Does it really make a difference how you dress for interviews? In a conservative business climate, appearances matter. Not all companies are conservative, you might argue, and some have casual dress policies for everyday. Nevertheless, it is imperative to be dressed in business attire for an interview, regardless of the dress code for the organization.

If you are in doubt about how to dress, err on the side of conservatism using these guidelines for business attire:

Solid-color, conservative suitConservative suit
Coordinated blouseWhite, long-sleeved shirt
Moderate-heeled shoesPolished dress shoes
Minimal jewelryDark socks
Neat hairstyleConservative tie
Light hosieryMinimal jewelry
Light makeup and no perfumeNeat, professional hairstyle
Manicured nailsLight or no aftershave
Portfolio or briefcase, pad, penNeat, trimmed nails
Portfolio or briefcase, pad, pen

Make sure that you try on your outfit before the day of the interview. Check for poor fit, rips, and smudges that detract from your overall appearance. If your suit is too tight or too loose, don't wear it. Remember, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed for an interview.