woman in brown blazer holding book

How to dress up for an interview

woman in brown blazer holding book

Dress up or down?

The type of job, industry and atmosphere in which you are interviewing will all affect your choice of outfit.

Keep your corporate career organized. A suit coat is a great way to show that you are serious about business. A jacket and wide-leg trousers are great options. Layering a sheath dress to the knee under a jacket allows for some freedom with prints or lighter materials such as silk or rayon. This can be very comforting when you’re on the hot seat. This role does not require a jacket. A midi skirt looks great with a blouse or knit shirt. Choose fabrics that don’t wrinkle easily or cling awkwardly. The in-store stylists will help you choose the right fit. It’s always a good idea for you to test drive your outfit.

Interviewing with a startup or tech company? Interviewing with a startup or tech company will give you more flexibility and may allow for a more casual approach. Silicon Valley is well-known for its jeans-and-hoodie look, but that doesn’t mean that you have to follow their lead. You want to demonstrate that you are able to fit in with the company culture, while also respecting the interviewer. You can replace the blazer with a blouse and well-fitting pants. For the weekend, or after you are hired, save your jeans and leggings.

You can let your creativity shine through in creative fields by using bold colors, fun patterns, and interesting silhouettes. Don’t go overboard or you could come across as chaotic. You can have fun with a single part of the outfit like a floral dress or a dramatic sleeve. A shirtdress is always elegant. You can find one in any color or print. There are so many ways to personalize it. To avoid appearing sloppy or trite, you might only choose one statement or trendy piece.

Color: Shades of Meaning

It may be safer to stick with black, grey, and navy tones, especially for business professionals, but a fun-checked or striped suit can make you stand apart from other more conservative candidates. To break up a monochrome suit, or dress, add a splash of color to your blouse, scarf, or shoes. Avoid bright colors (like neons or citrons), and avoid patterns that could distract from your brilliant ideas.

Shoes: Get your foot in the door

Flats and pumps are great choices. You can match most offices with a pointed-toe slipper, or sleek loafers. To put your best foot forward, avoid sneakers. Don’t forget about polishing any pair of sneakers you own.

Accessories: Fringe Benefits

You don’t have to give up your flair for minimalist jewelry, even if it is in silver or gold. You can transform workwear by adding a hoop or a chandelier earring. But don’t get too blinged out. You want to appear like a worker, not a queen bee. You can carry a handbag or tote that is structured to hold your portfolio and resume while you are shaking hands.

Grooming for Makeup and Hair

Your makeup should look natural. A dab of blush and mascara can help you look radiant and youthful even if you don’t sleep well the night before. You can skip the heavy eyeliner and use a lighter, peachy or pink shadow. Make sure to take the time to inspect your lipstick application throughout the day.

It goes without saying that hair must be kept clean. It doesn’t really matter if your hair is up or down. Don’t use too much perfume. Some people may be sensitive to certain scents so don’t use too much or not spritz at all.

Good luck. You have this!

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