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    Lesson 5:  Dress for Success, Aim to Impress

     

    It goes without saying that you should dress professional for the job interview.  You have probably heard the “dress for success” mantra  dozens of times!  In today’s modern world, however, it does not hurt to reinforce the adage, because the old expectation remains in place. 

     

    Part of your pre-interview research should include seeking to understand the company’s culture.  If you know someone who works for the healthcare organization and can provide inside perspective, be sure to ask questions.  It may provide you with some insight as to how you should dress for the job interview. 

     

    The company culture or position that you are interviewing for may dictate whether you decide to dress business casual or more formal.  If given you are having a tough time choosing between the two, however, the more formal option may be your best choice.  The general expectation is that you wear a business suit to the job interview.  If you wear a blazer, for example, you can always remove the jacket if necessary.  Dress for the position that you are seeking or role that you aspire to be in.

     

    Below are some fundamental principles that you should adhere to when selecting what to wear to a job interview:

     

    • Wear matching, comfortable business suits/attire.

    • Stick with neutral tones (you can always add a pop of color).

    • Ensure your attire is neat, clean, and wrinkle free.

    • Your clothes should fit properly and not be too revealing.

    • Take care of your personal hygiene (body odor, breath, etc.)

    • Avoid loud smelling perfumes, colognes, and body spray.

    • Your nails should be trimmed, filed, and neat in appearance; avoid long, faddish nails and bright colors.

    • Your hair should be neat and clean in appearance; avoid faddish hair styles and colors.

    • Your shoes should be clean, serviceable, and non-faddish (no extremely high heels, flip flops, or tennis shoes).  Many people avoid wearing open-toed shoes altogether for their job interview.

    • Wear a conservative amount of jewelry.

    • If you wear stockings, ensure that they match your skin tone and check for snags.

    • Avoid short dresses/skirts, spaghetti strap shirts, low cut shorts, etc.

     

    These general recommendations are simply guidelines to point you in the right direction. How you dress for the interview demonstrates your commitment to professionalism, level of self-respect, and respect for the employer.  If you want potential employers to take you seriously, then you should project this in your mannerisms, preparedness, attitude, dress & appearance, and body language.

     

    If you still feel uncomfortable, you may decide to purchase 1-2 black and gray suits with a traditional collard shirt, tie (if applicable), and a conservative pair of heels or loafers. The right interview outfit can help you to feel bold and confident.  Put some effort into selecting the right outfit to wear, and do not be afraid to ask for help from other professionals or conduct online research.  Incorporating their feedback, can put you on the right track.