Edward Figueroa, senior marketing associate for World Financial Group and a college student, believes in making a good first impression. “The interview should be taken seriously, wearing jeans and a T-shirt will only hinder your opportunity,” Figueroa said. Button-up shirts, slacks and dress shoes are appropriate attire for men, while women can wear a blazer, blouse or skirt.
Many upper level classes teach students the art of creating the perfect resume and writing a unique and catchy cover letter.
However, what many classes fail to teach students is what may or may not be acceptable attire for a job interview.
“You cannot always dress for the interview the same way you would dress for the job,” said Gale Sorensen, a part time career counselor at the University of La Verne.
Many times it would be better to wear business attire rather than jeans and a T-shirt.
Even if it is an informal work environment, you would not make an impression.
“You can’t wear a Yankees jersey to Fenway (Park),” said Doug Green, a senior business major.
“Unfortunately, in the world of interviewing, there is nothing that confines you to a style of dress,” he added.
Senior religion major Zach Lord agreed.
“Each interview has its own dress code,” Lord said.
Sorensen said you have to know what you are going after. You would not want to dress in a suit to an interview at In-N-Out or Hollister.
If you are going for a job at an accounting firm, a suit is a must. But for other jobs, something simpler is fine.
“I just look to see if they are dressed neat,” said Rob Rios, store manager for In-N-Out in La Verne. “A suit would overdo it, but nice jeans and a clean shirt would work.”
If you apply at a restaurant, like McDonalds or In-N-Out, you might just want to wear a collared shirt and dress pants or jeans.
Sorensen said it also depends on whether the job is part-time or full-time.
“You need to know your industry,” Sorensen added.
Dressing to the job is showing that you understand the job and that you know the ropes of starting and working your way up.
You want to show up looking polished. Being polished is not just dealing with the physical appearance.
You also want to research the company or job that you are going after.
If an employer sees that you know a lot about the company, then you may benefit more.
“I would never show up wearing a short skirt or anything too revealing,” said Sophia Ornales, a senior business major. “But I guess that would work if I was going for a job at Hooters.”
Sorensen said students do not usually come in worrying about their attire for an interview.
“I guess the word is out on the street,” Sorensen said.
Despite not being taught the dress code in classes, many students already know.
“I have mostly talked about it with my friends and people in the industry,” said Ben de Ayora, a senior television broadcasting major.
Dressing with the right colors is also key.
If a color does not go well with your skin tone and does not compliment you, you should stay away from it.
So, if you know blue is your color, then use it.
Power colors – blues and reds – are huge in the business world.
For women, you do not want to be too revealing.
For men, you want to look professional, like you know how to present yourself.
It is better to be overly conservative than overly sloppy.
Rick Montañez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.