Interviews are simultaneously exciting and terrifying. I see them both as a necessary evil when it comes to landing a job as well as a great opportunity to polish your communication skills and become more in touch with yourself. They are about presenting your best self to a potential employer or coworker, and in order to do so, a certain amount of self-reflection and awareness is necessary. To present your best self in a short amount of time, you have to know who you are, your strengths, and what version of yourself you want to portray.
Answers to those questions will inevitably come out in the conversations you have with your interviewer, but people form first impressions before you ever open your mouth. As a result, how you present yourself at an interview impacts the impression your interviewer forms of you. What you have to say in the interview is much more important than what you look like, but in order to keep the focus on the experiences and attributes that make you a qualified candidate for the position, you want to make sure how you look matches how you feel—confident and right for the job! Here are a few things to consider when choosing your perfect interview outfit.
For clothing there are so many options, but here are some basic outfits:
This skirt from J.Crew, shown in light grey, also comes in black, navy, and dark grey. A quality pencil skirt is the perfect base for any interview outfit and can be extremely versatile.
Dress and Blazer
One way to show off your style is through a classic, yet appropriate dress with a bit of flare. Pick a simple silhouette and style with a little something extra that makes it stand out. These two are from Ann Taylor and they both show style and professionalism.
When in doubt, go with a classic black or grey suit. The key in choosing a suit is to make sure it fits nicely. There’s no substitute for a well-tailored suit in the professional world, and wearing one on an interview makes you feel empowered!
Once you have the main pieces of your interview look chosen, it’s time to consider some smaller, but just as important details:
The main rule is that your nails should not draw attention. I would recommend getting a neutral color or very light pink that doesn’t stand out, and to be safe get a gel manicure so there is no chance of chipping. If you don’t have time to get your nails done, just remove all nail polish and clean up your cuticles for a natural look.
Go with a structured handbag in a classic style, but with a fun twist. Don’t bring anything too crazy, but have a little bit of fun with your bag selection! One of my friends said her bag ended up being a conversation starter in her interview!
An otherwise boring outfit can be brought up a level by choosing the right accessories. When picking a necklace or watch to compliment your outfit and give it an added element, be sure it’s nothing too flashy. Pick something that is pretty but not too distracting.
No matter what you choose to wear, make sure you feel good in it because nothing can replace a great smile and confidence!