I’ve blogged before about the mistakes a person can make when on an interview. One of the faux pas that is often made has to do with how a person is dressed. No matter what, conservative dress is best when it comes to the job interview or- job seeker – at least that’s what I say.

Now I have found some validation that this is true.

A recent survey done by Syracuse University and Total Executive Inc. of 300 hiring professionals found that the way a person is dressed is the third reason a candidate is hired or not hired, only behind communication skills and presentation ability.

job seeker

job seeker

So what does this mean to the average job seeker? Dress your best, no matter what, when you go to an interview. I’ve had conversations with people who are afraid to dress for an interview because they are coming right from work. They don’t want anyone at their current employer to suspect they are interviewing for a new position so they dress as if it were a regular day at work. I can respect those feelings – you don’t want to put your current job in jeopardy for a position you don’t have yet.

What can you do if this is the case? If you’re a guy, wear a button-down shirt and nice slacks to work. Pack a tie and jacket in your car (and dress shoes if you wear casual shoes) to put on before you go to your interview. If you take public transportation to work this might not be an option. If you’re a woman, maybe you can wear the slacks and blouse of a nice suit and put the jacket on before you enter the interview. A conservative blouse and skirt work well as an interview option.

It comes down to this – how committed are you to this new interview and getting this new position? If you really want to take a good shot at getting the new job you’ll do whatever it takes, even if it means pulling over in the parking lot of a gas station to change your shirt. You never get a second chance to make a first impression – isn’t that what the commercial says? It’s also true when it comes to a job interview.