What to Wear to an Interview for a Clerical Position


Your upcoming interview is your opportunity to say to a future employer that you belong in that office. There are several ways to make sure you fit into the culture with your clothing choice. Your look needs to say that you are confident about the job you can do and your value as someone people want to work with.

The Setting

  • It's best to investigate the industry and the office you will be entering. Legal, banking, finance and insurance settings are more formal. A manufacturing environment maybe more casual and retail more fashion forward. Go by the office a few days in advance and park yourself someplace that you can watch the people come in either in the morning or evening, and check out how they dress. If it's an office building, then assume it is a more professional environment.

Front Desk or Back Office?

  • If you are applying for a position where you will greet people, your clothing choice is even more important, as you will represent the company to anyone that comes in. There are three dress styles to consider: professional, which means a suit; business casual, which is a skirt and blouse or casual, which is jeans and a shirt. Front office and most clerical positions will require business casual.

Business Casual

  • Skirts should be knee length. Remember that the skirt that shows off your body is not the skirt for the office. You are going to get a job, not a date.

    Your blouse should be a solid color that is not low cut and that fits properly--no tugging button holes. Sweaters are generally not appropriate for an interview, but if it's cold, wear the sweater and don't forget the padded bra.

Head to Toe

  • Hair should not look like it takes hours to do each morning. You don't want to give the employer the impression that you will be late because of your elaborate hairstyle. Your makeup should be simple and cover the basics. If you like strong eyes or bright colors, tone them down for the office and save that for evenings out.

    The old rule with shoes is that they should match your hemline, meaning if you are wearing a yellow blouse and black skirt, the shoes should be black, not yellow. This gives you a more tailored and classy look.

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