Dress for the interview like a pro

Everyone has been told at least once, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” But, when it comes to landing that dream job, a lot can be said by the clothes worn to the interview.

Some students may dream of working at Spirit Aerosystems, Koch Industries or KWCH 12 Eyewitness News. Senior Amanda Chamberlain wants to be a teacher, and had an interview last January with Maize Central Elementary School.

“I interviewed with a panel of two intervention teachers (teachers that help students learn in smaller groups) and the assistant principal,” she said. “I wore gray dress pants, a plum-colored top, a three-quarter sleeved blazer and close-toed black heels. I really thought I overdressed for the interview but in a good way.”

Chamberlain said she wants to stay in the Maize USD 266 School District after graduating from Wichita State.

“I want to interview for a full-time teaching position and overdressing at my interview showed them I know how to dress professionally,” she said.

While Chamberlain didn’t have any issues with her interview outfit, the WSU Co-op and Internship website includes tips for other students during their professional interviews:

  • Color coordinate
  • Clothes should be neat, clean and pressed, if possible
  • Remove body piercings and cover tattoos if possible
  • Do not chew gum during the interview and avoid smoking before
  • Carry a small briefcase/bag or portfolio if needed
  • Bring a pen and paper to take notes and contact information
  • Hair and fingernails should be neat, clean and styled

Sandra Sipes, a professor in the Elliott School of Communication who teaches business profession classes, had some additional advice for students.

“The more conservative the better,” she said. “Be careful of jewelry, and if you wear jewelry stick to studs for earrings. If you do your nails, make sure your nails are done; if you paint your toenails, make sure your toenails are done, too.”

While most career choices don’t require business-casual dress every day, Chamberlain’s advice to other students is to dress the part and be yourself.

“I say dress up even if the job doesn’t require it daily,” she said. “But don’t be afraid to show some personality in the interview, too.”