Dork Or Diva? What Not To Wear To Your Next Job Interview

JoAnn Hines

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This is it the big day. Are you all set for the big time? We’re going prime time with the interview you have worked so hard to get. You have done all of your homework on the company. You have practiced answering those all important questions. You feel good and think ready to go. But, are you? Have you covered all of the bases? What about the personal grooming aspects of the job hunt?

Do you know what turns off prospective interviewers? I know some of this stuff might seem obvious to some of you but . . . dah. The little things add up too.

I'm sure your mother and your teachers told you that neatness counts but other physical trappings could sway the decision for or against you. Besides the obvious: clean body, hair and fingernails, plan an appropriate wardrobe and accessorize suitably.

How do you look the part?

o Carry a briefcase, folder, attaché or whatever you use to hold your important papers. Scratch the backpack, fanny pack or any other non professional gear carriers. They don’t fit the bill.

o Remove body piercings and cover any visible tattoos.

o Forget mini or micro skirts, tee shirts and other unprofessional attire.

o Wear the right shoes. No flip-flops or super high heels.

o If you are wearing a new suit, try it out beforehand. Nothing is worse than fidgeting trying to focus while someone is fidgeting with ill fitting or uncomfortable clothing. Make sure to remove all of the tags.

o Eliminate distracting fashion statements such as overlong, ornate fingernails and exotic hair dos.

o Tone down the perfume or cologne.

o Use subtle, not outlandish makeup - save that for the new job celebration.

Preplan - Think about what you stare at when you see someone dressed garishly or with crazy makeup and hair. That's what you want to avoid for a job interview. You want the interviewer to concentrate on you and what you have to say not what you are wearing or what you look like. So, when you go prime time for the big job interview don't be a dork or a diva. Dress the part and present yourself as a professional person who’s looking for a job.

When I started my career on the packaging industry I was just a lowly underling with no possibility for advancement. I tried all the “company touted" ways to advance my career to no avail. I was frustrated, disappointed and disenchanted about why no opportunities came my way. I was an excellent worker, on time honest and a top performer so why couldn't the “powers that be" recognize that fact?

It was because I didn't understand how to package myself. I didn't know that hard work and good performance DOES NOT equate to career advancement. YES, that's right a good performance does not mean that you will get promoted or a raise. Visibility is the key: who you know and who knows you is the magic door opener. And only you can make that happen. How much personal marketing have you done? I bet its not much. Its a methodical process that requires a commitment each and every week. And we all know how time crunched you are. But what if you have most of the work done for you and marketing yourself was as simple as filling in the blank. To find out more email me at


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