How to Dress for a Job Interview

Next to meeting your significant other’s parents and perhaps your wedding day, a job interview might just be one of the most important – and trickiest – events a person could ever have to dress for, especially if you think this is your dream job. When you go into an interview, you’re telling your possible employer, “Hey, this is the best you’re going to get from me,” so coming into an office severely under-dressed or improperly dressed can nix your chances of landing the gig, and we don’t want that to happen to you. Today we break down proper dressing for four common job interviews, but if we missed you tell us in the comments below and we’ll help you out!

1. The Conservative Interview. In finance or law, you don’t have a whole lot of wiggle room when it comes to attire if you want the job. Wear a well-fitting, structured skirt suit or pants suit and don’t deviate from a crisp collared button-up. Nails should be clean, and if you want some color, make it nude. If you want to show a little “you,” try a bracelet or watch and a structured bag in an interesting material. Classic black pumps are really the only acceptable footwear for this interview. While this interview outfit doesn’t scream “fun!”, at least it is straightforward and easy to find.


2. The Creative Interview. If you’re applying for a job in the creative field, say as a web designer, there’s more room to play with patterns, colors and styles because that’s the nature of the field. Try a boldly printed top or a statement bottom. A collar isn’t necessary here so long as you’re wearing a nice blouse, and there’s more freedom in jewelry and footwear. Since this top has a nice pop of color on the sleeves, I left the rest of this outfit fairly monochrome, but in a creative interview, more color than this is welcome should you wish. Just remember to keep pieces polished and structured.


3. The Fashion Interview. Hooray, welcome to our world! Whether you’re interviewing at an apparel retailer or a magazine, a fashion interview is one in which you should show that you’re aware of current  trends, and you can show some personality. That said, you shouldn’t come dressed as Susie Bubble – remember, you’re telling an employer that “this is the best you’re going to get from me,” not the weirdest. Show your personality, but keep it professional. Looking current doesn’t mean you have to hit every trend in the book or have the “it” bag either, so don’t stress too much because you don’t have a 3.1 Phillip Lim bag. Buying just a new top could make all the difference you need.

Interview 1
4. The Tech Start-Up Interview. My head nearly exploded when my friend Samihah, who is a design product manager at a local gaming start up, told me she has worn jeans to literally every interview she’s been on. Notoriously casual, the tech start-up is a completely different atmosphere than the law firm, so dress accordingly. When I prodded her on her interview attire, she told me her method is to “go for casual but put together.” Jeans in a dark or black wash, booties or boots, and a nice blouse either alone or with a casual blazer is a standard interview outfit for her. Engineers may dress even more casually “if they’re talented enough,” she told me, while marketing and sales folk may dress more like the creative interview type above. Above all, she says, “If you’re not comfortable wearing jeans to an interview, wear slacks and a nice top. By no means should you wear a three piece suit.”

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About Sarah

I'm a recycled fashion enthusiast, as well as the official Crossroads Trading blogger. I have a penchant for cameras, pumpkin flavored-anything, midi skirts, throwback TV shows, music festivals, and beaches.

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