Spring is here, and job and internship interviews are quickly approaching. Whether it’s a summer job in retail or an internship at your dream company, one of the most important steps in the process is the interview.

When meeting a potential employer, it’s essential to leave a positive impression, and the first step in accomplishing that is dressing to impress. The combination of dressing professionally, having an impressive resume and showcasing personality serves to increase the chances of being accepted into a position.

An outfit can be a crucial part of the overall first impression, but there are other factors that must be considered. There is not a copy and paste look for everyone to wear because not all jobs require a suit and tie. The process of determining the appropriate look requires three steps: evaluating, organizing and preparing.

First, evaluate the position and company. It’s important to dress for the desired job, not one’s current job. Research the company’s dress code, understand what the company stands for and evaluate. The job itself does not necessarily dictate the attire that should be worn. The workplace culture may be more important. Most interviews are business casual and if the dress code cannot be found, default to this. Business professional attire may be preferred for business majors.

Organize the look accordingly. Once the establishment’s standards have been established, it’s time to get creative. If the future job has a strict set of guidelines, be sure to follow them. Open-toed shoes, micromini skirts, crop tops, piercings and unnatural hair colors are usually not accepted. Some less obvious deal-breakers include jeans, sneakers and flashy jewelry.

Tattoos are often covered up as some companies do not allow tattoos to be exposed in the workplace. However, some companies look for people with tattoos and piercings, especially if their demographic caters to others with similar aesthetics, such as Vans, the notable shoe company that caters to skateboarders and those with alternative styles. Most job postings will have an interview dress code with items that aren’t allowed.

Prep for the interview. Shower, brush your teeth and make an effort to look your best. Makeup is a personal choice, however, it can serve as a confidence-booster for many individuals. Men must make sure they are either cleanly shaven or trimmed. Hair should be clean, brushed and styled in a way that is presentable. If the company requires to have hair up, long or cut to a certain length, be sure to follow those rules. Keep nails clean and avoid really long flashy nails, which can be seen as unprofessional.

Career Services can provide additional advice to ensure the interview process goes smoothly. Email them at careerdevelopment@snhu.edu