Since most of my clients are applying to work in conservative, professional environments like law firms, investment banks, and corporations, I advise them to wear conservative, professional dress when going on an interview. That means a dark colored suit (either with pants or a skirt), a white or otherwise light-colored dress shirt, and quiet, closed-toe shoes. Even within those constraints, there’s plenty of room for error for the unwary or inexperience job seeker. Pay attention to the details in your wardrobe. Such attention has several benefits. For one, going through your wardrobe can help put you in the proper mindset for the interview. But attention to detail is more than just an exercise in mental preparation. Interviewers will notice (and appreciate) your attention to detail, which demonstrates you understand corporate culture and respect both the employer and the interviewer. Even more important is that in many work places, attention to detail is a job qualification. Being well dressed is a way for you to embody this job qualification. So, what are some ways where you can both avoid mistakes and shine. Where does this information come from? I spend a great deal of time talking to hiring decision-markers, including hiring directors, interviewers, personnel managers, and recruiters, especially as research for How to Get a Legal Job: A Guide for New Attorneys and Law School Students. So these tips aren’t just my opinion, they come from the most common complaints of the people who will be interviewing you.
January 18, 2013