View Full Version : Interview Attire?
04-15-2010, 07:51 PM
I have a mock interview in about a week and a half, but I'm pretty sure I've outgrown the outfit I used for college entrance interviews and it wasn't very professional in the first place. This is new to me since I usually get clients via internet/phone/referral, so I'm not sure exactly how to dress for this.
Consider that I'm female and in my early 20s, and this mock-interview would be for a large company, but one that deals with artists - so it has to be professional, but the whole 'businesswoman power suit' look is probably just too much. I am getting graded on this fake interview and appearance/presentation is part of it.
What would be appropriate to wear? Descriptions and/or photoreference appreciated.
I don't think my lime green sneakers and the shirtdresses that I paint in work for this... :lol:
04-15-2010, 08:04 PM
I would go with a paterned skirt (but not a crazy pattern ;) ), and a solid top. Not sure about stockings vs no stockings or dress sandals. I've worn both and it didn't seem to make a difference. Something more on the "business" side of business-casual would probably work as well.
Then again, I either dress way up or I'm in my sweats. Not much in between for me. :D
04-15-2010, 08:05 PM
Well, if you Google the terms Interview and Dress, you get this as the top link:
An excellent resource, with explanations of why stuff should be avoided.
04-15-2010, 08:26 PM
You can get professional looking suits that don't scream Big Evil Megacorp Exec. :D What's a suit -- a jacket with matching trousers or skirt? Skirts can be versatile. A knee-length skirt looks practical, something longer would look boho. What goes under the jacket, a blouse or a button-down starched shirt? White or some other colour? Jewelry can go a long way in changing your look as well -- chunky Marge Simpson beads or a thin chain with a pendant can both look good with a professional outfit.
04-15-2010, 08:54 PM
My fiance is in advertising, so I have a general idea of how creative-ish people dress to interview.
He interviews in a button down shirt, tie, and nice pants.
I would wear one "fun" print item and pair it with something dressy. Maybe simple pants (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5382&vid=1&pid=552005&scid=552005042) with a fun top (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5441&vid=1&pid=752984&scid=752984002) or the other way around, with a conservative top (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5438&vid=1&pid=730407&scid=730407012) and a less formal skirt (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=55402&vid=1&pid=730588&scid=730588002). The items I picked probably don't go together well but I think they show where I'm going.
Don't be afraid of blazers! There are some fairly casual ones (http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=5382&vid=1&pid=599792&scid=599792002) out there that don't make you look like you're going to a funeral.
If you're going the skirt route, it should be about knee length. Definitely not much shorter, use your judgement in longer styles.
If in doubt, dress more formal.
Make sure you can walk in your shoes (I fell down at an interview once!). I'd try to stay away from tall heels on strappy sandals, because that seems stripper-ish to me.
This is pure personal opinion, but don't wear a black suit. A friend of mine works in HR and she mentioned that college kids are especially notorious for interviewing in black suits and color really helps people stand out. I borrowed a camel colored suit from her for an interview where there were 50 people, and I was one of 4 not in black. No idea if that helped me get the spot or not, though!
If nothing else, wear something you're comfortable in. If you're worrying about how you look, it will distract you from the most important part--the actual interview.
04-15-2010, 11:11 PM
To add: Wear something that fits!
Nothing says "unprofessional" like clothing that is either too tight or too loose.
04-16-2010, 06:59 AM
The fit should be good. When the time comes for real interviews, I'd get an outfit then get a sewing-skilled friend to help you alter it to fit you perfectly. (Have the skilled friend help you pick it out, so she knows she can make the alterations.)
Semi-fitted (skims over the body) is better than fitted (sits on the body), and either is better than form-fitted (clings to the body, eg clingy knits). Relaxed or loose fits (swings away from the body) can work well, but it depends on the garment and the job.
Semi-fitted tends to look the most 'business professional', in the conservative 'banker/manager' sense. Fitted can also work, but tends to be fussier to wear and to get *right*.
Form-fitting garments are more appropriate for casual, sports or evening wear.
Relaxed fits suit some bodies a lot better than semi-fitted, and if yours is one of them then go ahead and wear a relaxed fit.
Relaxed fits also subtly say 'artist', so consider wearing mostly semi-fitted, with one relaxed fit element.
Loose fits are often too casual for a business environment, though some arty jobs will support both form-fitting and loose fit attire with no trouble.
04-16-2010, 03:53 PM
Thank you SO much everyone, this helps a lot!
The fit should be good.
Yes, that's one of my concerns. I'm very petite so I think going for a skirt might be better, since I probably wouldn't have time to get pants hemmed. (I did find dress pants in the back of my closet... buuut they need a good 6 inches chopped off, haha.)
04-17-2010, 09:27 AM
Oh, I'm quite petite too.
What position are you interviewing for? I've always worn a white button down fitted shirt with dark blue jeans and a fitted black suit jacket. It's formal enough for my position (Hotels) yet still casual without seeming stuffy. If I'm interviewing at a high-end hotel, it's black slacks.
Call me old fashioned, but make sure you wear skin-toned stockings if you're going to wear a skirt. Nothing says "I don't care" like white socks with nice shoes.
04-18-2010, 05:05 PM
What goes under the jacket, a blouse or a button-down starched shirt?
If it's a more casual sort of place (and you're female), you can go with a t-shirt (of a nice fabric, solid color) in place of a button-down, with a suit. If you can find out the dress code of the place, for an interview you want to go with that and take it up a notch or two. If you are interviewing for a casual sort of place, and you show up in a three-piece suit, they might think you are too buttoned-up and it can work against you just as wearing jeans and a t-shirt to interview at an investment bank can kill your chances.
04-20-2010, 01:19 PM
With a few exceptions, I have found it is always better to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed. And the dress code of the establishment is not always what you want to show up in. I work in a bar where we wear jeans or shorts with a t-shirt, but my managers would not be impressed with someone showing up for a job interview in such attire. This being Key West, most people show up dressed casually but nicely.
I went overboard when I applied and interviewed, dressing in dress slacks, white oxford shirt, and tie. I also came with a resume and references.
I was hired the same day. :cool:
While I have no specific advice for women, seeing as I am not one, I think that business casual is always a good fall-back. For a guy, this would be slacks and a dress shirt, but not necessarily a tie.
After all, it's far better for a potential employer to be impressed with your attire rather than dismayed by it.
04-20-2010, 03:53 PM
All of my interviews have been in a white shirt, black pants, black socks and usually black lace-up school shoes or black flats of some description. All have usually worked.
I'd probably say one of the following:
Either pair up a white shirt, white shirt with woollen jumper/vest (you can sometimes buy these together as a "twofer") or even a plain white top with the following:
black business slacks, black pencil skirt or black a-line business skirt depending on what you feel comfortable in.
If you're wearing a skirt, either black or skin-toned stockings.
If you're wearing pants, either black or white socks or black trouser socks if you're wearing black flats (they're a hybrid between stockings and socks and are great for the warmer months). Some places tend to mistake skin-toned stockings with pants as bare feet.
If you're going to go with the jumper/vest over shirt combo, then try and make it a different colour. Obviously not bright pink, but a bright turquoise/teal goes great with black and white.
Carry a small bag in along with your resume/CV.
In terms of hair, keep it simple. Ponytail, braid or headband usually work best.
Makeup-ditto. Also keep it simple and fresh.
Try and use an invisible deodorant prior to wearing your shirt so you don't get any marks on your shirt.
With all the clothing advice, I will offer hair and makeup advice. It's very simple.
Spend a few extra minutes styling your hair straight or slightly wavy. Add a little shine.
Makeup should be natural and clean looking. Keep a light look to your base, neutral shadows like browns for your eyelids, a tad of brown eyeliner, and some nude lipstick or stain that matches or is within a few shades of your lip color. You want to look fresh, clean, and awake. You don't have to be fully made up just to look awake and fresh :)
04-21-2010, 04:48 AM
Along with the make-up tips: Don't overdo the scent.
Just a hint of something light. Less is more.
04-21-2010, 02:54 PM
Actually don't wear scent at all unless you know that they aren't a scent-free workplace. AND that the interviewer doesn't have any allergies or sensitivities.
vBulletin® v3.8.4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.