One question I get asked over and over is what to wear to a job interview for a corporate / professional setting. Since it is almost graduation season- and many young women are interviewing for their first professional / office job- now seemed like the perfect time to do a post with style tips for dressing for an interview.
Similar Blazer // Similar Dress // Heels // Handbag // Watch // Lipstick (shade is “Anita”)
What to Wear to a Professional Interview:
1. Suit Separates
This is pretty straight forward; for a professional interview wear a suit. Find a blazer that you love (these are my favorite affordable blazers) and then get and wear the matching skirt, dress, or pants (whichever you feel most comfortable in). An interview is not the time to be bold, fashion wise, so stick with black, navy or dark gray.
2. Functional Handbag
For an interview you want to be prepared for anything the day may bring at you. I always recommend having a second copy of your resume, a granola bar, gum, band-aids, safety pins (you never know!), a pair of flats if you are commuting or walking around a lot, and a bottle of water. To fit all of this stuff, you need a handbag that is actually functional – no cute little clutches! I highly recommend the York tote because it is spacious, has a laptop compartment with a zip top, (perfect to throw a resume in to keep it safe), and it is simple & classic in it’s look.
3. Comfortable Heels
I cannot emphasis enough the importance of comfortable heels. Not only will you be happy and more comfortable but it sends a message that you prioritize functionality such that your ‘style’ will not detract from the work your future employer needs you to do. As pretty as stilettos are, they don’t exude practicality and the ability to run around and get your job done. If you haven’t read my guide to the best heels for work be sure to check that out. Last thing- I recommend a pointed toe over a round toe as it gives off an older, more professional vibe.
4. A Watch
So many of us rely on our cell phones now (.. I am so guilty of that) but for an interview, it looks professional to have a watch on. Plus, if you’re phone dies while you’re on route to your interview (or interviews) you’re covered.
5. Simple Jewelry
Some people will even advise that you should wear no jewelry to an interview. I think that is an outdated recommendation, and that in today’s job market it is more than acceptable to wear some simple jewelry – just don’t go over board. I would recommend a simple pendant necklace or a bracelet.
Let me know if you have any questions! If you are interviewing for a job this season, good luck!!! I am sending you postive vibes through the interwebs 🙂
Shop My Outfit:
Agreed on all of this. I am wanting to upgrade my work wardrobe lately and I think suit separates are the way to go so you are always prepared for whatever setting or interview you might find yourself in. Do you feel that interviewees should cover visible tattoos? I have been wondering this lately, as a lot of times you don't know the tattoo policy of where you are interviewing, and it could be viewed in a negative light. Tattoos are more common, though, so maybe its less of an issue?
That is such a great question.. and a tough one to answer! I think the best answer is to think about your tattoos and what they mean to you and who you are. What I mean by that is if you are someone who feels very strongly that your tattoos are important, and a part of who you are, then I don't think you should cover them up. Yes, there may still be some stigma if it is a particularly corporate environment, but if they are that central to who you are, then I think it would be a mistake to hide them.
If however, they are more of a fun thing for you – then yes, I would say err on the side of caution and cover them up. For example, you may have noticed I have a small tattoo of an anchor on my wrist. When I was doing law firm interviews I wore a watch or a thick bracelet that covered it up. I knew that the firms were very 'old school' and professional and because the tattoo is just fun for me, I had no problem hiding it.
Hope that helps!
These are all great tips! I agree with you on jewelry – as long as the pieces are not distracting I have never seen this as an issue. =)
I hope you are having a great week so far!
Thank you so much! I'm so glad you liked them! And exactly – i think simple jewelry is definitely appropriate. Especially if, like me, jewelry is your security blanket! haha. I feel stressed out and naked if I dont have a ring, bracelet or necklace to fiddle with.
Thank you! Im currently home in bed sick (blargh) but at least I've got netflix and tea! Hope your week is going well!
These are really good tips (and I like your monochrome black outfit, it's very professional!). I have interviewed and been the interviewer and yet there's still a lot of uncertainty when you try find something to wear for such an important event!
Hope you are having a fantastic week 🙂
Away From The Blue Blog
Thank you so much! And yes I agree, it always seems stressful to sort out what to wear, so I hope people find this post helpful!