I know I often encourage you to be daring in your dress and experiment with trends and that does apply except when you’re going to an interview. Danielle of Belts and Bangles has some great tips for dressing for success in an interview while still looking stylish.
You have finally landed an interview with the firm downtown; you hit it off perfectly with the HR director on the telephone and your spirits are soaring. Then you find yourself standing in the closet surrounded by one fashion disaster after another. If you are one of the many talented up-and-coming professionals that has a great résumé, but fall short when it comes to dressing the part—don’t despair! Not everyone was blessed with an abundance of fashion genes; some of us need a little help from our friends to dress for success.
When I give fashion advice to job seekers, the first thing I point out is that during the interview your clothes should not speak louder than your resume. To accomplish this, think conservative. Darker colors project a more serious tone than spring pastels and solids rule over flashy florals and geeky geometrics. What else do you need to know? Read the tips below to help you feel relaxed and look fantastic for the interview and we will deal with how to dress for employee on boarding later.
The Do’s and Don’ts
DO choose a suit or ensemble in a brown, grey or blue. Wear a solid colored blouse or button-down shirt. White or barely there blue are excellent choices with a suit. Your slacks and jacket should fit properly and be comfortable to avoid fidgeting. If you choose to wear a skirt, select a hemline that falls at mid-knee or just below.
DON’T forget to check for wrinkles, panty lines and loose hemstitches. Heading into an interview with your shirt tail flapping in the breeze will not earn you any fashion points.
DO accessorize wisely. Choose jewelry that is modest, nail polish that is neutral and shoes that have a low-to-moderate heel with closed toes.
DON’T add bold, exotic scarves, chunky jewelry or a crazy new hairstyle. It’s important to let your personality shine over your clothing.
Prepare for the offer before you leave the job interview. Take a mental snapshot of how your interviewer is dressed. Look at employees you see in the halls and reception area as you pass through. Ask about company dress codes. You will probably notice that there are a variety of styles, but there should be a common theme that is predominant. It’s easy to tell if the majority of the staff are “fully suited” or wearing separates. Is everyone wearing slacks? Skirts? Ties? Flats or heels?
Danielle is a full-fledged, no apologies, into-the-trenches thrift store warrior. When she isn’t scouting out her next hot find; she blogs for Sears and other brands she uses. She’s found everything from jumpsuits to grass skirts to a wedding dress and gotten the old lady smell out of all of them. Read her fashionably thrifty musings on beltsandbangles.com.