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New York Job Interview Attire - What to Wear to the Interview

Job Interview Tips on What to Wear

According to Kim Zoller from Image Dynamics (a job training agency with offices in Dallas, Houston, New York, and San Fransisco), about 55% of what a person thinks of you is how you look. Your job interview attire is clearly important.

So what exactly does this little tidbit of information have to do with your seemingly never-ending job search? While it might not be all that important while you're sitting at your home computer sending your resume out into the world via job hunting sites like and, it can mean everything when you start hitting the streets of New York and going to job interviews.

After all, if 55% of a first impression is your appearance and job interview attire, don’t you want to show the potential employer that you're serious about getting the job, hard working, and professional? Here are some hints on what you should (and in some cases should not) wear to a job interview.

Solid Colors

When looking through your closet, it's best to pick out outfits with solid colors rather than loud and flashy designs. Your Hawaiian shirt might be fine for wearing to your buddy's barbeque, but not for a job interview. Also, it's best to keep the solid colors you wear to either faded pastels or dark colors. Neon colors probably aren't going to want to send out the message you're looking for. Dark colors are more professional, and faded pastels are acceptable if the workplace has a business casual attitude.

Blouses For Women, Dress Shirts For Men

When going to an interview, a button up shirt or blouse is most preferred. It should fit your form well without being too tight or too lose. For ladies, be sure that no stomach or cleavage is showing. Make sure the shirt has been properly ironed ahead of time and that you tuck it into your pants with no messy wrinkles or flaps visible.

Pressed Pants

Along with ironing your shirt or blouse, your pants should also be pressed with a crease down the legs. You should wear either slacks or kaki's or some other form of dress pants. These should not be tight, and need to be worn at the proper length. Wear a belt to keep your pants from falling loosely below your waist. Also, be sure that no underwear is visible above your pant line. Seeing the tops of boxers or the strap of a thong could give the wrong impression about you. And the whole reason we're discussing your clothing is to set a professional example and make a great first impression.

Nice Shoes

Do not wear sneakers. Or loose flip-flops. When planning job interview attire, shoes are often overlooked by candidates. Don't make this mistake, especially in appearance-conscious New York City.

You might think "they're never going to look at my feet!" but you’d be surprised. Guys should wear dark socks and leather lace-up shoes. Don't go for the Michael Jackson look (black shoes, white socks). If you don't own dark socks, borrow some or buy some. You can get a pair at any clothing retail store for under $10! Girls, wear shoes that actually cover your feet. Flip-flops and thong sandals might look cute and be comfortable, but they really aren't professional. You should wear a closed-toe shoe in either a flat or a heel. But, avoid the stilettos.

Jewelry, Make-up, Perfume and Cologne

When it comes to jewelry, make-up, perfume and cologne, less is more. Smell is our strongest sense, and not everyone has the same opinion on what smells good and what doesn't. Also, some people might be allergic to a certain kind of perfume or cologne. The last thing you want is to wear too much and have your interviewer either think you stink or start having a sneezing fit in your presence.

Make-up should be applied modestly. This is a professional job interview, after all, not a night out clubbing with the girls. Getting a date and getting a job should be two totally different looks for you.

The rules we've discussed about job interview attire, go for jewelry as well. Moderation is key. Remove any facial or other "artistic" piercing before your interview. As a rule, the only thing that should have holes in it are your earlobes. While you're at it, you'd also be well advised to cover up any tattoos or other body art.


You should bring your briefcase or portfolio with you to your interview. That's about it. Perhaps a small, tasteful purse, but avoid bringing that monstrous shoulder bag with you that you could fit a small person into. Remember, we're going for professionalism, not style or fashion.


Your hair should be neat and well groomed. "Bed head" might be stylish on the red carpet, but it gives employers an impression of laziness. Don't go in with day-old whiskers either. You should be well groomed and styled, and clean shaven and/or neatly trimmed.

-Martin Craigs for

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