So you landed an interview at your dream company, but now what on earth do you wear? How can you achieve a perfectly polished, professional appealing ensemble without looking like you just walked out of Law & Order?
We get it, dressing for an interview is stressful, and we're here to help. As if you don't have enough to worry about already, don't waste any more time out on picking out an outfit. It is VERY important to make sure you look your best on this fateful day, but with a few simple guidelines finding the perfect get up will be one less thing you have to worry about.
The secret to nailing your interview starts with your outfit. Remember first impressions count. If you look good, you will feel good and that makes a huge difference in a stressful situation.
Here's what you need to know to nail your interview style...
Keep your cleavage locked up and out of sight. No need for any distractions, ladies, this is the time to allow your personality and experience shine. Make sure your shirt is not transparent and your bra straps are tucked away. High school dress codes are in full effect here, so make sure you abide by the rules.
It is best not to pull a Britney on the day of your interview, so make sure your legs (and crotch) are appropriately covered. Ditch the miniskirts and invest in a pencil skirt for your new professional look. Midi skirts are also a great investment that are not only fashionable but completely suitable for work. Be conscious of your hemlines, whether you may opt for a dress or skirt. It's your best bet follow the finger tip rule and make sure your hemline reaches the longest point of your fingers when you hold your hands down by your side.
A great pair of trousers is essential in any woman's wardrobe so an interview is the best excuse to invest in a well-tailored pair. Go for a classic cigarette pant or a trouser in a lightweight suiting material. Team with heels and a colourful shirt to keep your look fresh but profesh.
Keep It Classy
Stick to simple colors and if you want to stand out just choose one brightly colored thing. This is not the time to make a fashion statement. You want to appear as if you're there to focus on your work, and you don't want your outfit to distract from your capabilities. Black is always your best bet, but don't be afraid of wearing other hues like navy, nude or gray as a base colour and livening things up with a bright heel or beaded necklace.
A Blazer Goes A Long Way
There is no simpler way to dress up and professionalize your look than adding a blazer. Available in virtually every color and pattern a blazer is a great way to achieve a sharp, chic look.
Want to take your look to the next level? Take some pointers from Olivia Pope and modernize your corporate attire with a monochromatic suit.
There's nothing sloppier than showing up to an interview in an outfit that is wrinkled. The night before your big interview set aside 20 minutes to iron your outfit. Another great trick is to hang your clothes in your bathroom while you shower to allow the steam to un-crease your clothes. Make sure you use a pressing cloth when ironing lightweight fabrics like silk and georgette to avoid a fashion catastrophe!
Fit it or Quit It
Why waste your money on clothes if you're not going to fit in them properly. No brand is made specifically for one body type, which is why it is EXTREMELY important to invest in properly tailored garments. Whether it is shortening a hem or taking in the waist, make sure your garments fit you to a T so you don't walk into your interview looking like you raided your mother's wardrobe.
It may sound obvious, but make sure you are groomed to perfection on the day of your interview. Nails done, showered, and hair flawlessly swept back, blown out and out of your face. You might as well not even show up if you are going to arrive with wet hair and unbearable body odor.. Also, keep your make-up natural and light- unless you are applying for a position as a drag queen.
Ditch The Ten Inch High Heels
Why would you add another thing on your list to worry about? The only thing worst than an awful interview is falling on your face as you walk out the door. Save the skyscraper heels for a special occasion and wear shoes you know you can walk in. Be aware of the dress code for the company you are interviewing for as many corporate organizations require closed-toe shoes with backs. Throwing on a pair of Saturday night heels will look like you are trying too hard and nothing is worse than being over-dressed as a first impression, except perhaps falling over...Take our point?
Dress For The Job
Analyzing and understanding the company is a crucial aspect when applying for any position. What many people do not realize is that the company's aesthetic and attributes also influence how you should dress. Interviewing for a job in Fashion PR? Then you might want to dress a little edgier than you would if you were applying for a job as a librarian. Understand the company's field, goals, and ambitions when picking out what to wear to make sure you'll appear as if you're the missing puzzle piece to their team.
No matter what the job may be that you are interviewing for, and whichever career category it may fall into, make sure you incorporate a little bit of your personality into your ensemble.
Add a unique accessory or tie your favourite printed scarf to your briefcase to stand out in a positive spotlight. Wear a piece of jewelry that has meaning to you to ease the conversation and break the ice with your interviewer. At the end of the day, you want to stand out and be remembered. Make them remember you for being a stylish, well put together woman, and let your words and experience do the rest.
Check Out These Celebrities For Some Office-Ready Outfit Inspiration:
What will you wear on your big interview day? Tweet us @sofeminineUK!
This piece was written by Lindsay Reed. Follow her @lindsayreednyc!