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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Dressing For Success: The Do’s and Don’ts of Interview Attire

    On the evening of Monday, Nov. 21 lights and music filled the Student Activities Center Auditorium as a lengthy runway stretched down the room.  It wasn’t a performance or play but a fashion show—the second annual Ripping the Korporate Runway, an event hosted by The National Association of Black Accountants, or NABA and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.  Models strolled down the catwalk in neat, professional attire, educating students on the do’s and don’ts of interview-wear.

    “The main goal of the show is to educate the campus on how to actually dress in situations when it comes to interviews, casual meetings, business settings, etc.,” said Steven Samman, a Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity member.  “A lot of people don’t have that knowledge.”

    According to recent studies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, four individuals compete for every job opening.  At Stony Brook alone, there are about 12,000 potential job openings with about 11,504 successful university graduates seeking jobs after graduation, according to

    Alfreda S. James, a staff associate at the Stony Brook Career Center, said it’s common for students to have unique questions when preparing for an interview.  But, less is always more, James said.  Job seekers want as little distractions in appearance as possible, which includes wearing conservative colors, covering piercings and/or tattoos and  looking as neat as possible—regardless of how casual or fancy you are required to look, she said.

    The first step in dressing for an interview is to be aware of the type of organizational setting.

    “Go onto the company web page and look at images of people who work for the company,” James said.

    If employees are wearing suits, then you should wear the same to the interview.  If they’re donning khakis or T-shirts, then that would be appropriate to wear.

    To complete the look follow these tips for a successful interview:

    For Women:


    Skirts should be knee-length or slightly lower

    Add a blazer to a pair of slacks for a professional punch

    Makeup should be minimal

    Hair—regardless of length—should be pulled back and neat

    Comfortable shoes are a must

    Limit perfume usage

    For Men:


    Be sure to cover all piercings and/or tattoos

    Business casual includes any collared shirt and slacks—no holes or t-shirts

    Facial hair should be trimmed and neat

    Limit cologne usage

    If wearing a new suit, try it on before the interview to check any uncomfortabilities or make necessary alterations

    To secure the deal confidence is the most important thing that an employer looks at during the interview, James said.

    “They’re looking at you as someone who will represent them,” she said.

    Lastly be sure to give a firm handshake with meaningful eye contact, and you will be on your way to ensure a position in your next job.

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