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GOT AN INTERVIEW! What to wear? What to wear?

Posted in: Career Development and Networking
GOT AN INTERVIEW! What to wear? What to wear?

Recently I had the opportunity to help a job seeker prepare to interview for their dream job. They successfully navigated through rigorous phone interviews and secured the make-it or break-it face-to-face interview. The candidate and I discussed all of the preparation, research and pre-work necessary to ensure a successful interview.

Dress to impress

When I recommended a conservative suit for the interview, I was shocked to learn that my advice was a complete surprise to the candidate; I was equally shocked to learn they were planning to wear a “business casual” outfit. Just like your resume, your phone demeanor and your behavior, your choice of clothing and appearance say a lot about you. Your clothes often provide insight on your professionalism, your confidence level and the respect you have for those around you.  Dressing appropriately for an interview shows respect and consideration to the person that will be interviewing you. To be safe, pick a two-piece dark suit and limit accessories. Do not wear anything flashy; you want your potential boss to focus on you and not what you are wearing.

For environments that are business casual or even casual, always opt to wear a suit during the interview stages (1st, 2nd and 3rd interviews). Remember the age-old adage that it’s always better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. For those of you interviewing on your lunch break who don’t want to cause any suspicions with your current employer, leave your suit in the car and change on the way.

And don’t forget!

Most importantly, don’t forget to bring a portfolio and a pen for notes!


Carol is the Vice President of Simply Biotech, a specialized recruiting and staffing firm dedicated exclusively to the biotech industry in San Diego County. More information may be found at


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