College doesn’t teach you how to do this. When first entering the workforce, I thought you bought an ill-fitting suit and wore it to every interview. Wrong ! What you wear depends on the specific company you’re interviewing with, the industry you’re trying to get into and your personal style. My older sister helped me figure this one out. For those who don’t have someone to turn to or are still little confused, I have a few tips that can help.
Do your research on the company.
Not every business is corporate. You don’t want to show up in a suit to a startup where everyone is in shorts and flip flops. Picking the right outfit is as much about fitting in with the company culture as it is about looking your best. So, head to Google, the company’s personal/recruiting site and reach out to contacts know the business well. Each outlet will give you an idea of what it’s like at that brand.
When in doubt (or going into a super-casual environment) pick an outfit that’s polished and smart. This can be a work-appropriate dress and blazer or dress pants with a button down and cute sweater. It’s all about balance.
Take a minimalist tip.
Real life doesn’t always look like an episode of “How I Met Your Mother” or a scene from “The Devil Wears Prada.” Avoid bold prints, flashy jewelry or over-the-top hair. You wouldn’t show up to an interview at a fashion magazine in a ball gown. So why go to an office building dressed in patterned pants and a contrasting printed blazer? Instead, choose solids and delicate jewelry. There’s a way to look professional and chic for every occasion, including a job interview. Sticking to these two minimalist tips will make sure you do just that.
Do not let your shoes be your downfall.
I get it, heels make you look confident. But if you’re not used to wearing them, don’t! You’ll be uncomfortable, start fidgeting and worse case scenario is you fall on your face in front of the interviewer – not good.
Avoid stilettos at all costs. It’s not worth it and frankly gives off the impression of “party girl” more than “business woman.” Since I’m short and tend to be more comfortable in flats, I often go with those or small kitten heels. You can go a bit taller but no more than 3 inches max and only if you can seriously walk in them. Remember, confidence is shown by how you carry yourself, not by what you wear.
Work the hair.
You want to look professional, so you basically get three options here: Wear it up, down or in a ponytail – whichever is more your style. Remember that you’re going for refined and classic.
This should be a look that you can wear everyday to work, not something a stylist had to make for you. Curls are ok as long as they’re well done and don’t make you look like a bad beauty queen covered in hair spray. I typically wear it straight and down or style my hair into a nice ponytail with a brown or black hair tie (to match my hair color) if it’s raining.
Of course, I couldn’t leave you with just this article – especially after missing Monday! Check back tomorrow for the best budget-friendly stores to help you build that work wardrobe.