How to Dress for an Accounting Interview

A conservative suit with basic accessories can help you get that accounting job.

A conservative suit with basic accessories can help you get that accounting job.

That slinky shirt and colorful, chunky necklace might make a powerful statement on the runway, but there's no place for them in an accounting interview. Accounting firms, like most companies that deal with other people's money, tend to be a bit more conservative. For your interview, this means ditching the peep toes and sticking to a more formal dress code.

The Suit

An accounting interview is one place where it's acceptable to show a little leg -- but just a little. Skirt suits often are considered more traditional, so stick with a skirt instead of a pantsuit. The skirt should touch the top of your knee or rise up to three inches above your knee, but any shorter might get you the wrong kind of attention at the interview. The trick is to dress so that no one notices; human resource managers in accounting firms likely have expectations about what kind of suit is acceptable, and anything that catches their eyes as unusual could be a black mark against you. Stick to darker colors such as navy, black or gray, and go for a simple light-colored or pastel blouse for contrast. Even if it's steaming hot outside, wear pantyhose to complete your conservative look.

The Shoes

The strappy shoes you wear to the club on Saturday night might reflect your personality, but the ones you wear for your accounting interview should reflect the firm's conservative nature. A basic pump is always acceptable, as long as it matches your suit -- stay away from red shoes to make a statement with your black suit. Closed-toed shoes are more traditional, so don't worry about getting that pedicure before your interview.

The Bling

Because anything that draws attention away from your professionalism is a negative in an accounting interview, keep the bling to a minimum. Stately pearls around your neck and matching stud earrings give you a credible appearance. Rings should be small and tasteful, as should a bracelet, if you choose to wear one. Most people shy away from watches during interviews to remove the temptation of checking the time.

The Rest

Think of your entire ensemble when preparing for your interview. Your hair doesn't have to be up, but it must look neat and well-kept. It's often best to pull it back from your face if you can so you don't fiddle with it during the interview. Your nails should be painted a light, neutral color or with a French manicure. In cold weather, choose a dark-colored coat that fits you well. Your handbag, which should be a solid, inconspicuous type, should match your shoes.

 

About the Author

Based outside Atlanta, Ga., Shala Munroe has been writing and copy editing since 1995. Beginning her career at newspapers such as the "Marietta Daily Journal" and the "Atlanta Business Chronicle," she most recently worked in communications and management for several nonprofit organizations before purchasing a flower shop in 2006. She earned a BA in communications from Jacksonville State University.

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