Dress to Impress for the Interview

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As the end of the semester quickly approaches, we have more on our minds than sleeping in and sitting poolside. Students all over the country are in the midst of their job and internship search, sending in dozens of applications and hoping to score some great interviews.

What your career advisers say is true: Getting the interview is the hardest part. You’ve stood out to the employer and just need to convince them you’re the best candidate. This realization brings with it plenty of unwelcome emotions:excitement, happiness, anxiety, nerves… How are you going to answer their questions? What if you forget something important? Or call the interviewer by the wrong name?

And more importantly… What will you wear?

An interview gives you the opportunity to show just how much you want to be hired. Your personality, charm and people skills take the spotlight, but your personal presence will also be taken into account. Dressing your very best and taking a few extra minutes to style your hair will not only improve your image, but you’ll feel a major confidence boost. Look good, feel good.

As a journalism and fine arts major, my interview attire depends almost entirely on the company. I’m generally not restricted to a “formal” ensemble like my friends who are in business and communications. They can’t take too many liberties when it comes to fashion; a dark suit, classic shirt, and simple pumps or flats is their main option. Don’t get me wrong – that’s an endlessly chic look, and if you really aren’t sure what to wear to any interview, this “business formal” uniform is the way to go. But if you want to mix it up, forgo your basic white and choose a pale pastel shirt instead, or try a small, neutral print. Similarly, a few strong accessories will ensure you stand out from other applicants. Menswear-style watchesandslim banglesare unique touches that don’t beg for attention. 

 {Business #1 – J.Crew jacket, J.Crew shirt, Joseph pants, J.Crew flats, Nixon watch / Business #2 – Rebecca Taylor blouse, J.Crew skirt, Eddie Borgo bracelet, J.Crew pumps}

For more creative jobs – i.e. journalism, PR, fashion, entertainment, arts, etc. – you can definitely have more fun with your interview ensemble. However, you still need to look your absolute best; your goal is to find a professional, yet memorable outfit. As a rule of thumb, I like to incorporate one print and/or pop of color, and I tend to preferclassic pieces rather than “trendy” ones. I love slim pants and fitted pencil skirts, but dresses seem to be the easiest pieces to build around. Pairing a simple black shift dress with fuschia heels and acitron necklace is quietly edgy, and a vintage-inspired tweed jacket pulls everything together.

Similarly, a flared cobalt dress is simple, bold, and perfect for layering. A patterned black jacket plays nicely with the strong blue color, and the nipped-in waist and fuller skirt create a flattering hourglass silhouette. A crystal necklace feels feminine and a bit retro, while simple black patent peep-toes complete the look. 

 

{Creative #1 – Topshop shift, Alyssa Norton necklace, Rebecca Taylor jacket, Aldo pumps, J.Crew bracelet / Creative #2 – Topshop dress, Milly jacket, J.Crew necklace, J.Crew pumps}

Sophomore > Journalism and Art History > Indiana University

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