First impressions can make or break an interview. Your clothes, hairstyle, gestures, and anything else an interviewer sees before you open your mouth make your first impression. Some estimates are that the first 30 seconds determine success or failure. Recruiters do not expect you to have a large career wardrobe. Buy a suit that looks good, fits well, is made well, and that will not bore you if you wear it every day for a week during recruiting season. However, there is more to "suiting up" for an interview than just wearing a suit.

Your Hair: A hairstyle that looks great with "college casual" may not work with a suit. Trim those ragged edges! Tame those tresses! Get that hair out of your eyes and off your collar! Women: if you need a big barrette for a pulled-back style, chose a simple one. Men: melt down those spikes!

Your Shoes: Shine 'em! Men: if you are buying a new pair, wing tips with laces are more professional than slip-ons or loafers. Women: If you are not accustomed to walking in heels, scuff the soles with an emery board so that you do not slip. Then, wear your sneakers to class and change right before the interview.

Your Fragrance: Wearing any type of fragrance to an interview is not recommended. However, if you insist on being aromatic, do not wallow in it! Too many people are both allergic to or turned off by one scent or another, and your interviewer is sure to be one of those people.

Your Accessories: Nothing that jangles, clangs, dazzles, shimmers, or attracts more attention than you do.

Your Glasses: Eye contact is important during an interview, so make sure your glasses are clean.

Your Pen: Buy a fresh new pen for the interview. A nice pen will make a better impression than your chewed up BIC.

Should a man wear an earring? Perhaps. But if you do, understand that most recruiters will think that an earring does not fit the company's image. You will have to be a very dynamic candidate to get past the "earring thing". It is probably best to interview without it.

Should a woman wear her engagement ring? Sure. Questions about a candidate's marital status are almost certainly illegal. If the subject comes up, you can get the interview back on course by asking if marital status is one of the qualifications for the job. However if you do not want your wedding ring to be an issue at all, leave it at home.

(Article Contributed By: Mithun Kashyap)
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