How to look successful before you've even got the job? Be polished, appropriate, pulled-together—and still be yourself. Four women in career transitions show their winning interview style. Below, the experts weigh in.
Photo: Alex Beauchesne
Overall polish is what Jennifer Bruch, human resources director at a major investment bank, notices first. That means well-tailored clothes you're comfortable in.
If you're planning on wearing your trustworthy "interview" suit, try it on in advance to make sure it still fits and doesn't seem dated, says Ann Taylor president Christine Beauchamp.
Unique accessories help interviewers remember you. Tasteful self-expression pays off even with conservative employers, Bruch says.
Dress up, not down—both Beauchamp and Bruch say that more formality indicates seriousness and dedication.
Inappropriate choices demonstrate poor judgment. Michelle Hucks, human resources director for Hearst Corporation, says she has encountered stained clothing, flip-flops, brazen cleavage, short skirts, strong perfume—not the surest way to make a good impression.