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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Temple chapter.

Acing an interview is not that easy, especially for someone who has no prior experience having a job or internship or for someone who was accepted through a friend. Sometimes, there are no connections and you just have to put your best foot forward and go out on your own. But you don’t have to be alone. I’ll be here to give you some advice about how to prepare. It’s not just about what is on your cover letter or resume or how well you know the company. Appearance is everything, as mentioned in my other article, “Make a Style Statement” (https://www.hercampus.com/school/temple/make-style-statement). 

How you present yourself and what you wear to that interview is the breaking point for the employer. It lets them know if you belong at that place of hire.


The Classic Button Up or Button Down (yes, there is a difference)

There is just something about a button shirt that seems dressy. I really don’t know how, but something about buttons just says, “hire me.” They really are the best top to wear when you don’t know the dress code, because you can dress them up or down, depending on the rest of your outfit or accessories you plan on wearing. A button down shirt is more casual than a button up, but you can make it more professional with a blazer or heels. Most workplaces require a button up shirt anyway, so wearing one to the interview helps your interviewer know that you already understand the dress code.

Skirt or Dress

Skirts or dresses are more formal, generally speaking. They can be considered semi-formal too or even casual, but that depends on how you style your outfit. These are good options for an interview for a white collar job. A neutral color is probably best in this setting, like black, gray or navy blue. Some jobs allow a flexible dress code, like in the summer you might be allowed to wear a summer dress. Until you actually get hired, it is best not to waiver too much from a basic neutral palette.


Slacks are dress pants. They can be worn semi-casual with a button down and flats or professional, with heels and a blazer. Slacks are a good option even in an environment where the dress code is semi-professional or even semi-formal OR EVEN relaxed, because it shows your employer you are taking an extra step to look like you are to be taken seriously and that you are not just a child wearing khakis…because khakis are still, yes, pants. Just pants. Slacks are big girl pants. Slacks are for women. Khakis are for children. You, my dear, are in the big leagues now.

Suit or jumpsuit

For a corporate or more formal white collar look, go for a suit in your interview. A lot of places are becoming more fashion forward, so in a flexible environment it would be okay to wear a jumpsuit. Go for it only in a more creative environment, for example, a corporate branch of a clothing line or other fashion and beauty job.

Get creative!

Like mentioned, a creative dress code applies for jobs mainly in fashion and beauty, but also in entertainment and more. Creative can mean several things, like the style of outfit, textures or colors and patterns. It all depends on the job. For example, if I were to be working for Philly Fashion Week (a dream job of mine) I could show up to the office in a suit, yes, but it could  be bright pink and that would be okay!

Keep it (kinda) casual

When I think of a job that is super casual, I immediately think of a Vans store, where it is okay to wear relaxed clothes like jeans, a tee and beanie…because hipster vibes, duh. But the question is, should I overdress for the interview? Yes, but not too much! Don’t wear a suit, but make the interviewee believe that you can do more than just being able to work at the register. Show them that you have potential to do more for their business, like be a sales rep or supervisor… you have to look the part, remember what I said about appearance being everything?? Whether you like it or not, it is. Just because Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg underdressed, does not make it okay to show up to an interview like that. Still, though you want to look the part of that “super casual dress code.” A clever way is to be creative with your jewelry and makeup choices. But when going to an interview, never be underdressed!

Times have changed — having a college degree is not necessary for a job. But, having an internship helps with hiring. One thing is for sure, though — and that is that having a job is most definitely necessary! But don’t just take what you can get. Apply somewhere you think you will be happy or have an opportunity to climb. I have a few different dream internships and dream jobs, but I can’t expect myself to just be able to get accepted right away. I can always start somewhere. At the moment, I have been working for a hotel for the past year and a half as a front desk agent. I love my job, but would like to eventually do more. Maybe I will become a supervisor or work in sales at the hotel. I appreciate where I am at the moment, as I love what I do and am still making connections with a lot of guests who share different opportunities with me. Never stop making connections! That is some really great advice. Until then, I have yet to see where my future takes me. Hopefully my advice helps. Good luck!

Ashley Regina Morris is a staff writer for HerCampus at Temple University. She is a communication studies major with a minor in tourism and hospitality management and balances academic life while working at a restaurant and for a hotel. Come to her for fashion and beauty advice if you are on your way to the working world or are a commuter student.
When Rachel isn't obsessively drinking iced coffee by the gallon or binge watching true crime videos on YouTube, you can probably find her writing about her failed love life. She is currently a  junior (*she's ancient*) journalism major at Temple University, and is a Her Campus Temple Campus Correspondent, a Temple Student Government Social Media Manager and a 2020 Owl Team Student Coordinator.