Interview season is definitely on the horizon, and unlike Mr. Groundhog, there are no delays! Everyone wants to leave an interview and be that “WOW!” factor, but that pizzazz doesn’t just have to just be what you rehearsed or what is on paper. Why not wow your interviewer the moment you step foot in the door? Naturally, anyone is nervous before being interviewed, and no one wants to feel underdressed let alone overdressed.
With fashion being so important to us ladies, we don’t have to ditch that cute blue bag for a bland dark suit. There are ways to subtly let your flair shine through while still being modest and professional. The most essential aspect in dressing for an interview is understanding the difference between business casual and business professional and when too much is too much. Here are some ways to let your personal style speak volumes. Let your wardrobe do all the work and make a statement on paper and in the room!
For both business casual and business professional attire, you want to have a pretty natural look. Wear makeup but leave the lively colors on that Jaclyn Hill Palette -they’ll be waiting for your GNO! We don’t do bland here, so here are some spunky makeup ideas.
Business Casual: Have fun with your lip color. Do a warm red with a natural eye. Now is probs not the time try Fenty’s Mattemoiselle Extreme Tangerine lipstick. Or to switch it up, try a soft pink glitter with the eye shadow and a nude pink lip.
Business Professional: Two words. Simple and nude -Well three words... but you get the idea. Nude face. Nude lip. You could even get away with a darling pink lip.
With your hair, as long as it’s out of your face and doesn’t look a hot mess, you’re not a hot mess. Braids are pretty casual, so I wouldn’t try this style here. Your style should be neat and clean. Straight or curly, it doesn’t matter.
Business Casual: There’s nothing wrong with wearing your hair down. Try going half-up half-down too. If you need to cover that zit on your forehead, bobby pin hair over to the side. Out of your face and classic.
Business Professional: Here, you should experiment with up-dos. High ponytails, low ponytails, buns, try ‘em all!
We already know we should at least wear our skirts and dresses at or below the knee. Truthfully, longer skirts and dresses are becoming more and more stylish anyways. Although they rip the moment you try to adjust them, there’s no question asked when it comes to panty hose and skirts. For a long dress, we might be able to negotiate. Keep in mind of the fitting -wear something that isn’t too tight but not falling off as you walk in to shake hands.
Business Casual: You know those cute black and white plaid, straight pants in Topshop? Yeah, well put them on with a cute solid top. Have fun with your pants. Color is acceptable here depending on what you are interviewing for. If it’s to be VP of the fashion club, then I would def pull out those hot pink trousers. Otherwise I would do colors like royal blue, emerald green or brown. Stick with dark, yet vibrant shades. White and khaki might even work too.
Business Professional: I’d say it’s definitely better to be more modest here when it comes to color. Black, navy, and grey. Point. Blank. Period. When you’re dressing like this, it’s the most professional setting you could probably be in, let’s not overdo it with the game day orange pants.
Make note, if you have fun with the pants, there’s no need to have fun with the top. Pick one. We aren’t runway models (yet...). By fun, I do not mean wear that black lacy shirt from Forever21 and try to pull it off with a black bralette. No, cleavage. Just stick to buttons.
Business Casual: If you do color, I would stick to solid and simple. We don’t want flowers and strings. It’s not even the slightest bit “business-y” and better yet, it takes away from your gorgeous face!
Business Professional: Think buttons and collars. The material of your shirt is important here. Focus on chiffon, or maybe even silk. The point is, leave the cotton T’s out. In the summer we like for our arms to be out. In this type of interview, cover them. If you do wear a patterned shirt, make sure its subtle, like stripes, and is black and white only. Because the business professional pants are dark, white shirts are always the best way go to. No matter what, a blazer that matches your pants, skirt, or dress is an absolute must! Don’t cut corners. Sometimes you gotta compete with the heat!
Some people try it, but ABSOLUTELY no open toed shoes. Sorry sis, peep toe won’t cut it and I know that fresh French pedi is s’cute, but it’ll just have to wait. If your pants and shirt are both simple and solid, you might have room to play. Shoestrings and 5” stilettos are out too.
Business Casual: Those leopard printed pointy flats would be stunning with those khaki pants and that ivory blouse. If you want to be modest with your colors everywhere else in your outfit, you can bring a slight pop here.
Business Professional: Not many options here other than black or nude. Have fun with heel height, (without exceeding 4”), pointed shoes, rounded shoes, kitten heels, simple block heels, etc. Plain Jane is the best Jane.
Jewelry makes any outfit better. If you can’t stand to hear a bracelet jingle every time you move your wrist, jazz up with a cute belt or a handbag. Whether casual or professional, a solid tinted handbag is never a bad idea.
Business Casual: Don’t be afraid to make a statement. With a simple outfit, a statement necklace is always cute. Remember that necklaces draw attention to your bust, so keep it covered! Belts are typically casual. Especially if it’s being used for more than holding up your pants. Add a watch. If it’s got a lot of bling, you can’t do a statement necklace and a loud bedazzled watch! One or the other, it’s not the club. For earrings, wear some that dangle slightly. Avoid hoops… especially those the size of your fist.
Business Professional: Dainty, and sweet. That’s all you need. Wear studs. Wear grandma’s pearls. Don’t overdo it. Wear a watch but no bracelet. Even do a bracelet with no watch. People usually talk with their hands so don’t put all the attention on your wrist!
Confidence is key and an outfit can bring so much self-assurance. When you look good, you feel good. Don’t overdo it, but do it enough. Let your personality peep through your clothes. Be modest, but you don’t have to dress like a nun, hun! Walk tall because you’re gonna slay with style girl!