Skip Navigation

Dress for Success

Why is it important to dress appropriately for a Job Interview?
  • First impressions are CRITICAL in a job interview
  • A significant part of a hiring decision is based on non-verbal cues (handshake, eye contact, clothing, grooming)
  • Martin Yate, author of Knock’em Dead, avows that over 90% of the decisions to bring back an interviewee for a second interview are made in the first two minutes of the initial interview
  • According to At Ease Professional: An Etiquette Guide for the Business Arena, 58% of a first impression is based on appearance.
  • Research has revealed that 46% of employees report attire significantly affects an interviewee’s professional image
  • Your appearance imparts a great deal of information to the interviewer: good grooming indicates attention to detail and respect for others
  • Hosea Belcher, senior vice president of marketing, Artisan Home Entertainment, states “When I’m hiring a candidate, before he or she even speaks I look at them ...If they’re not wearing a suit jacket or if they’re wearing a big shirt with floppy collars, I would think that they don’t care enough about the job to want to impress me."
General Tips for Appropriate Dress
  • Neatness counts! Iron shirts, press suits, avoid frayed edges, missing buttons
  • Wear conservative colors: black, gray, beige and navy are safe choices for suits
  • Limit jewelry to a simple, working watch, class/school ring
  • Clean, polished conservative shoes (avoid textures and snakeskin)
  • Clean, trimmed fingernails
  • Well-groomed hairstyle, off the face
  • No visible body piercing or tattoos
  • Minimal perfume or cologne
  • Overcoat pressed and clean
  • No body odor
  • Teeth brushed, breath fresh (no gum!)
  • Briefcase navy, black or taupe
Other Tips
  • Carry an emergency kit including: extra tie/pair of stockings, breath mints, comb, extra glasses/contact lens, tissues, and safety pins.
  • Clothing need not be expensive. Visit thrift shops in the Keene area: St. James Thrift Shop, Lamston Street and Linda’s Closet on 29 Center Street for affordable clothing.
Just for Women
  • Wear a suit or jacket with skirt or slacks
  • Pants should not cling or reveal panty-lines
  • Blouses to cover “cleavage”, avoid low necklines
  • Professional length nails, conservative polish
  • Understated makeup
  • Simple, small earring
  • No more than one ring on each hand
  • Low-heeled pumps—always wear hosiery
  • No purses—carry a briefcase or professional tote
Just for Men
  • Conservative tie—no bright colors, patterns, or graphics
  • Wear a dark suit or navy blazer and dress slacks
  • Polished shoes and dark socks
  • No beards—mustache must be neat and trimmed.
  • Class or school ring only—no chains or pierced jewelry

Contact Academic and Career Advising

Academic and Career Advising Office
603-358-2500
Elliot Center
229 Main Street
Keene, New Hampshire 03435