is only one more thing to do.

It would not hurt to wear just a pinch of cologne or after shave. You do not want to go to an interview smelling like your breakfast or…yourself. Only a little bit of cologne should do the trick, do not go and spray the whole bottle because the interviewer will most likely feel his nostrils burning and ask you to step out of his office and never come back.

Presentation is everything in an interview. You have to do a good job of selling yourself, so just look good doing it. When you look good, you feel good, and you feel confident. Once you have the confidence, then the interview should go fine.

Look good, feel good and always give a smile.

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