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Is it still advisable for a woman to wear a suit for a job interview?

Dear Donna,

Is it still advisable to wear a suit to an interview? No one seems to even sell suits anymore.

Wondering About Suits


Dear Wondering About Suits,

Although clothing styles for women change, the old standard of wearing a business suit to an interview has not. It is still considered the traditional, conservative attire to wear in any formal work-related situation for both men and women. The one exception would be if you are required to dress in a certain way for religious reasons. Then, that attire would be acceptable.
Wearing a business suit to an interview shows a seriousness of purpose. It also shows respect for the person interviewing you and conveys authority, professionalism and social savvy on your part. All that from the clothes you are wearing! Plus, it will subconsciously give you a boost of confidence.
Always present yourself as one of the best, if not the best, candidate for every position you go after. That means you want to separate yourself from the crowd in the most positive ways possible, including your appearance. The proper attire, while only one aspect of your self-marketing, will help to position you at the top of the list of candidates.
Most department stores still sell separates (matching jackets and skirts) if not actual suits, although I still find suits in stores. You also can find some great suits, some of them never worn, in local consignment shops. While a pants suit for a woman would be acceptable, especially if you are a woman who doesn’t wear skirts, a skirted business suit is still considered the standard for a job interview.
I am often asked by nurses, “Isn’t it more important what my experience is rather than how I dress?” Both are important. You have to have a professional image to match the professional person you are. Plus, first impressions play heavily on a job interview and your appearance contributes significantly to that impression.

Best wishes,

By | 2015-09-14T13:12:26-04:00 September 14th, 2015|Categories: Nursing Careers and Jobs|0 Comments

About the Author:

Donna Cardillo
Donna Cardillo, RN, MA, CSP, is president of Known as The Inspiration Nurse, she is a keynote speaker, retreat and seminar leader, and author of "Your First Year as a Nurse: Making the Transition from Total Novice to Successful Professional" and "The ULTIMATE Career Guide for Nurses: Practical Advice for Thriving at Every Stage of Your Career." She brings more than 25 years of clinical, management and business experience to her role as career guru.

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