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Creating a winning interview image

Although few women are hired simply because they are well dressed, the wrong outfit can ruin a job-hunter's chances of landing the job. Appropriate clothes will therefore create a good first impression as well as give one the edge over other job applicants.

To find out what makes a winning interview image, Mademoiselle magazine consulted five personnel directors for advice. Their guidelines include:

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* More than anything else, neatness counts. Check for missing buttons, rips in clothing, and rundown heels.

* Neutral colors are best: beiges, browns, grays. Pastels don't look professional.

* Play it safe -- don't wear pants or a hat and gloves.

* Always wear pantyhose; bare legs don't belong in the office.

Don't wear superfeminine items like a pink angora sweater. The idea is to look businesslike, not sweet and seductive.

* Don't wear gaudy of dangling jewelry.

* Splurge on a good attache or briefcase, if you like, but not one with designer initials all over it.