So, hello ladies! I’m sorry that this is so late in the evening this Thursday! I had an interview for a new job. Very exciting!
But that had me thinking this morning – what the fuck do I wear to an interview? Pardoning my french.
Do I go ultra classic in a full on 1980’s ladies power suit? Do I rock some pearls and a frock? Slacks and a blazer? Casual dress with nice make up? Will a sweater cut it? What if it is HUMID AS BALLS OUTSIDE? Can I rock novelty print for an interview? Pumps? Heels? Dressy Sandals? Flats? BLARGH!
So here are my few thoughts on dressing for an interview:
Know where you’re interviewing
You have to dress for your company. As I have mentioned, I have worked in many theatres and arts based places. They generally are more open to bright colors and prints and more casual shoes. These more artistic and creative places valued expressing personality through clothing and got a few mentions of outfits (in a complimentary way) at theatres, photography studios, art gallery, etc. I have also interviewed with financial advisors, national non-profits, faith based organizations, and much more business-y places. Those places are places for pumps and blazers and pearls. More traditional, more business professional, etc. If the office wears jeans and button ups – wear pressed pants but skip the tie. If the office only wears suits, wear a suit. Know the company vibe.
This is what I wear for more “professional interviews”. The black tights, black shoes, and fitted blazer give it that classic look, while the pleats and hair bow give it a feminine twist.
This is what I wore to my interview today. It’s modest, comfortable, flattering, a little bit whimsical, and adds a pop of color. It’s the perfect blend of professional and fun!
Dress to Express & Impress
I always dress to impress and express on an interview. I probably wouldn’t go in to an interview in an all black suit, black shoes, and nothing exciting. That’s just not me. And I feel that it is totally false advertising of myself. What happens when they hire me and I start showing up in fun sweaters, pink blazers, and polka dots? So, I dress in a professional way to show off a glimpse of personality. I also dress to impress. To flatter my figure, cover me up (or show off, depending on the job), to look like I am someone that clients or co-workers would take seriously, and to look the part of real life grown up.
A muted pink fitted blazer over a white top and a black skirt for a “business casual” company to show business and the pink to show casual. (for anyone who is worried about the cleavage – I added a scarf)
A midi skirt and a cardigan add a touch of modesty to a polka dot and pink outfit! This outfit was a hit for an interview at an art museum for the children’s section!
This is not a real thing. It’s made up. It is the mullet of the business world. It’s like “don’t wear jeans, but don’t be an asshole either.” This is seriously the hardest thing in the world to dress for. What I have found to be true is that this varies from office to office. I work currently in a business casual outfit where we have no clients come in (we go to them) and if no one is coming in – people wear yoga pants and t-shirts. I’ve worked in “business casual” that was basically everything but jeans and t-shirts was fine. Business casual is largely based on your company’s attitude, how much in and out traffic do you get, and how formal is your week. Just feel out the vibe of where you are working. To me, this means “stylish, fitted, clean, put together outfit without being too blazerpantspumpspearls-y”.
These are two of my favorite “business casual outfits”. I have a fitted, jersey, Old Navy dress with a fun printed scarf, and a patterned sweater with some red leggings. It’s a great time to show off some personality while still keeping things professional.
The wrap up here is – you should always look put together. That’s the most important part. No scuffed shoes, no loud jewelry, no heavy perfume or body wash. YOU and your skills and qualifications should always speak louder than your outfit! Dress well, comfortably, for your body, and that confidence will shine through!
So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!
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What do you consider your best “business”, “interview”, and “business casual” outfits? What tips would you give others on the job hunt? Let me know and post pictures in the comments below!
Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!