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Dress for Success

Making an Excellent First Impression


Since a job interview may be your first and only chance to put your best foot forward when applying for an internship or a job, it's important to make a good first impression right from the start. It is said that most people form an impression within the first 30 seconds of each new encounter. That's right, you have 30 seconds to land that internship or job because everything you say after that initial period really may not matter.

1. Quality

Buying a classic suit will ensure that it will not go out of style over time. Buying the best quality clothing that you can afford and keeping a watch out for sales can provide the best bargain over the long run since you will definitely get more wear out of a nicely made suit than a cheap one.

2. Men

  • Conservative suit with jacket for business setting (solid navy or dark gray).
  • Conservative long sleeved white or blue shirt for business setting.
  • Dress slacks and oxford shirt for more casual setting.
  • Haircut, freshly shaven, and well groomed mustache (mustaches may be viewed negatively in some environments).
  • Well groomed finger nails.
  • Professional briefcase.

3. Women

  • Conservative skirt or pants suit with jacket for business setting (solid dark blue, gray, or black).
  • Dress slacks or skirt and classic top or blouse for more casual setting.
  • Well groomed hairstyle and minimal make up.
  • Manicured finger nails and clear or light colored nail polish.

4. Accessories


  • Jewelry can include watch and wedding or class ring.
  • Silk tie (conservative).
  • Polished black leather shoes and black socks.


  • One pair of earrings and one ring on each finger.
  • Natural or taupe pantyhose.
  • A scarf may add color and put the look together.
  • Polished shoes with small heel.
  • 5. Pulling it All Together

    Since your appearance is a big part of the initial first impression in an interview, it's crucial that you take nothing for granted. Your grooming, attire, accessories all speak volumes about you so taking the time to ensure that you are dressed appropriately can make a huge difference in the outcome.

    Although appropriate dress is essential in an interview, it is not necessary to spend more than you can afford. For business and office settings one suit will do the trick. You can use the same suit but change the look by wearing a different shirt and tie; or for women, vary the look with a different top or scarf or by rotating your jewelry.

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