Job Interview Fashion Horror Stories

A surefire way to kill any hope of receiving a job offer is showing up to the interview looking bad. Sad but true – even the most prepared candidate doesn’t stand a chance if the first visual impression is a bad one.

In the spirit of Halloween, check out these main characters of job interview horror scenes- the interviewee’s wardrobe and overall presentation- that drew a scary reaction but no job offer.

Skirt too short, shirt too low and both too tight. Your outfit shouldn’t reveal too much when standing up, sitting down or bending over.

Unwelcome smells. This includes body odor, heavy perfumes and bad breath. Conquer all of them by showering and using deodorant before an interview, avoiding any perfumes and using mouthwash or a mint beforehand.

Loud jewelry. Avoid bracelets, earrings and necklaces that are noisy…to the eyes and ears.

Unkempt hair and nails. Your hair should be well groomed. Guys this includes facial hair (which you might want to consider shaving altogether). Fingernails should be neat and trimmed.

Food in your teeth. Double check in the mirror for any leftovers before entering the company’s building.

Inappropriate shoes. Platform shoes, flip flops and tennis shoes are very different from one another, but all could result in no job offer if worn to an interview.

Forgotten pants during a video interview. Television news anchors are known for wearing professional attire from the waist up while relaxing in jeans or pajama bottoms. If you do this during a video interview you run the risk of being exposed. Yes, this has happened.

Rival attire. There’s a time and place to support your alma mater or favorite professional sports team. During a job interview is neither. Your Florida Gators necktie may be your favorite, but the interviewer who went to Florida State may disagree on its value. Yes, this has also happened.

The flu. The only thing you should bring to an interview is yourself, your resume and your reference list. Leave the flu and any other ailments – along with their symptoms – behind. If you’re sick, contact the employer to reschedule the interview.  You won’t be penalized for doing so, you’ll be appreciated.

Visible underwear. Watch the bra straps (so that they don’t show), and the color of the undergarments (so that they don’t show either).

A coffee mug. It’s one thing when the interviewer offers you a cup of coffee (it’s probably still best to politely decline).  But showing up with your personalized travel mug that you continue to sip it during the interview isn’t wise.

Visible tattoos. Conservative is the best approach in a job interview which means covering up tattoos.

Distracting piercings. Remove piercings from everything other than ears (and keep earrings to a minimum).

Your parent. Mom or dad can give you a ride to the interview, but that’s it. Having them walk you to the interview or sit with you during the interview means you won’t get the job. Yes, this has happened.

Career Services has lots of resources to help you prepare for your job interview. Schedule a mock interview or check out our Pinterest boards and blog posts for tips on how to stand out in the interview without scaring your audience.