People make judgments within six seconds about everything from your economic level and self-confidence to your trustworthiness and honesty. Make sure you are sending the appropriate signals!

Dress for Success – Appearance/Attire

The general rule is all articles of clothing must be neat, clean, pressed, suitably matched and of a fabric and color appropriate for a professional office. Socks or hosiery should be worn at all times. Extreme styles of makeup or dress should be avoided.

Today’s variety of fashions, together with the rate in which they change, make it impractical to list all attire that is appropriate, however, listed below are guidelines to keep in mind with regard to your attire:

  • Do not wear excessively tight, sheer, short or revealing clothes
  • Avoid clothes that are soiled or wrinkled
  • Tennis shoes or sandals are inappropriate
  • Nails should be short, neat and clean
  • Keep perfume or cologne use to a minimum
  • Avoid too much jewelry. Piercings, tattoos or other artistic impressions should be kept unexposed while in a professional business environment
  • Hairstyle, hair length, facial hair, make-up, hair color and body hygiene should be neat, clean and well groomed, not eccentric.

Non-Verbal Communication

Maintain direct eye contact with the interviewer during your interview. Shifting eyes and avoidance all together can send a message of distrust.

Be cognizant of your hands and other body language that may send an inaccurate message (e.g., putting your hands behind your head, putting your fingers under your chin, folding your arms, fiddling with something, and swinging or tapping your feet).

A handshake says a lot. A firm grip is important (although avoid squeezing too aggressively) while a weak handshake can convey a lack of confidence. Avoid using a two hand grip which culturally is too personal for the business environment.

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