How to not let your appearance ruin a job interview

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Sherily Olsen, an Employment Counselor with the Department of Workforce Services says appearance is always an important part of making a first impression. That’s even more true with a job interview because you’re telling a potential employer something about your attitude.

  • Dressing appropriately for an interview shows that you’re serious about the job.
  • It shows that you will do a good job representing the company if they hire you.

Even though society, in general, has gotten a lot more casual in the way we dress, that’s not true for job interviews! There are a few things you can do to be prepared.

  • Find out the company dress code ahead of time.
  • If the position is in a public building, you can even visit the location and see how employees are dressed.
  • It’s also a good idea to dress one step above the job for which you are applying. For example, at Workforce Services, we dress in business casual – slacks and button-shirts – but if I’m coming in for an interview there, I would want to dress business professional – a suit.

What are some other dos and don’ts for dressing for a job interview?

  • Make sure clothing is clean and ironed.
  • Maintain a neat and professional hairstyle.
  • Be aware of strong smells, such as cigarette smoke, food, and perfume.
  • Cover tattoos.
  • Limit jewelry.
  • Use makeup sparingly.
  • Make sure facial hair is well groomed.

If anyone needs more help, they can always come into a Department of Workforce Services office and participate in a workshop or practice interviews. Or visit

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