Whether we like to admit it or not, first impressions are important and a big part of that first impression is your appearance. No, this does not mean that you have to look like one of those girls gracing the cover of supermarket magazines. When it comes to interview appearances it’s important that you look neat and well groomed from personal hygiene to the clothing you’re wearing.
That probably poses another question-what is the perfect interview outfit? Answering that is a bit tricky. Here are some tips on how to put together the perfect interview outfit.
How to Put Together the Perfect Interview Outfit Tips
According to Suzanne Lucas with CBS Money Watch, a good rule of thumb is to always dress one step above the company’s employees (2011). Lauren Solomon, a New York corporate image adviser, reiterates the point saying that, “You really need to know what the company stands for, what the company’s dress policy is and how the current employees are presenting themselves,” (Bourne, 2009). The reason for this is because you want to appear to fit in with the company’s culture. For example, if you’re interviewing to be the administrative assistant at a small startup where everyone (including the CEO and founder) wears jeans and you show up in an Armani suit the person interviewing you may feel you don’t fit the “startup vibe”. To get an idea of the company culture and how its employees dress, try checking out the company’s website or social media pages or going “old school” and checking out their place of business ahead of time.
When it comes to putting together the prefect interview outfit, here are some other tips to keep in mind:
- Avoid showing too much skin (ex. short skirts, low cut tops, sleeveless tops).
- Opt for closed toed shoes.
- It’s best to err on the side of conservatism when it comes to colors, designs, patterns, etc. – this applies to clothing, shoes, accessories, and makeup. However, there’s no need to look like you’re going to a funeral.
- Make sure your clothing fits properly.
You may think that putting together the perfect interview outfit is both difficult and expensive. Being confronted with the fact that there is a very real possibility you’re going to have to interview multiple times may have you feeling queasy. However, putting together the perfect interview outfit doesn’t have to be complicated or costly.
Shop at low-priced retailers to find chic basics that can easily be mixed and matched like black slacks, neutral blazers, button up shirts, solid dresses, etc. Then pick a few expensive signature pieces. These signature pieces will be the focal point of the interview outfit and will make the ensemble feel like new.
Stores like Kohl’s have sections designated as “career shops“ where the work of picking out that perfect interview outfit is practically done for you. Their work wardrobe solutions show you how to put a stylish look together without breaking the bank. You’ll find a generous selection of blouses, pencil skirts, shell tanks, blazers, dress pants, sheath dresses, cardigans, and suits.
If your hunt for the perfect interview outfit is on an extremely tight budget, you might even check out some thrift stores or consignment shops. These places can be a treasure trove of name brand items at low prices. Just be sure to look each piece over closely for defects (ex. loose threads, holes, or stains).
Don’t forget, you can also peruse Pinterest for inspiration on putting together your perfect Interview outfit.