The old adage “you only get one chance to make a first impression” rings true, especially during the interview process. How you look and what you wear can be almost as important as what you say. Your outfit and interview accessories will help the hiring manager determine if you are the right fit for the company. Three accessories you should wear or bring for your interview include a watch, a briefcase and a leather portfolio.
Your clothes should be conservative and professional. Your interview accessories are equally as important, and should display professionalism and experience over style. If you have the opportunity, visit the company in advance and take cues from what current employees wear. To aid in a successful interview, consider these three interview accessories.
Wearing a watch to an interview looks professional and serves a functional purpose. Although you may be used to checking your phone to see the time, your cell phone should not be out at anytime during the interview process. While wearing a watch is important, make sure it’s not too flashy. Any jewelry or other interview accessories that you wear should be understated and professional.
Although it’s not something you wear, a leather portfolio is an important interview accessory. It’s always a good idea to have copies of your resume for your interviews, and it's not a good idea to have loose papers everywhere. If you want to have a successful interview, a leather portfolio is a professional way to store your resumes, cover letters, and a pad of paper for you to take notes during the interview process. Don’t forget to also have a nice pen to accessorize your portfolio as well.
Even if you are interviewing for your first job out of college, you want your interview accessories to make you look like a seasoned professional. Carrying a briefcase allows you to store your pertinent belongs, such as your wallet, portfolio, phone, and car keys without looking sloppy. It's not a good idea to substitute a large purse or backpack for a briefcase, as it sends the wrong message to the hiring manager. While it might be tempting to add your own flair with your briefcase, stick to something professional and basic. Unless you are in a creative industry, it’s best to keep your accessories simple.
The clothes and accessories you wear can be a determining factor in whether or not you’re hired. While you certainly don’t want to come across as plain or dull, your interview accessories should make you look professional as opposed to trendy or stylish. Make sure you dress with a purpose and convey to the company and hiring manager that you will be a professional and productive member of the team.
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