How To Dress For an Interview

By Michelle Ecker on May 18th, 2017
How To Dress For an Interview

If you want to become a personal stylist, it’s helpful to imagine some special scenarios that a client will likely need help dressing for. Many people want help selecting outfits for very specific things they’ll be doing- attending a wedding, going to music festival, etc. One of the most common style questions you’ll be faced with is something that worries people regardless of how fashionable they are on a daily basis- how should one dress for a job interview?

When it comes to interviewing at a new company, the outfit you wear on the big day serves as one of your first impressions, so it’s undoubtedly an important part of the process, and one that many people struggle with. To save you time and offer some peace of mind, we came up with a simple checklist you can reference if you’re ever helping someone dress for an interview, or even if you’re the interviewee yourself:

Men

  1. Generally, it’s considered best practice to wear a suit to your interview. However, this is something that will require your best judgment. If you’re applying for a job at a funky tech start-up in Brooklyn and you know for a fact that the work environment is a super casual one, for example, a suit might be off-putting to your interviewer and make him/her think that your personality and style aren’t a great fit for their office dynamic. The best rule of thumb is to try to match your outfit to the job you’re applying to. But when in doubt, dressing up is always better than dressing down. If you’re really on the fence, wear the suit.
  2. When we say suit, specifically we mean a matching jacket and pants, a dress shirt, nice tie, fancy socks and dress shoes.
  3. Make sure your suit fits properly. Luckily this is pretty easy to gauge based on your own comfort. If it feels uncomfortable, it probably doesn’t fit right and it’s time to go get sized for a new one.
  4. Be conservative with color. Today isn’t the day to debut your novelty splatter paint tie.
  5. Wear deodorant, but no cologne. If your colleague happens to dislike your signature cologne scent, this can be super distracting and negatively affect their mood during the interview

Women

  1. A mid length skirt or pants suit is your best bet for an interview. Again, just as we explained to the men, this is something that will require your best judgment. If the company you’re applying for is notoriously casual and laid back, you can dress accordingly. But again, if you’re ever on the fence, dressing up too much is better than being underdressed and seeming like you don’t take the interview or the role seriously enough.
  2. Get your outfit tailored if need be. If your suit or skirt is too tight, it’s going to make you uncomfortable, which doesn’t pair well with interview nerves. Eliminate the distraction of discomfort by making sure your outfit makes you feel good.
  3. Pick simple colors. Avoid clothing that’s too tight, sheer, short (for skirts) or flashy. Bright colors aren’t the best idea on this day. Avoid animal print.
  4. Try to keep your makeup and accessories simple and understated. Today isn’t the best day to experiment with dark purple lipstick or nail art.

If you’re lucky enough to be asked back for a second interview, try to mirror the exact style of the person (or people) who interviewed you the first time. Since the point of the interview is to show your potential employer that you would fit seamlessly in their existing office environment, copying the fashion you notice around the office on day one is a very safe bet.

Want to get paid to plan outfits for people? Request a free course catalog to learn more about professional personal stylist careers.


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