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What not to wear to a job interview | Watch my fashion segment on PIX 11

March 31, 2017

Mercedes Sanchez on PIX 11 with Career Styling Tips 

It’s no secret that workplace attire has changed over the past couple of years. The last time I wore a business suit was at a job interview more than six years ago. But what you wear to a job interview and to the workplace really depends on the job industry. If you’re not sure on the company’s dress code, don’t be afraid to ask the person scheduling the interview to advise you. 

For example, is a basic jacket and pant sufficient – or does the employer require a formal business suit? For women wearing a skirt suit, can you show up with bare legs – or are pantyhose required? 

Here are some examples of what not to wear to a job interview. Watch my television segment above for the correct way to wear the following items. 

Basic Black Suit 

Believe it or not, you can actually go wrong with a basic black suit if the pant and jacket don’t match, and if the clothes are too big. On our model pictured below, the sleeve is too long and the pants have a tuxedo strip on the side. Loose-fitting clothes are a common mistake job seekers make when selecting an outfit. When buying separates, make sure the fabric and color for the pant and jacket are the same. Get it tailored if it’s too long. 

career styling tips Mercedes sanchez

Skirt Suit 

career styling tips Mercedes sanchez

Overall this skirt suit is formal and great for a job interview – but I would suggest wearing a traditional button-down blouse instead of a polka-dotted shirt for a more professional touch and going for a solid black belt. The pearl-like design on the belt is a little distracting. And before she goes to the job interview with bare legs, she should confirm the company’s dress code. Many firms still require women to wear pantyhose when wearing a skirt. 

Again, this depends on the job industry. (Many years ago, I wore pantyhose with a skirt to an interview at a magazine. One of the hiring managers asked me if I wore pantyhose regularly and made me feel extremely silly! I obviously wanted to be taken serious – but it was too conservative for that particular office.) 

Casual Attire 

career style tips Mercedes sanchez

Some creative positions especially at start-ups have a casual enviornment, but white pants to an interview is too laid back. The boots also have to go. Even if you’re commuting to a job interview, change into a pair of formal shoes before going inside the office.

Watch my PIX 11 segment here for the correct way to wear these outfits. I also show an example for the men. 

Did I miss anything? What other items should we avoid when interviewing? 

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Mercedes Sanchez

Mercedes Sanchez is an on-air style and beauty expert, spokesperson, and the founder of BeChicMag.com — a lifestyle blog covering fashion, beauty, and travel. She's offered style and beauty tips on NBC, CBS, BET, HuffPo, Telemundo and Univision. Contact: mercedes[at]bechicmag[dot]com.

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