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The Job Interview: Dressing to Seal the Deal

February 2, 2012

by Lani Grass
Backstage with Lani 

With the national joblessness rate at 9.5%, a 26-year high, many women are looking for a good job these days. Even if you’re not looking for a job, you probably know someone who is. And with rates this high, you should also consider what it will take to keep your job or maybe impress your boss to get that promotion.

Having had many years as a hiring manager, I personally know that first impressions count a lot. You should keep in mind that an employer will make decisions on you based not only on what you say in your interview, but your body language, as well as your attire. That first impression happens within the first 30 seconds of contact! Since hiring managers know nothing about you, your attire reflects your socioeconomic status and can actually impact your salary offer. If you look like you really need a job, any job, you will not get the job. It’s your responsibility to convey to the employer that you will be an asset and hiring you would benefit the company, not the other way around!

You should consider putting some effort into the perfect interview outfit and here are a few guidelines:

Do your homework: Research the company you want to work for and learn what the company values. Try to match that theme with your outfit. They need to instantly visualize you in that position.

Interview attire no-no’s: Don’t wear open-toed shoes, mini skirts, sleeveless tops, obvious trends and labels, or too much skin. And don’t ever show cleavage!

Style: Do wear professional clothes that are somewhat conservative, but yet shows your personal style. This shows creativity as well as personality and confidence.

Details: Please make sure all your clothes are pressed and clean. Your handbag should look nice as well as your shoes. Buy a good bag; you don’t have to spend a lot, but these little things show the employer that you care about details.

Hair/makeup: Keep your make-up on the conservative side as well, but definitely do wear some make-up to look polished. Get a good haircut and put some effort into styling your hair for the interview. Your nails should be at least clean and well-manicured. As a rule, if you feel ashamed of your hands, fix them!

Always remain on the traditional side with your interview dressing. You want to convey that you respect the interview process and are eager to land that position.

Whether you’re looking for a job, or trying to keep the one you have, looking great is always going to be to your obvious benefit.

The choice is always yours, make it a good one!

~ Lani


A Special Offer

For my Portland, Oregon clients, Etcetera is back in town and will be available in a private trunk show on February 15-22nd!

You will receive a 1-hour customized fashion consultation as a gift ( $50.00 value) just for scheduling an appointment to view the private showing with no purchase necessary.

To receive an invitation or if you have questions, please email: and visit and click on “Looks”, to view the full collection.

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Lisa February 2, 2012

First impression is everything.

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