First impressions will probably always be based in some way off of appearances. Before you talk or get to know someone, you see them walk in a room. For that reason, how you dress when vying for a certain position is really important. I’ve talked about this a little in my book, but I’ve had a few requests lately with the new year, new internships and graduations coming up next season – it’s a good time to make sure you’re prepared!
Even if you’re going for a casual job, you have a very short amount of time to show someone why you’re the best possible fit for a position. You certainly don’t want them to spend half that time wondering about your outfit! Here are a few interview related fashion tips, no matter what the job entails:
Be polished but not distracting. In most cases, it’s best to play it safe when it comes to interviews. Unless you’re applying to a job in fashion or beauty, being too daring with your clothing will only distract, taking time away from your story and qualifications.
Analyze the job function. Even if you’re going for a creative position, you still want to consider being polished and fairly minimal. But beyond that, knowing your industry will help you determine what details to showcase – is a little color on your nails or a sparkly necklace OK, or is that going too far? And if you’re applying to a more fashion-forward job, will your average slacks and blazer make the cut? This means that if you’re applying to jobs in different fields, you should be prepared to alter your attire for each opportunity.
Fit is everything. Let’s face it, most of us woudn’t wear our go-to interview ensemble on the daily. But just because it doesn’t get much air time doesn’t mean it’s not important. Having pants that fit – and flatter – that also go well with shoes and a fitted (but not too snug) blouse are musts. Ill fitting clothes will once again distract, both you and the interviewer.
Don’t leave your personality behind. Lastly, inject a little “you” into the outfit. I’ve mentioned before that you should dress like yourself on a first date – same goes for an interview. This job is likely to be a big part of your day if you land it, so you don’t want to totally pretend to be something your not. Dressing to impress is one thing, impersonating is another! For example, if you’re a flats-only girl, don’t use this time to take heels on a test run. If you love color, you may want to scale it back a bit, but that doesn’t mean you need to wear all black.
Now, a few work appropriate styles I’m loving…
Blush Crop Jacket, Slim Fit Blazer, Crepe Blazer, Drape Blouse, Blush Top, Frill Blouse, Pencil Skirt, Cigarette Pants, Wide-leg Suit Pants
Tailored blazers. Super formal blazers taken down a notch with a loose fitting blouse and balanced out with skinny bottoms or pencil skirts.
Cigarette pants. Perfect for petite frames, these super skinny pants look chic in black or gray and eliminate any length issues that may arise when trying to pair with shoes.
High waisted trousers. This trend of the past is perfect for the style savvy, as you need to know how to rock them just right! A fitted, tucked in top or sweater can balance out the dramatic look of the pants, creating the perfect style for those in a more fashion-forward industry.
Wrap blouses. While these can easily come off as too casual when not dressed up enough, they’re also a lot more interesting than a standard button up, without going overboard!
High-low blouses. If you’re wearing a blazer, you can get away with a sleeveless blouse, making the fit easier and more comfortable. You’ll have more options such as high-low styles, which vary in length from front to back or on the sides. But beware, these will look frumpy if your pants aren’t nicely tailored.
What has been your most memorable interview so far (good or bad!)? Share below!