You’ve made it to the interview stage and now you’re freaking out about what to wear. Totally understandable, especially considering this is your chance to land the job or internship you’ve been wanting. So, what are the dos and don’ts of interview attire? We’ve got a few thoughts to help steer you in the right direction.
• Accessorize in a subtle way
Don’t be afraid to incorporate personality into your outfit, just keep it simple by avoiding statement jewelry or loud accessories like purses or shoes. The same goes for your clothes as well, you don’t want your outfit to steal the show so, for the most part, stick to neutral colors.
Speaking of shoes, it’s very important to wear a pair that you are extremely comfortable walking in. Not only will comfortable shoes help boost your confidence, but they’ll keep you from looking sloppy. If you’re wobbling around in shoes that don’t fit, are hard for you to walk in or are uncomfortable, it’s going to be obvious.
Another important factor to consider is that not all shoes are work appropriate shoes. If you would wear them on a night out (i.e. platform heels), they might not be the right choice for an interview. Play it safe with a comfortable heel and a neutral color. Also, if all of your heels have scuffs and scratches, it’s time for a new pair. Appearing polished and cognizant of your overall appearance is important to potential employers.
• Clothes that don’t make you fidget
It’s a great idea to try on your interview outfit the night before. If the blouse you’ve chosen is one that you’re usually tugging on throughout the day, pick something else. Along those lines, make sure to sit down in what you wearing so you know for sure your dress or skirt isn’t too short or too tight.
• Nothing revealing, don’t show too much skin
No matter what industry you’re interviewing in, showing too much skin is something to avoid. You can always throw a blazer over a sleeveless dress to make it interview appropriate.
• Nail Polish
This one might seem overly picky but part of a put together look includes your nails. It’s totally fine to not wear polish, but you should avoid showing up with chipped or old polish. On that same note – avoid swiping on a coat of the season’s trendy blue. Stick to classics and neutrals so your nails don’t distract form the conversation.
When it comes to makeup, certainly be yourself and take your time doing your hair and makeup, but a little goes a long way here. You want to feel pretty, but you don’t want your interviewer distracted by your heavy (or God forbid, glittery) eyeshadow or your bright blush. Think: clean, daytime look… not night out on the town.
• Consider the Industry
It’s important to consider the industry in which you’re interviewing for a position before you select your outfit. If it’s a corporate environment like a financial institution or law firm, you’ll want to dress according to their culture, which usually means a suit of very buttoned-up business casual. If it’s a retail or more creative environment, take that into consideration and know you can take a few more liberties with your selections. Look at the company website and Instagram or social media feeds, what are the employees wearing? In a more creative scenario, even throwing a blazer over a wide-leg jumpsuit is a great option that might help you stand out among other applicants. If you definitely need to be in a suit for the interview, you don’t have to wear all black if that’s not your thing! Choose a gorgeous navy or even deep burgundy and find an option with a long-line blazer and slightly cropped pants in a fabric that works for your body type! Besides, isn’t the interview all about standing out (in the best possible way)?
The same idea applies if you’re interviewing on a Friday at an office that you know practices casual Friday dress attire. In this case, wearing high waisted, dark wash jeans and a blazer might make you seem more in tune with their culture.
• It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed
When it doubt, always dress up. If you’re unsure of the office culture or what would be appropriate for a certain industry, your safest route is going dressy. Nobody will fault you for it and it’s a sign of respect for the person interviewing you. Interviewing at a creative agency but still want to be dressy and show off your personal style? A suit with a subtle pattern or texture to it, similar to blogger Olivia Jeanette below, will definitely score you some points.
• Be Comfortable
Last but definitely not least, make sure you’re comfortable with the outfit you’ve chosen. Don’t wear something you would never usually feel comfortable wearing. We can’t stress this enough! If high heels aren’t your thing, pick a great pair of pointed toe flats or mules. If a suit doesn’t feel like you, try starting with a crisp blouse then belting a long vest over tailored slim-fit pants. It’s perfectly fine to incorporate your own personal style as long as you’re comfortable and your outfit is appropriate.
We’ve pulled some looks we love from a few of our favorite bloggers. Let these ladies serve as inspiration if you’re still struggling with what to wear!