As I am closing out my senior year of college, I am entering the phase of my life where I have to think about ‘what’s next’. This process includes graduating (obviously), looking for jobs, and, not drinking on a Tuesday night for no reason (Dad it only happened once, I promise). While this whole process scares the shit out of me, I am confident I will be able to put my best foot forward with my interview outfit. I have had this post requested for a while and I have been doing a lot of research. You only get one first impression so I hope this is helpful!
Grad School/Med School:
As a college student, I know that these types of interviews can be crazy intimidating. Especially because your closet contains things you wear to class and things you wear to the bar, which, let’s be real, probably aren’t appropriate for any interview. For this situation, I think the best way to go is clean and professional. For both men and woman, a suit with a very simple collard shirt is the best option. Don’t try to do anything crazy or super trendy in the situation because the person interviewing you isn’t going to notice or care. This is a situation where you want your resume and your accomplishments to do the talking, not your outfit. For the ladies, simple jewelry or maybe even your hair half pulled back, but you want the focus to be on you. For the gentlemen, have your facial hair clean, whether that means shaving your face completely or cleaning up the scruff.
Anything in fashion, music, public relations, graphic design or photography is what I am classifying as ‘creative jobs.’ In these interviews, you should use your wardrobe to demonstrate your creativity. That being said, going all Lady Gaga meat dress is not the direction I am talking about, but you are allowed a little more wiggle room than in a traditional interview setting. Stay up to date on what is in for the season such as patterns, colors, and textures. For ladies, find a cool pair of patterned dress pants (no your disgusting galaxy leggings do not count) and pair that with a traditional blazer or have some fun with your jewelry. For men, maybe do a non-traditional suit color or mix and match patterns with your tie and shirt. Let your wardrobe be a representation of your creative abilities. But remember, this is still an interview so nothing too over the top. I highly recommend checking on H&M for an interview outfit in this situation. My man and I were just there the other weekend and I loved everything they had!
It is important for this position to not only dress professional but also practical. Wear something you can teach in. If you had a child and you were to walk into parent-teacher conferences, what would you want their teacher to be wearing? For woman, flats, a dress with a sweater. For gentlemen, kakis, a really nice button-down, and a tie is a good addition for another element of formality. Keep it fun but more importantly, keep it kid friendly.
Finance/Law/Politically related Positions:
Now I’m not trying to make some political statement by throwing these three professions together but each of these interviews require the same kind of look. For finance, dress like you are someone I can trust with my money, even if you’re a broke college student, dress the part! For any law position, dress like you are someone I would trust my life with, because that very well could be the case. Dress like you’re intelligent and that you know what you’re talking about. Again, you should do the talking in this situation, not your clothes. This is a formal setting so for men and woman, a full suit and a button down is necessary. Along with that, a kick-ass watch or some great shoes and a killer handshake can set you up for success.
I know this has become a really popular way for companies to conduct interviews, so I figured it was worth touching on. Your top half is obviously the most important part in this situation. Focus on making your upper half look its best (whether or not you choose to wear pants is up to you, CTG has no comment). For men and woman, don’t do a crazy patterned shirt, it doesn’t read well on camera and could end up look really ridiculous. Keep it very simple, but make sure you hair and face are on point. So for the men, a clean face, groomed hair, and bright eyes are important. For women, make sure you have on a full face of makeup. You can even go a little heavy when you apply it to play up your features on camera.
General rules: These are just my golden rules of fashion but I think they work perfectly with interviews especially:
If you are going to wear a suit, make sure it fits properly. Gentlemen, your suit from high school probably isn’t going to fit you like it did then. Entering the real world is the perfect time to update that sucker. Getting an item tailored is an easy update that can transform any suit. Also there is nothing sexier than a man in a well-fitted suit. Ladies if you are going to wear a skirt or a dress, make sure your hemline is at or below your knees.
The golden rule for life: If you can’t walk in heels, do not wear them. A perfect example of this is when I was at the Sam Smith concert a few weekends back; this girl was wearing 6-inch stripper heels, of which were beyond tacky. As if the shoes alone were bad enough, she was gliding across the floor like it was an ice rink. Do less. Do so much less. My advice if you have a pair of heels that you love, put them on and do your house/apartment cleaning in them, strange I know roll with me for a second, if you start to get uncomfortable or start walking like a pimp with an old school limp, then don’t wear them. There is nothing wrong with wearing flats to an interview.
When your diet consists of Mac and Cheese and Keystone, I understand that it’s really hard to think about investing in an outfit, but trust me it will pay off. Even if that means you buy one really great suit that fits you well and wear it to every single interview. All that maters is that you have something that looks amazing on you and fits you well.
IF you haven’t already make sure to check out CTG on Instagram: crop.top.girl