Your clothing makes a statement – make sure it’s saying the right things. You only get one chance to make a good first impression on that job interview you wanted for the travel agent position. Looking polished and professional is just as important as an outstanding resume, but what exactly should you wear?
Find out: The Interview Guys suggest starting at the top and that means finding out about the company that is interested in hiring you. If you don’t know someone who works there, it’s OK to call or email and ask what the dress code is. Mostly likely, they will fall into one of four categories: conservative, business casual, casual or creative/fashionable. Most travel agencies probably fall into either conservative, business casual or casual and from there you can determine what to choose.
For example, business casual means wearing jackets and pants or skirts that can be paired with brightly colored shirts and accessories. However, conservative business attire utilizes more neutral tones and keeps the jewelry and accessories to a minimum.
Invest: If you do not have any good clothes to wear to the interview, go shopping and pick out a few basics to help get you through. If budget is an issue, consider borrowing from a friend or check out your local consignment shop for affordable garments.
Stay fit: No, that doesn’t mean hit the gym before your big moment. Instead, take a look at your wardrobe and eliminate duds that swim on you and others that are so tight they leave nothing to the imagination. “If you’re not dressed well, you can say all the right things … but you won’t get the job when you’re being compared with a lot of other capable people who are dressed better,” said Kim Zoller, founder and president of Image Dynamics.
Keep odor-free: Make sure to shower and keep perfumes, body sprays and any other scents to a minimum. “Never attend any interview with ill-fitting, sweat-stained, smelling like smoke, dog or cat hair covered clothing that looks like something you slept in,” said headhunter Michael Mayher on Monster.com.
Watch the details: Real Men Real Style says that men should shave, but not right before the interview to prevent any bleeding issues. Trim your mustache and clean up your beard if applicable. A few days before the scheduled date of the interview, have your hair cut trimmed around the neck and ears.
Cover the tats: If you’re serious about the job, take time to cover up the tattoos and the piercings because they may be holding you back. According to a CareerBuilder poll, 31 percent of nearly 3,000 hiring managers would be less likely to promote someone with a visible tattoo, and 37 percent said the same for piercings.
Minimal Makeup: When it comes to makeup for interviews, less is more. Maria DelRusso on PopSugar suggests eye shadows in neutral and natural shades. “A little bit of shimmer is fine, but stay away from adding a lot of shine (especially glitter!) to your eyelids,” she says. She also says that a little bit of blush is good, but don’t overdo it.
Look down: That’s right. You’ve been told to look directly at the hiring manager, but before you leave the house look down at your shoes. Are they dirty, worn down, or completely inappropriate for a job? Business attire high-heeled spikey shoes just may push your resume to the bottom of the pile. Forget about trying to pass off black or dark-colored sneakers as shoes.
When you walk in the door, taking time to look your best already puts you one step up on the competition.