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4 Ways to Dress Properly for a Job Interview

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Job interviews are so tricky, and when you’re in a competitive market, you have the added knowledge of knowing that you’re just one of several candidates. This adds to the pressure to perform well in an interview.

On the occasion that you don’t get hired for a position you really wanted, you might want to reexamine several aspects about your approach to the interview, including your appearance. Were you dressed properly for the interview?

This may seem like a simple task: professional dress, nice-looking shoes, good grooming…

But it’s not that simple, >Gail Garfinkel Weiss, MSW, reveals in an article over at Medscape. In fact, it’s possible to be dressed too well.

One physician recruitment expert told Garfinkel Weiss about a physician who wore a three-piece pinstriped suit to his job interview.

Smooth and classy, right? Great image, right?

Not so fast, the expert told her. “He was very polished and an excellent candidate, but he threw the executive team off because he gave the impression that he would be too high-priced and not culturally a good fit for the practice.”

And then, there’s the other extreme from another job candidate: “The Director of Recruitment asked the candidate, who lived in the community where the practice was located, to meet her at a local coffee shop, and apparently the candidate assumed that a casual environment called for casual attire. In hindsight, she should have worn business casual clothing. This was, after all, a business meeting.”

What was she wearing? A sundress.

So, here are a few guidelines for dressing appropriately for a job interview, courtesy of the article:

1. Be conservative.

The business world, including healthcare, still has a rather regimented view of what constitutes the look of a professional. No matter what your personal tastes may be, follow their cultural protocol.

Now, what does it mean to be conservative?

2. Men, wear a business suit; women, wear a pant or skirt suit.

Although the business suit is pretty straightforward for men, the same attire can unfortunately be a little trickier for women, the expert told Garfinkel Weiss.

For example, the skirt suit is only appropriate if “the skirt is at least knee-length and nylons or tights are worn.”

3. Accessorize with moderation, and make sure the accessories are neat.

For men, this means “polished shoes, crisp ties, a matching belt, and a nice watch all make you look put together.”

These accessories shouldn’t be wrinkled or stained or frayed, the expert added. Cover up any tattoos or piercings if you’re a man, and make sure the earrings are tasteful and not distracting, ladies.

4. Be careful of: wearing perfume, cologne, golf shirts, sneakers, revealing necklines, and too much jewelry.

In other words, moderation is key. Remember, this interview is ultimately not about what you’re wearing, but about you. What you’re wearing can take center stage, however, if it’s too much or even too little.

What you’re wearing should only make a good first impression on them and set the stage for the way in which you present yourself.

As physicians and advanced practitioners who are looking for jobs, how do you dress for an interview? Have you ever been on an interview and felt overdressed or underdressed?

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