Interview Outfit Tips that Will Help You Get a Job

Trying to nail down a job or internship for the summer? A polished, workplace-appropriate outfit is your interviewer’s first impression of you and can give you the confidence to answer the dreaded “what is your greatest weakness?” question with poise. However, every company has a different dress code, ranging from jeans and tennis shoes to power suits and heels. First, check out the website and social media platforms of the company you’re interviewing for to get a sense of their culture and the everyday attire of their employees.  If you are unsure of the dress code of the company, veer on the side of professional rather than casual. 

For the ultra-conservative firm. . .

In the most conservative of workplaces, like law or accounting firms, a “business professional” or “business formal” dress code is enforced. For women, this means a suit with a matching jacket and pants or pencil skirt in a dark, neutral color, close-toed heels, and a blouse with a conservative neckline.  A business suit is an investment, so it should fit you perfectly. A suit is probably not something you can buy online. Try on many shapes and styles in a store and if necessary, bring it to a tailor to get the perfect fit. 

Your accessories should be understated and classic (think pearls), and your hair and makeup look should be natural. Now is the time to let your resume shine, not your smokey eye skills.

For the business casual office. . .   

Many companies have wildly different ideas of what “business casual” is, but for an interview, dress pants and a tucked-in blouse are a safe bet. Paired with ballet flats or close-toed pumps, you’ll be comfortable and professional. A blazer, though not required, can also add an extra bit of structure and formality to your outfit.  Try one in a fun, seasonally appropriate color that contrasts your pants for a bit of personality.

One more thing: Black. Jeans. Are. Not. Dress. Pants. If you’re concerned about dress pants making you look frumpy, try a cigarette pant instead of the typical bootcut style. 

For a creative industry. . .

While bright colors or big prints may be considered distracting at some companies, when interviewing in creative industries, your outfit is an important tool in communicating your abilities. Show your interviewer your personal style with an outfit that is that is trendy but still office-appropriate. Wearing structured pieces like dress pants or blazers in unconventional prints or colors will make you look professional but not forgettable. 

In the words of Anne Klein, “clothes aren’t going to change the world. The women who wear them will.” So print out a resume, slip on a blazer, and go be a #girlboss!