One of my best friends has a been on the job hunt over the past couple months and I got inspired to write a post about what to wear to a job interview.
First things first, if you have a job interview, congratulations! It's one step closer to your dream job (which may not be the job you're interviewing for but it's a stepping stone to the next big thing). I have been on about 10 interviews thus far, in industries ranging from marketing to insurance. The outfit you choose should reflect the type of person you would like to be seen as. For example, if you wear a low button down blouse with your cleavage exposed...you may not be taken as seriously as other candidates. I'm not saying to be a stiff, top button no skin showing type but moderation is key. You're going for an interview, not a date and therefore you need to portray yourself as a confident, pleasant, focused woman which is what most employers are looking for.
Here are some tips:
1. Research the company and find out what they do, do they have one branch? nationwide?international?organizational structure etc.
2. Make sure you make note of the person you are scheduled to meet with for example Mary Jane, HR supervisor.
3. Go through some interview scenarios online to get a feel of what you might say
4. Bring copies of your resume, list of references, business card, pen (not one from your dentist try and get a spiffy looking pen. Papermate Black pens look professional enough) and keep them in a portfolio
5. Look up directions for the interview location and if you're unsure, make a pass by the day before
6. Always arrive to your interview 30 to 15 minutes early. No one likes a tardy employee.
7. Smile, don't act nervous. Just remember that if this job is meant for you, you'll do well.
8. If you get asked a question you don't know how to answer, ask them to go ahead to the next question and you'll get back to them on that one.
9. Don't forget your posture, try not to slouch in the chair, be cordial to the other people you may encounter on your way to/from the interview room.
10. Stay Positive!
Back to your attire: Never underestimate the power of the simple classic basic suit in black, grey, beige or other neutral colors.
You have the choice between a skirt suit (my personal preference) or a pant suit. Both are flattering if tailored correctly and are not too baggy or fitted.
You can also go for a colored suit like this blue number below. Again, you need to discern the type of office you'll be working in. If people are fashion forward and trendy, this suit would be perfect because you want to show that you can be classy yet still trendy.
Men have the "red power tie" and women have the "red power suit"...demands attention, classy but definitely not for people with confidence issues.
You can also mix and match your suit as Blake Lively did below. This is more risky and I would recommend swapping the skirt with horizontal lines (which makes curvy girls look bigger) and going for a plain grey instead. Again, your choice.
I follow a blog called www.extrapetite.com and no it's not because I'm extra petite (maybe in height but I'm a curvy gal) but because her outfits are very sophisticated and classy. She also shows you how to tailor your own clothing, step by step. Here are some looks she created which I think would be suitable for an interview or everyday at the office:
So now you have the outfit, how do you accessorize it? Some people think pearls are matronly or outdated, but I think they are very classy and appropriate for the office. So throw on a pair of pearl studs, pearl strand necklace or even layered pearl necklace. Keep the accessories to a minimum, simple and classic, leave the big gold hoops at home.
Shoes, I would recommend closed toe pumps in a neutral color and you can opt for stockings if you want. I'm not a fan of stockings in warm climates but whatever floats your boat and suits your climate. I would also recommend a basic neutral handbag, beige or black.
Makeup, Hair & Nails? Same as your clothing, simple and chic. Leave the smokey Kim K eyes for your night out with your guy or gals and go for a fresh faced, clean look. The Beauty Department has tons of ideas for hair, makeup & nails but here is what I would go for:
Classic french updo (step by step below) or a simple ponytail.
French Manicure or bare nails with clear polish
Simple and neural