Advice & Resources

Keep Accessories to a Minimum at an Interview
by Leylanorman - 2015-03-31

You know you should dress professionally at a job interview. That is a given. You want to put your best foot forward and make a stellar first impression. You've bought that business suit, and you have had it dry cleaned. To finish out the outfit, you are thinking of adding a bit bling and pizazz.


The accessories that you use to complete your job interview attire can make or break your prospective employer's first impression of you. While it is important to express your individuality and to try to stand apart from the crowd, you don't want to do so in a way that screams, "I'm different!" While it shouts, "I'm different!" those lime green shoes with the chrome accents will not do anything positive for your grey pantsuit or for your future with the organization.

There is a fine line between conforming to the norm too much and being yourself too much. When you go on a job interview, stick with conventional wisdom about what to wear for 99 percent of your ensemble. Your words will be what your job interviewer will pay attention to, not your five gold bracelets on each wrist that jingle as you use your hands to dramatize the answers to the job interview questions.

Stick with neutral and dark colors for the interview for your clothes. Even if you won't work in "professional" clothes, you should still come to the interview in them. Your shoes should match your outfit, yes, but they should be of a conventional, professional style. No sandals, stilettos, or scuffed shoes, suggests Your purse should not be too flashy, either. No fannypacks or backpacks. You might leave the purse at home. Males and females can bring a portfolio or briefcase instead.

If you wear jewelry, stick with a simple necklace, one or two rings, and simple earrings. If you are male, it is generally advisable to remove your earrings, wear just your wedding or class ring, and wear a metal watch if you have one. Take your sunglasses and headphones off before you enter the building.

Make-up on women should be understated and neutral. If you are a man, don't wear any make-up. Remove any facial or tongue piercings, and cover any visible tattoos. Avoid any strong aftershaves, colognes, or perfumes. You don't want your interviewer sneezing while trying to listen to your answers.


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