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Dress to Impress

Need interview apparel?

The importance of proper attire can't be overemphasized when it comes to a job interview. In fact, according to a survey by the recruiting firm Adecco, 75 percent of managers believe the top interview mistake is inappropriate attire. 

When in doubt, conservative clothing is the safest choice. And The Exchange at Marian University can help! We maintain a professional clothing closet on campus for students and alumni who need interview and presentation attire.

The attire is available at no cost to students. The closet is sustained through donations from faculty, staff, alumni, and members of the community who have high-quality clothing and accessories they can no longer wear.

Schedule an appointment to peruse our inventory.

You only have one chance to make a first impression. 

Decisions not to hire are often made in the first 30 seconds. Be sure you have given your interview clothes a practice run. Appearance does matter in an interview, in presentations, and on the job. Your appearance can send messages to potential employers about your motivation, judgment, professionalism, and "fit" within an organization.

  • Basic Guidelines: Keep it simple and conservative: Less is more. Be memorable for your unique abilities and accomplishments. Do not be memorable for being inappropriate or outlandish.
  • Attire: Wear a suit in a neutral color. Be sure it fits well, is clean and pressed. A suit projects professionalism, responsibility, and interest in the job. Polished shoes with matching socks; no sneakers or open toed shoes. Dark or neutral socks or pantyhose. 
  • Jewelry: Minimal jewelry, e.g. watch, wedding or school ring, earrings.
  • Grooming: Make sure that your shoes are polished, your fingernails clean and appropriately manicured, your hair clean and neat, and your makeup moderate.
  • Corporate Culture: Today’s dress codes and corporate cultures vary greatly from company to company and industry to industry. Casual business dress is the norm in many industries, but it is still not the norm for interviewing. Unless you are told otherwise by the interviewer, be sure to wear professional business attire to the interview.

Here are some helpful hints:

  • Make sure to completely silence your phone before the interview. The vibrate setting can still be distracting and interrupt the flow of your conversation with your interviewer.
  • Iron your clothes before the interview.
  • Carry a briefcase or portfolio
  • Avoid fragrances-the interviewer may be allergic.
  • Accessories are great but should not be distracting.
  • Have extra copies of your resume available. You may be asked to meet with a number of people.
  • If you are invited to hang up your coat, do so. The less you have to encumber you, the better off you are.
  • Carry a typed list of references with your name and the name, position, address, email and phone number of each reference. Be sure to ask people ahead of time if they can be used as your reference.
If you have any specific questions about professional attire or have concerns, please come to The Exchange, located on the first floor of the Hackelmeier Memorial Library.
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