Choosing what to wear to an interview is an important part of the preparation process. Your outfit needs to walk a fine line and check a few boxes: It should be polished and sophisticated, express your personality without being distracting, and visually communicate how naturally you’ll fit into the prospective environment. Here are a few points to consider when creating your interview look.
Is the company culture relaxed and laid back, or more traditionally corporate? Even if it’s super casual (a fashion company, perhaps), err on the side of caution and be conservative in your choices—you’re making a first impression, after all. Try a printed shirtdress; it’s less formal but still crisp and put together. For a more professional environment, create a modern twist on the classic suit by pairing a jacquard topper with a pair of cropped trousers, a silk blouse, and closed-toe heels.
The goal is for your potential employer to envision you fitting in with the team. Your outfit shouldn’t speak louder than your qualifications. If there’s any ambiguity about the length of your hemline, find something else. No spaghetti straps or sleeveless tops for a first interview, and despite the current warmer weather, no strappy sandals.
Carry a structured bag with crisp, clean lines and accessible interior organization so you can smoothly reach for your résumé, portfolio, or notebook at any point in the interview without breaking your stride.
A slouchy bag looks sloppy, and one without pockets is even worse. You’ll feel—and look—flustered digging through your bag for a pen or business card.
It’s nearly impossible to project confidence and communicate a sense of competence when you’re wobbling as you walk.
Treat yourself to a blowout, or pull your hair back in a bun or chic ponytail. Get a manicure. If nothing else, remove old polish. You don’t want to point to something in your portfolio with chipped nails and torn cuticles. It’s the little things that make a big difference.
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