With the current high rate of unemployment, the competition for jobs is fierce. That’s why it is more important than ever to make a great first impression on that all important job interview. But that doesn’t mean you have to go out and by an expensive suit.
You can dress to impress with just a few key pieces found at your favorite off-retail store like TJ Maxx, Marshalls or Ross. Look for separates that can easily be mixed and matched in all season fabrics.
Here a few key tips to remember:
1. Dress the Part
Your clothing should be in sync with the company and position you are applying for. In most cases, traditional, conservative clothing, such as slacks, a shirt and tie for men, and coordinating separates for women, are appropriate for most office or sales positions. For more creative careers, such as interior design or fashion, you can add a bit of flare with a pop of color or a unique accessory.
2. Keep it Covered
Just because we live in Tampa Bay (where the weather can be brutally hot and steamy) doesn’t give you license to bare more skin. Save your short skirts, low cut blouses and sandals for going out not going on an interview. Skirts should hit at or below the knee, toes should be covered (a classic pump for ladies or an oxford-style shoe for men is always appropriate), and necklines should show no sign of cleavage.
3. Choose Simple Solids
Colors & prints can make or break an outfit. For interviewing purposes, you can’t go wrong in choosing dark, neutral-colored solids or pin stripes for suits or pants, and crisp white cotton for shirts. Avoid bright colors, flashy florals and polka dots as they may appear less professional.
4. Ace Your Accessories
Details say a lot about a person. Make sure your shoes are freshly polished and your glasses, watch and belt are clean and free of scratches or scuff marks. Keep other accessories, such as jewelry to a minimum. For a professional look, a good rule of thumb is wear no more than a total of 5 accessories (this includes glasses, watch and your wedding ring–that leaves just two more).
5. Practice Good Grooming
Now that you have put some effort into your clothing and accessories, don’t blow it with poor grooming habits. Start with a warm shower, a close shave, and brush teeth for a sparking smile. Use deodorant, but go lightly on the cologne or perfume–or better yet, skip it altogether. Nails should be clean and buffed and ladies should wear natural looking makeup.
Follow these guidelines to make a great first impression because your next interview just might land you your dream job!
Where to Find it in Tampa:
TJ Maxx: Town’n Country Shopping Center, 7555 W.Hillsborough Ave., Tampa
TJ Maxx: Northdale Court, 15740 N.Dale Marby Highway, Tampa
TJ Maxx: The New Gateway Mall, 7701 I Dr M.L. King St. N., St. Petersburg
Ross: Citrus Park, 12775 Citrus Plaza Drive, Tampa
Ross: New Tampa, 6210 Commerce Palms Blvd., Tampa
Ross: Clearwater, 2733 Gulf to Bay Blvd, Clearwater