What to wear to a PR job interview

February 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm (Assignments, PRCA 3711)

First impressions are always so important, especially in the job interview process. So you have tips on how to conduct yourself as far as body language goes, now you need to know what to wear to your interview. This is extremely important because a possible future-employer needs to be able to picture you within their company and if you are dressed inappropriately, this will be hard for them to do.

According to Jobsearch.com, 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on looks. Below is what the article at Jobsearch.com said men and women should wear to dress for success in a job interview.

Women’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • Coordinated blouse
  • Moderate shoes
  • Limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Tan or light hosiery
  • Sparse make-up & perfume
  • Manicured nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase

Men’s Interview Attire

  • Solid color, conservative suit
  • White long sleeve shirt
  • Conservative tie
  • Dark socks, professional shoes
  • Very limited jewelry
  • Neat, professional hairstyle
  • Go easy on the aftershave
  • Neatly trimmed nails
  • Portfolio or briefcase
On the other end of the spectrum, Careerbuilder.com has published an article on what NOT to wear to an interview.
1. Carrying a backpack or fannypack instead of a briefcase or portfolio: Some image consultants suggest women ditch their purse, too!

2. Sunglasses on top of your head or headphones around your neck: Be sure to remove all your “transit gear” and tuck it in your briefcase before entering the lobby.

3. Too-short skirts: Forget what some of those gals on ‘The Apprentice’ are wearing. Your skirt should cover your thighs when you are seated.

4. The wrong tie: Ties should be made of silk, no less than three and a quarter inches wide with a conservative pattern. Image consultants say the best colors are red or burgundy.

5. Overly bright or large-patterned clothing: With the possible exception of creative fields like advertising or computer programming, it’s best to stick with navy, black or gray.

6. Heavy makeup on women (or any makeup on a man)

7. Earrings on men: In fact, men should avoid wearing any jewelry unless it is a wedding ring, class ring or metal watch.

8. More than one set of earrings on women

9. Facial piercings, tongue jewelry or visible tattoos

10. Ill-fitting clothes. Few people can wear things straight off the rack. Spending a little extra to have your garments tailored is a worthwhile investment.

11. Long fingernails, especially with bright or specialty polishes. Nails should look clean and be trimmed to a length that doesn’t leave an observer wondering how you keep from stabbing yourself.

12. Unnatural hair colors or styles. Remember, Donald Trump was a billionaire well before he began wearing a comb-over. If you’re balding, try a close-cropped cut like Bruce Willis or Matt Lauer.

13. Short-sleeved shirts, even worse when worn with a tie

14. Fishnets, patterned hosiery or bare legs (no matter how tan you are). Women should stick with neutral color hosiery that complements their suit.

15. Men whose socks don’t match their shoes, or whose socks are too short and leave a gap of flesh when they are seated

16. Rumpled or stained clothing: If interviewing late in the day, try to change to a fresh suit beforehand.

17. Scuffed or inappropriate footwear, including sneakers, stilettos, open-toed shoes and sandals

18. Strong aftershaves, perfumes or colognes: Many people are allergic to certain scents. For a subtle fragrance, use a good quality bath soap.

19. Belts and shoes that don’t match: Shoes and belts should be made of leather or leather-like materials and the best colors for men are black or cordovan.

20. Telltale signs that your wearing a new suit. Remove all tags and extra buttons — and remember to cut off the zigzag thread that keeps pockets and slits closed

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20 Comments

  1. jeffcarter3 said,

    I found your information to be extremely useful. I too used careerbuilder.com as reference when writing my blog as well. This was a good site to reference for such a topic. Finding a job will be tough enough. Who knew that what you wear may have just as an important role as your resume. I appreciate your good advice and look forward to more of your excellent blogs. You really do a great job of discussing topics that are relevant to those who are graduating. You have a great sense for what the public wants to know. Keep up the good work.

  2. Blog Comments « Jeff Carter said,

    […] 2)What to wear to a PR job interview by Jessica Cameron 3/7/10 […]

  3. candicehall said,

    I really liked this post from you! You had a lot of great information that will be helpful when I go in for job interviews. I am a little scared however that my wardrobe doesn’t include all the things you suggest wearing in your blog. Suits.. I definitely need to invest in. And pantie hose.. who wears those anymore? I can’t believe that’s a rule these days. I also heard on the radio that women shouldn’t wear high heels to an interview. I suppose we should wear flats? I don’t know. I also found it interesting that one of the things suggested in your post was to wear sparse makeup. I am not really sure what sparse makeup entails but I am sure that I need a little bit to look at all decent. There are just so many things to think about when going for a job interview! I will definitely have to review the rules you provide before my next interview. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Blog Comments « Candice Hall's Blog said,

    […] 8. Comment on Jessica Cameron’s Blog: What to Wear to a PR Job Interview I really liked this post from you! You had a lot of great information that will be helpful when I go in for job interviews. I am a little scared however that my wardrobe doesn’t include all the things you suggest wearing in your blog. Suits.. I definitely need to invest in. And pantie hose.. who wears those anymore? I can’t believe that’s a rule these days. I also heard on the radio that women shouldn’t wear high heels to an interview. I suppose we should wear flats? I don’t know. I also found it interesting that one of the things suggested in your post was to wear sparse makeup. I am not really sure what sparse makeup entails but I am sure that I need a little bit to look at all decent. There are just so many things to think about when going for a job interview! I will definitely have to review the rules you provide before my next interview. Thanks for the tips! Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)What to Wear to a PR Job InterviewI’m Famous! Well, not really.Letter to the EditorMore on Wardrobe […]

  5. allisonallmond said,

    Hey Jessica! I thought you found some good tips for what one should and should not to wear to an interview. The advice about what to wear seems pretty standard; just like what our teachers have been telling us all along. The what not to wear tips were kind of funny. I can imagine someone walking into a job interview with a fanny pack on their waist, huge headphones around their neck and a tongue ring – hah! I guess unless that person were interviewing for a position at a tattoo parlor or something like that they probably wouldn’t get the job. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Victoria said,

    Nice fact about 55 % of people first opinion of you is decided by what you have on. I believe that it is important how you look but when you put it in to a number form it makes the importance of dressing correctly more vital.

  7. Comments « Victoria’s Blog said,

  8. kdwhigham said,

    I like the angle you took. Everyone hears about what to wear to an interview… the basics… a suit, dress nice, etc., but no one ever tells you what NOT to wear.(like the show!) Like Sunglasses on the head, how many people will walk in from outside and just push them up and forget about them. That’s something you need to be conscious about. Also, the new suit thing… I never thought of that. Of course you cut off the tags, but the buttons and zig zag strings and such show that you just bought the suit and you don’t regularly own/wear one. Useful information. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Blog Comments « From Student to Life said,

    […] 19. April 19, 2010 What to wear to a PR job interview by Jessica Cameron […]

  10. hhiggs87 said,

    “55% of another person’s perception of you is based on looks.” Wow…that’s a lot! All of your pointers are really good. One thing that gets me thought is the closed toe shoes for women. Have you heard that? I have actually been reminded of it in several of my classes; communications and business classes. Personally, it drives me crazy. Who really cares if I wear peep toe shoes? Does that really offend people? I have never understood the point of that rule but I have been forced to abide by it. Do men know how hard it is to find closed toe heels that are cute? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  11. Phillip Edwards said,

    Hey Jessica. This blog is really detailed and easy to read. One of the tips from careerbuilder is hilarous though. (Facial Piercings Removal). But on the flip sided I did learn alot from this blog including what colors to wear and how to handle myself in the industry. That statistic about 55% of others perception is really surprising because I honestly thought it would be much higher. And in repsonse to hhiggs87 comment about “who cares,” you would be surpised at looks at this kind of stuff and makes decisions based on it. Nice and refreshing.

  12. Jeremy said,

    I like how you referenced different job sites like careerbuilder.com, after all, their business is finding a business for you. I was also impressed with your very thorough list of recommended men’s and women’s apparel. The best part of this post to me, though, is careerbuilder’s recommendations for what not to wear. That seems almost even more important. Number 20 on this list is the most interesting to me because it serves as a way for employers to tell that you’re new to the job process. “Telltale signs that your wearing a new suit. Remove all tags and extra buttons — and remember to cut off the zigzag thread that keeps pockets and slits closed.”

  13. eroche1 said,

    Jessica! I really enjoyed this post. It really is a clear way to deliver information. Yes there are a lot of things not to wear when one is going on an interview, but your delivery made them very easy to read through. The items that were posted were very detailed as well. Though I would not be wearing a tie to an interview (haha) I now know they should be silk and a dark, shade of red. Another number that I found interesting was the fact that women should not wear much makeup. I will try and remember that one as well! Thanks for all the tips!!!

  14. stephaniemedlin said,

    Okay seriously, it’s sad that we must evaluate what some people wear to interviews. They are trying to get a “professional adult job” but end up leaving the house like they are wearing yesterday’s makeup or last night’s stained shirt. Unfortunately, the tips you provided will be a news flash to some! I like the part where you mention not wearing sunglasses. First of all I’ve never understood the need for wearing sunglasses indoors, but secondly I’m pretty sure you’re not going to need them for the interview! I also like the part where you mentioned keeping your fingernails manicured and trimmed. I know a guy who has longer finger nails than I do, and it freaks me out. There’s something about it that is just really sick and I just want to trim his nails for him! Thanks for posting, it was fun to read!

  15. Comments on Other Blogs « Phillip's Blog said,

  16. brittlindsay said,

    I really enjoyed the second set of attire advice. It is upsetting that many people do not know these things and they are constantly dressing inappropriately to an interview. Then they want to wonder why they did not land the job. These tips should be second nature. As generations age I feel that individuals forget or do not learn the essentials when it comes to job interviewing. Hopefully, with our go getter generation we will be the ones to change to standard and be the most professional group of adults. Then we can teach the younger generation (who wear their pants on the ground or skin tight clothing) what is appropriate in the workplace.

  17. Blog Comments « Brittney Lindsay: I Am My Own Brand said,

    […] What to Wear to a PR Job Interview by Jessica: I really enjoyed the second set of attire advice. It is upsetting that many people do not know these things and they are constantly dressing inappropriately to an interview. Then they want to wonder why they did not land the job. These tips should be second nature. As generations age I feel that individuals forget or do not learn the essentials when it comes to job interviewing. Hopefully, with our go getter generation we will be the ones to change to standard and be the most professional group of adults. Then we can teach the younger generation (who wear their pants on the ground or skin tight clothing) what is appropriate in the workplace. […]

  18. Blog Comments 1-15 « Brittney Lindsay: I Am My Own Brand said,

    […] What to Wear to a PR Job Interview by Jessica: I really enjoyed the second set of attire advice. It is upsetting that many people do not know these things and they are constantly dressing inappropriately to an interview. Then they want to wonder why they did not land the job. These tips should be second nature. As generations age I feel that individuals forget or do not learn the essentials when it comes to job interviewing. Hopefully, with our go getter generation we will be the ones to change to standard and be the most professional group of adults. Then we can teach the younger generation (who wear their pants on the ground or skin tight clothing) what is appropriate in the workplace. […]

  19. ashleigh martin said,

    Jessica, I thought it was cool that you broke down what men should wear verses what woman should wear to an interview. Sometimes, this line is hard to define but your post helps give guidelines! I agree with Stephanie Medlin that it is sad we must evaluate what some people wear in interviews. However, just like with anything you buy, the employer is buying you and they want someone who is going to look the part. I hate to say it but appearence really matters. Your tips were really helpful to me and I think that if anyone reads this before an interview they will be set to be dressed to impressed! Great post.

  20. Talk Back 2: More Comments « a PR student at Georgia Southern University said,

    […] Comment on What To Weat To A PR Interview, written by Jessica […]

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