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How to Dress for an Interview at a Car Dealer

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When preparing for a job interview at a car dealer, don't forget that your clothing will come under scrutiny. The person interviewing you is likely to be an industry vet and will know that appearance is paramount when dealing automobiles. How you present yourself on the lot and in the office will either make or break you career in the sales-driven industry of car dealerships.

Start the day off with careful personal grooming. Cars promote clean lines, and so should you. Shave off that beard, trim that mop-top hairline, clips your nails and by all means take a bath. Remember that cologne or perfume is not the same thing as a bath.

Know your audience. Car dealerships come in a variety of flavors and range from mom and pop shops and used car lots to huge lots that take up a city block. To prepare, take a trip to the dealership and get a feel for what the employees and owners prefer. You want your clothing to convey a certain feeling that caters to the type of dealership you're in. In a relaxed atmosphere, a pair of khakis and a polo shirt may be more appropriate than a three-piece suit. When interviewing at a large dealership, though, a modern suit conveys the sleekness of a large lot.

During the chilly winter months, a whole new set of garments will be needed. Now would not be the time to wear the big puffy ski jacket. Dress a classy, long and fitted pea coat. This is a traditional look that conveys class and professionalism. To accessorize, don a pair of leather driving gloves and let the interviewer witness you remove them. The gloves promote an appreciation for automobiles. To finalize the winter look, drape a simple and moderate-length scarf around your neck.

Be memorable. You want the person interviewing you to remember you for the abilities and skills you possess, not a garish outfit. Traditional colors (such as blacks, whites and tans) won't clash when standing next to a car. It also won't burn an unwanted image into the employer's eyes. If you still ache for a little splash, get a colorful tie. Ladies, add light scarf for all seasons.

Pick the fit. Your clothing should look like it was customized for you. It shows that you care about your personal appearance. Also, hide that skin. It is a place of business, and clothes of excessive bagginess or tightness will immediately draw stereotypical opinions about who you are. You want your interviewer to consider to your words, not a poor choice of cut.


Ryan Mooney has been a professional writer and editor in the technology, game, and design industry for seven years. Currently, he works in the mobile technology field. He has been published on eHow, About, Today, and New York Magazine ( He has a Bachelor of Arts in English from East Stroudsburg University.

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