Preparing for your first, second,— one thousandth interview can be nerve-wracking— You don’t know the exact questions your interviewers are planning on asking you, your palms keep sweating to the point where you keep wiping it off on your pants before you shake the interviewer’s hand… you get the point. So you check your already perfect ponytail in the mirror for the hundredth time as you clutch nervously onto the set of flashcards you’ve prepared just in case.
Never fear darlings, I’ve prepared a guide for you on how to dress properly for interviews.
Let me first start off by saying that an interview outfit should not be too complicated or distracting to the eye. Three key words to keep in mind when dressing for interviews are elegant, simple, and professional. You want to appear in front of your interviewers as someone capable, intelligent, organized, and focused. If you’re female, an easy way to appear this way is to find a solid-colored dress and pair it with a matching waist belt- as shown below.
As you can see here, accessories are limited to two as she dons a coordinating handbag and heels.
Or if your dress is already structured and form fitting enough, just forget the belt and rock it belt-free.
A blouse or light cardigan paired with a pencil skirt is a very elegant ensemble to wear to an interview too. I would definitely recommend investing in a clutch if you can afford it. In my opinion, they make your outfits appear high-class and sophisticated.
Or if you don’t want to wear a dress or a skirt, a pantsuit works just fine. Maybe even better too.
If you don’t own a pantsuit, pair a trendy blazer with dark-colored pants.
For extra warmth on chiller days, layer up with vests and undershirts.
Clothes You Should Avoid
1. Anything too revealing. Cleavage, backs, and midriffs are completely UNACCEPTABLE. One look of this ridiculous outfit and off you go.
2. TOO HIGH high-heels
For me, I like to be on the safe side by keeping my heels to a maximum of 2.5 inches when dressing for an interview. Of course, this is just my opinion. If you think you can stroll around in six inches stilettos— hey, no one’s stopping you. Just remember that unless you’re planning on applying for a job that requires you to strut on the catwalk in sky-high heels, nothing is more embarrassing then falling flat on your face in front of your interviewers.
3. Too casual clothes
Please, do yourself a favor and keep your converse sneakers and jeans at home when you’re interviewing for a job/internship/school. Companies are looking to hire ADULTS, not some lackadaisical teenager strolling off to work late with a Starbucks pumpkin spice latte in hand. No offense to you if you are a teenager though— just keep in mind that it’s not your age that matters the most, it’s your attitude and how you present yourself to others.
Again, AVOID JEANS!!!!!!!!
4. Cocktail dresses
I can understand the temptation to wear these miniature dresses— they’re cute, sexy, and have a slimming effect (cause they’re usually black-colored). However, they are not appropriate attires for interviews.
5. Clothing containing offensive or profane language.
I think this is pretty self-explanatory already.
Now I’ve never actually seen a woman dress in this type of attire for an interview. Not that it’s not attractive— I mean, look how polished and sophisticated the model looks in the picture! She’s someone who’s dressed like what rightful confidence should look like in person. If you can rock this look, do it.
As for the hair, remember: simple, elegant, and professional. Anything works as along it’s not too distracting or complex. That reminds me— lay off too much perfume too. One or two spritzs two feet away from the body is enough.
Now for the men.
In my opinion, this is probably this best ensemble for a guy to wear for an interview. Whether it’s for a casual one-on-one interview or high-profile-dream-career-kind of interview, this outfit works amazingly for both.
This is sort of similar to the previous image above. Simple, clean, and proper.
This outfit looks like what a model would wear for the cover of a Ralph Lauren catalogue. I’m seriously impressed.
Or if you don’t want to wear a blazer, wear this. A sleek cravat paired with a bluish button down and dark pants is an excellent look for an interview.
Or if you want to go all out for the interview (especially if it’s for a high profile job), wear a suit! And make sure it’s tailored— Or at least not too long or short.
Other tips for preparing for an interview:
1. Prepare yourself with typical interview questions, such as:
“Tell me about yourself”
“Why do you think you are the best person for this position?”
“Why do you want this position?”
You know, that kind of thing.
2. Conduct some research for the company you’re interviewing for. Companies are bound to ask interviewees basic questions about themselves just to weed out those who have not prepared for the interview from those who know their stuff.
3. Set aside your outfit all ironed out at least a day before the interview. Trust me, you don’t want to wait till the last minute to choose your outfit and iron it.
4. Sleep well. Everyone always underestimates the importance of sleep. More sleep = better performance/mood/alertness!
5. Eat breakfast. Avoid dairy products, fruits, and foods you haven’t ate before. Eat grains like rice or bread. You don’t want to be in the bathroom five minutes before you’re called in for the interview.
6. Arrive early. This is pretty self-explanatory.
7. Relax! Remember, interviewers can tell if you’re nervous or stressed out. Just relax and try not to remind yourself too much that it’s an interview (even though it is). Just try to imagine you’re having a simple business-related conversation with another person.
Well I hope this was helpful and good luck!