What not to wear to that next job interview

To get a job, you have to look the part, so being well prepared for an interview includes being well groomed and well dressed.

“For any job interview, it is important to dress as professionally as possible and air on the side of caution,” said Katie Flint, assistant director at The Career Center.

“No matter what happens, you can’t take back that first impression,” Flint said.

Employers are looking for the whole package, and dressing professionally shows that you care about the position and respect the company. Looking good will help you stand out that much more from your competitors.

Even though you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, how well the cover is kept certainly adds to the overall apparent worth of the book, right? Here are a few of the common mistakes men and women make when dressing for an interview.

h2. Guys

*Suit:* Sweats may be acceptable for those that work from home, but for a job interview, men should wear a black or gray suit.

“The most common place where men go wrong with suits,” Flint said, “is in the tailoring.” A suit should never be too big or too small, but all too often they don’t fit correctly. Visiting a tailor is relatively inexpensive and a proper fitting can make a significant difference in the overall look of an applicant.

*Tie:* Always wear a simple, conservative, neatly-tied tie. While your Christmas tie might have cool lights and musical features, and your neon tie might bring out your eyes, it’s ultimately distracting to any potential employers.

“There will be other chances to show your creativity or sense of humor,” Flint said.

*Socks/Shoes:* Black shoes, black socks. And I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’re not Michael Jackson, which if you were in fact the late king of pop then you would be the exception. But you’re not. So, black shoes, black socks. And in case you’re still confused, that definitely means no socks and sandals.

*Cologne:* For interviews, men should wear very little cologne — or none at all. Even though your mom thinks you smell nice, the smell might be distracting or even bothersome to your prospective employer. You want to come on strong with your charm and professionalism — not your fragrance.

*Hair:* Your hair should be clean cut and washed, and any facial hair should be neatly shaved. Definitely don’t leave your hair all messy, wear too much gel or try to rock the spikes — Pauly D. barely pulls it off and is employed by MTV, whose reality stars are anything but professional.

*Nails:* Overgrown cuticles, long nails or — even worse — bitten down nails are all gross. Grooming includes nail care; so, don’t be afraid to stop by the nail salon for a quick no-polish manicure.

h2. Girls

*Suit:* Women should also wear a black or grey suit. Whether you wear pants or a skirt, it doesn’t matter, as long as the skirt isn’t too short. Women also have to be cautious of low-cut shirts — your potential employer should be focused on the assets of your resume. Along the same lines, make sure all undergarments aren’t visible.

*Shoes:* Everyone loves a good pair of stripper heels, but they are not appropriate for job interviews. So even though you might look like a high-end stripper, your 6-inch black patent Steve Madden heels need to stay home. Choose a conservative, comfortable pair of pumps that you won’t topple over in.

*Jewelry:* Large, noisy jewelry is a definite no for interviews because it can be distracting, tacky and loud – literally. Stick to a few simple pieces.

*Make-up and Perfume:* Save the smokey-eye for date night with your boyfriend, leave the bold lipstick in your purse and stick to light, natural looking make-up. Any heavy products can be distracting to employers and most of the time they just look tacky. This includes perfume, because even though you might think it smells nice, it might just be a bother to others.

*Nails:* Your nails should be neatly kept and neutral or bare. Your nails should be relatively short with no bright polish, black polish and no designs. If you do wear polish, make sure it is not chipped.

*Hair:* Resist the temptation of big blowouts or extravagant up-dos. When you want to look your best, most of the time, less is more. Your hairstyle should be clean, simple and neat — and definitely leave the feather extensions at home.

_Samantha is a senior in Media._