What not to wear to a job interview and other oddities

I really do love interviewing.  I love meeting the people who have put together the materials – resume, cover letter, writing sample(s), portfolio – and come in to interview.

You have to realize as a candidate, that at this point, I really want you to do well.   Let me share with you some of the mission critical errors that occur when we meet IRL.

1.  Cleavage
2.  Bra straps as accessories
3.  Attire akin to Madonna in her song Borderline.
4.  Bitten and bleeding nails
5. Chipped nail polish
6.  Dirty, stained clothes
7.  Overdose of cologne, perfume, or scented lotion.

I want to pause here because I have “environmental sensitivities.”  What that means, in layman’s terms, is that I get migraines from perfume.   I work through it.  I have monstrous headaches after interviewing someone drenched in smell.

Please err on the extreme and don’t wear any fragrance.   You make people like me very, very appreciative.

There is an article by Alison Doyle on what to wear for an interview.   I think she does a nice job outlining the safest bets.

There are times when you can come more casual.  Some may not agree but if you are interviewing in a couple of our departments, a suit may be out of place.  Despite what other HR professionals think, I am ALWAYS okay with a candidate asking me about appropriate attire.

And come prepared.  PLEASE have questions.  Have a copy of the job description.  Do your homework.

Happy interviewing.

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