You only have one chance to make a first impression, and what you wear to your interview can make or break that first impression. Wrong choices could end your chances before you have even had a chance to open your mouth.

Show that you care

The first thing you want to show at an interview is that you want the job.  If you dress too casually, it could look as if you are not taking the interview seriously. If you look as if you are on your way to the park or to the gym, it could look as if that is your priority. Get this interview out of the way so I can get to my workout.

Clothes that are wrinkled or stained show that you could not be bothered to look nice for the interview. Or maybe you intended to wear a fresh, neatly pressed outfit, but you never made it home last night and are still wearing yesterday’s clothes. Not the kind of impression you want to make on an interview.

Dressing nicely for an interview shows you respect the company and are eager to make a good impression.  Even if it is a company with a casual workplace, it might be better to be overdressed than to be too casually dressed.  Would you rather come across as too serious or not serious enough?

And don’t ruin a nice business suit by carrying a knapsack instead of a briefcase or keeping your earbuds around your neck because you just can’t wait to get back to your tunes.

Don’t look like you’re going to the club

As career coach experts say, be sure to dress nicely for an interview, not for a night on the town.  A low-cut blouse or too-short skirt could make a strong impression, but not the one you want to make in an office setting.

When you take a job with a company, you become a representative of that company. Even if your job does not entail dealing with the public directly, you may deal with other professionals in the industry. Even if all your dealings are with people at your company, you may be dealing with different departments and will be a representative of your department.

You will also be a walking, talking example of the judgment of the person who hires you. Maybe your boss will not care if you have green hair. But he or she might care if other people at the company know you hired someone with green hair. So ditch the unusual hair color, the excess jewelry and the too-strong perfume.

And if you’re the type of person who insists on retaining your unique look when going on interviews, then you need to be someone who is so great that they have no choice but to hire you. Or you need to hope the interviewer has green hair.