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While it might go without saying, it is certainly worth repeating that one never gets a second chance to make a first impression. This rings true because it is empirically accepted and rarely disputed that the critical first impression not only lasts but could very well be the determining factor in your meeting. Regardless of your qualifications, education or experience, how you present yourself is paramount to your interview success.

Essentially, you need to remember that it’s not just what you say, but how you look when you are saying it. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider before your interview:

There is no rule book for proper professional attire. (Some people suggest that you should always dress for a position one level higher than the one you are applying for).  Regardless, however, some general courtesies and customs should be followed and are expected when applying for a position in a professional work place.

What should never be worn to a job interview?

Shorts, tank tops or crop tops, flip flops, sandals, or tennis/running shoes, overly trendy or loud clothing, very short, tight, low-cut clothing or sun glasses. These are worth noting because they have not only inexcusably been worn to job interviews but also made the “What Not to Wear” list for potential employees on

What is appropriate workplace attire in professional job interviews?

There are still a few classics that never go out of style. Men should wear a suit or nice pair of slacks with a sharp crease and a jacket in toned-down colors, a long-sleeved dress shirt devoid of wrinkles, a tie, a belt and a shoe-laced pair of polished shoes. Also, never underestimate the value of a good haircut and personal grooming. A freshly washed and polished car will

make a positive impression upon arrival. Attention to detail is first apparent in your apparel. A sharply dressed man garners respect before uttering a single word.

For women, it is critical to apply the same concepts that men would. Choose attire that exudes confidence and professionalism. Whether you wear a suit, a dress or a blouse and skirt, just make sure it’s sending the message that you are there to work. Again, pay attention to the little things. When in doubt, err on the side of conservative accessories: Pumps or heels as opposed to open-toe wedges, and be mindful of your make-up and perfume. You want the focus to be on your qualifications; your cosmetics should be an asset not a distraction.

Whether man or woman, when walking into that interview dressed for success, reflecting all the hard work that got you to this point, hold your head high, smile, offer a firm handshake, make eye contact and win the day!