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Career Services
Murphy Center Room 374
Office Hours: Monday–Friday 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.
Career Services
900 Viterbo Drive
La Crosse, Wisconsin 54601
Phone: 608-796-3828
Fax: 608-796-3050


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Dress For Success:

The interview provides you with the opportunity to sell yourself. The first impression you make on a recruiter or potential supervisor is crucial to the construction of your professional image. Here are some tips to help you make a professional first impression on your interview.

Men's Interview Attire:

The Suit:

  • The sleeves should taper gradually, ending just over the wrist so the shirt cuff extends about 1/2 inch beyond the jacket sleeve.
  • The pant leg bottom in the front should touch the front of the shoe and angle towards the back of the shoe to fall just above the heel. Pant cuff or no cuff is a personal choice.
  • Choose dark colors, such as navy, gray, or coffee beige (brown is usually unacceptable and black is
  • too formal). Suit should be solid color or subtle pinstripes.
  • The fabric should be worsted wool or gabardine, a firm hard-finish durable fabric (such as lightweight wool or rayon).
  • Suit is always the first choice, but if unavailable, a navy jacket or blazer with black or navy buttons and gray or beige pants is acceptable.

The Dress Shirt:

  • The button down collar offers a more casual look than the more formal business style of a point collar.
  • Choose a good fit, neatly pressed.
  • Best colors include white, pale blue, tan, or yellow
  • Always wear an undershirt. Avoid v-neck style since the neckline may show
  • The Tie:
  • Your tie should be darker than your shirt and should not extend below the belt.
  • Purchase several ties that complement your suit to give your wardrobe versatility
  • Wear 100% silk (or similar looking) in solid colors or small patterns.

The Shoes:

  • Best choice is a conservative style with laces. Best shoe colors are black, brown, or burgundy and should match your belt.
  • Wear with a new shine and dark socks over the calf.


Women's Interview Attire:

The Suit:

  • Choose conservative colors such as black, navy, gray, tan, or brown in a flattering cut.
  • The fabric should be gabardine, a firm hard-finish durable fabric such as light wool or rayon.
  • Suit should be a solid color or subtle pinstripes.
  • A business dress, worn with a jacket, or a tailored pantsuit is acceptable.
  • Avoid wearing trendy lapels or buttons.
  • Make sure the skirt length is just at knee length, either right above or right below the knee.

The Blouse:

  • Wear a neutral color (e.g., white or beige) or a pastel color if you want to add some color; avoid neon colors and large prints.
  • Do not wear a low-cut or see-through blouse.

Make-up and Jewelry:

  • Avoid bright colors and excessive amounts
  • Light shades of lip coloring and nail polish are recommended
  • Jewelry should be small and conservative. Only one ring per hand
  • Avoid costume jewelry
  • Earrings should be small studs or clip-ons with only one earring per ear
  • Wear hair so it's not  falling into your face or covering your eyes

Shoes and Hosiery:

  • Do not wear open toe or open heel shoes or heels higher than two inches
  • Your shoe color should coordinate with your ensemble and remain in the neutral zone, such as navy,
    black or taupe
  • Wear hosiery that is close to your skin color

Interview Image Do's & Don'ts

  • DO wear a suit
  • DO wear neat and conservative hair
  • DO give a firm handshake at the beginning and end of the interview
  • DO have clean and trimmed fingernails
  • DO maintain steady eye contact with the interviewer/s
  • DO smile and maintain good posture--the latter communicated confidence and leadership
  • DO thank them for their time
  • DON'T wear big jewelry or hair ornaments
  • DON'T exhibit nervous body behavior, like fidgeting
  • DON'T wear heavy perfume or cologne
  • DON'T wear facial jewelry
  • DON'T wear white socks (men)
  • DO wear a conservative tie (men)
  • DO ask the recruiter for a business card

General Tips:

  • Err on the conservative side.
  • If your interview attire speaks louder than you, you won't be heard. The louder your clothes are, the less attention the employer will pay to your capabilities.
  • Wear a neat haircut. Extreme may be good for TV but not for the interview.
  • Practice good hygiene: shave, brush teeth, and use deodorant.
  • Make sure all clothing is clean and neatly pressed and coordinated.
  • Keep cologne, perfume, after-shave, etc. to a minimum; apply at least two hours before the interview.
  • Best approach -- don't wear it at all.
  • Style your hair neatly. If you have long hair, pull it back or style it to keep it out of your face.
  • Carry a briefcase or portfolio with copies of your resume. Women can avoid carrying a purse this way.


Related Websites

About.Com How to Dress for Interview     
About.Com Dressing for Success    
YouTube How to Dress for Job Interview         
College Grad:  Dressing for Success     
Monster:  Dressing for the Interview by Industry    



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