It is said that millions of people struggle with the question of what to wear to a job interview.
Having worked in an executive search and recruitment business for nearly 20 years, I’ve coached hundreds of women (and men, although not about wearing pantyhose) on this subject, but just to be fair, I researched the subject on the Internet today to learn what is being taught right now.
Happily, Ive found that the advice of career experts is exactly the same as it’s been forever. Yes, women should wear pantyhose to a job interview.
Look, if you’re going to interview for a job at Wendy’s, you don’t need to wear a corporate grey skirted suit, with high heels and sheer nude pantyhose. Unless the opportunity there is for a regional manager or higher level position.
So let’s say you’re interviewing for an office position in corporate America, and the company adheres to a business-casual dress code. What then? Still, you wear a suit, heels and pantyhose. Why? Because you’re on duty.
It doesn’t matter what the company’s dress code is, or if you’re just lucky enough to be interviewing on casual Friday. You are the one who needs to make a good impression. You should always dress the way a senior manager would, or should, because it shows good character, a good attitude and demonstrates that you are serious about wanting to work at that company.
You will never not get a job offer because you dressed better than you needed to during the interview. But not dressing according to accepted standards of business attire could cost you an opportunity.
In his book, When Job-Hunting: Dress for Success, Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., of Quintessential Careers, writes:
“The standard job interviewing attire for women is a conservative dark navy or gray skirted wool blend suit. Job experts and employers seem split on the notion of pants suits, so a skirted suit is a safer choice. Makeup should be minimal, with lipstick and nail polish conservative tones. Pantyhose should be flawless (no runs) and conservative in color.”
Yes, but he’s a man, you say? OK, well, according to Kim Zoller at Image Dynamics, 55 percent of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. Her Dressing for Success suggestions:
- Solid color, conservative suit
- Coordinated blouse
- Moderate shoes
- Limited jewelry
- Neat, professional hairstyle
- Tan or light hosiery
OK, think that’s just old school?
- Always wear a suit with a jacket; no dresses
- Shoes with conservative heels
- Conservative hosiery at or near skin color (and no runs!)
It’s not rocket surgery (a cross between rocket science and heart surgery) here, people. Just because Hollywood created the bare legs phenomenon to which women all over the world now subscribe, it doesn’t change the fact that in the real world, there still are standards of right and wrong, good and bad, acceptable and unacceptable.
And in the workplace, especially during a job interview, pantyhose should always be worn.