Hey Millenials, How You Dress for an Interview Does Indeed Matter

Elizabeth Bentivgna, a senior at Oberlin, seems to be completely unaware of the fact that how you dress for a job interview does indeed matter.  She is in the process of interviewing for summer internships before returning to school for her final semester in the fall.  

She was given a lesson in this after finding out that a company would not be hiring her.  Her recruiter was honest with her about why a company wouldn’t be giving her the internship.  

“She told me that OnShift would love to hire me based on my technical skills and personality, but that they were not going to. These are the reasons she cited: 1) I ‘looked more like I was about to go clubbing than to an interview.’ 2) I ‘had a huge run in my tights’ 3) I was late.”

So little miss princess decided to vent her frustrations on her Facebook page.  

Using all those F-bombs will also help land her next interview won’t it?  What she forgets to mention in this little rant is that she was late to the interview.  I don’t know, but I think that showing up on time, or even early, is interviewing 101.  

She claims that is a mostly male office and that they wear jeans and T-shirts.  Now I wouldn’t be surprised if that were true.  But, that doesn’t mean that those men showed up in the interviews dressed that way.  You wear the jeans and T-shirts once you have the job, not the day you interview for it.  It is unprofessional.  

I have had jobs that the dress code was so lax that the only real line seemed to be no bathing suits in the office.  I knew that was the policy before I started working there, as it more or less a norm in the field I was working in at the time.  I still wore a suit to the interview.  

In all seriousness, if I noticed a run in stockings before heading into the interview, I would either find a store and get a new pair, or just take them off all together.  I wouldn’t walk into an interview with a huge run.  That falls into the attention to detail category.  I have this feeling that being a software programming company, that is something that is looked at as a necessity, not a quirk.  

I have interviewed people over my working lifetime.  I have seen the pettiest little things make the difference between hiring and not hiring.  If a man walked into an interview with stains all over his tie or pants or a wrinkled mess, yes it would be noticed.  If another candidate who had equal qualifications but presented himself more professionally he would likely be the person who ends up with the job.  I once interviewed a woman who had on such strong perfume that it literally lingered in the conference room after she left.  My eyes were watering during the interview due to my allergies.  That left a lasting impression with me when it came to making the evaluations of all the candidates.  We ended up hiring another equally qualified candidate that wouldn’t stink up the office.  

In an interview setting you have a very brief window to make an impression.  How you are dressed is part of that impression.  That doesn’t matter if you are male or female.  Yes men have it easier in the dressing department, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t noticed at all.  

Do yourself a favor, go to the suit department at Macy’s or Ann Taylor and buy yourself a nice blazer and matching skirt or even a suit.  Keep it in the back of your closet and when it comes time to do an interview, make sure it is pressed and cleaned.  Don’t show up dressed like this again until you are on your second day of the job.  Try to remember a little saying, dress for the job you want, not the one that you have.  Another words, be professional when making a first impression, especially when you have a very thin resume that accompanies being a college student.  

Hat/tip Daily Dot