Tips for a Successful Interview Dress to Impress! While fashion trends on the street change, many principles of dressing for interviews have stayed the same. Keep these points in mind when preparing for an interview. You want to present a professional image to the employer and nonverbally communicate that you want the position more than other candidates. These tips will help you dress for success. Males • Dark suits (black or navy) in natural fabrics (wool or cotton) are safe bets • Wear polished dress shoes (solid heels, complete soles, and no scuffs) • Socks should complement your pant color and have strong elastic so they stay up • Ties should be conservative, limited to small patterns or solid colors • Pockets should be free from bulging wallets, tobacco products, or jingling coins • Remove earrings and other piercings; cover up visible tattoos • Facial hair and nails should be clean and cut short Females • Wear neutral colors (black, navy, and gray are still best) • Consider the suit as the primary mode of dress for most interviews • Skirt lengths that are not revealing (no higher than 2 inches above knee) • Makeup should be minimal and hair neatly styled and away from your face • Avoid flashy, excessive jewelry, remove body piercings, and cover visible tattoos • Wear polished pumps or dress flats • Non-textured, neutral hose or socks that complement your attire • Clear or conservative nail polish on an appropriate nail length • Keep purse size small and hands-free Consider the cliche, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”You do not have to spend a thousand dollars for a suit. A well-groomed appearance goes a long way. Like it or not, some employers will form an opinion about you before you even speak! 36 The Career Center CAREER SUCCESS GUIDE www.ecu.edu/career The Day of the Interview... 1. Dress appropriately and use good manners. Your appearance should be neat and clean, pressed and polished. Always remember to say please and thank you. 2. Be on time. If you are late for the interview, the employer may decide that you are not really interested in the job or that you would show up late for work. 3. Show that you are knowledgeable about the company. Interviewers are inclined to look more favorably on a candidate who has made the effort to research the company and the position. 4. Think Positive. Self-doubts and fear of failure can damage a job interview. Be calm and aware of any nervous behavior (nail-biting, hair twirling, etc.). Do some deep, slow breathing exercises before entering the meeting room. 5. Unfreeze your face...SMILE! Smiling exudes a positive attitude, confidence, and can make the interview more rewarding for both parties. Show your enthusiasm for the opportunity to meet with the potential employer. 6. Practice good communication skills. It is important that you exhibit professional communication skills during the interview. Speak clearly and effectively, listen attentively, maintain eye contact, and resist distractions that may steal your attention. 7. Practice answering questions. Anticipate questions that may be asked during the interview and prepare answers beforehand to some of the more difficult or sensitive questions. 8. Follow the interviewer’s lead and stick to the point. Listen carefully; sometimes an interviewer will rephrase a question to check for alertness and consistency. The interviewer is also interested in experience and attitudes that might affect your performance on the job. Avoid discussing details of your personal life. 9. Express your interest in the job. Ask if you can call back at a certain time to find out about the decision. 10. Send a thank-you letter and/or card. Thank the interviewer for his or her time, and re-emphasize your desire for the job. Restate your qualifications and mention a couple things you learned during the interview.