How to dress for an interview

You passed the phone interview and now they want to meet you in person. You are excited about this summer job or internship- but then you suddenly don’t even know what to wear. I still remember rummaging through my college closet not knowing what to wear for an interview. Do people dress up in suits? Can I wear flats? I didn’t know where to start.

For your upcoming interview, be sure to dress like a professional.

For your upcoming interview, be sure to dress like a professional.

This interview is your opportunity to shine. Wearing the wrong clothes to your interview can ruin your chances of getting hired. A well thought out and put together outfit shows that you are serious about the job.

Here are some tips to make a good impression:

1.  Find out about the corporate culture

Find out about the company you applied to. Is it a business casual setting? Is your internship in a corporate setting? Usually for positions in the creative field such as in public relations, casual clothes with punches of color are acceptable. The expression of personality and creativity is valued. For positions in the conservative field such as finance and law, formal business attire is required. You can’t go wrong in a suit.

2.  Don’t overdo it

I’m sure you have noticed that girl who wears pink eye shadow and fake nails in class all the time. Likewise, don’t have the interviewer remember you for a fashion faux pas. At my internship, I remember a candidate who came in with fake, color-framed glasses. It was a bit unusual since they did not have lenses and the position was in a corporate setting. She was definitely the subject of some office conversation.

3.  Stick to classic pieces

Unless the job is in the field of fashion, it is better to wear classic silhouettes – an A-line dress, knee length skirts, blouses, slacks or suits are all good options. Plus, you can mix and match the pieces together. Add a touch of personality with color or print but keep it in moderation. Avoid trendy clothing such as leggings, rompers, bleached jeans, peplum tops, too tight pants, and so on.

4.  Feel comfortable in your interview

The worst feeling is not feeling like yourself. Do those pretty heels make you wobble? Are your clothes just too tight and you aren’t sure if you can breathe? My friend recently was in a debate whether to wear heels or flats to a law firm interview. She went with the flats because she felt much more comfortable. Hey- she got the job! Don’t go for pieces that make you feel out of place. That feeling will come through during the interview. The goal is to present a confident you.

5.  Check your nails

What do you look at when you shake someone’s hands? Usually the nails are something people notice. Make sure your nails are clean and trimmed. If you paint your nails, make sure you have a fresh coat on. Avoid bold colors and stick to neutrals.

6.  No book bag

Men or women can bring a portfolio case, folder, or briefcase to house your resume (bring extra!). Ladies leave your bright colored purses at home and opt in for a professional looking one.

7.  Smile!

You may have all the right clothes on but it is about your attitude as well. Smile and make a positive impression.

Once you have decided what you are going to wear, don’t forget to take a look at our successful interview tips – http://www.cengagebrain.com/blog/2013/11/how-to-land-a-job-successful-interview-tips-for-college-students/

Do you have any interview tips to share?  What’s your style advice?

Posted in CB Blog, College life, College success tips, Internships, Student jobs, Summer jobs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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