We get it. Nearly everything about a job interview is nerve-wracking: preparing for the barrage of questions that require thoughtful, poignant responses, getting thrown into a brand-new environment where you must show off your best self, and making sure you do everything right to land the job of your dreams. Interviews come with a lot of pressure. But there are things you can do to minimize some of the stress. For example, you can put together a great outfit that makes you feel like a boss every time.
You don’t want to step into a job interview without looking polished, professional and, well, like someone a new company would want to hire. So, just how do you pull that off? In this post, we have an outline of some outfit staples you can consider wearing at your upcoming job interview.
Think about it: when you are dressed in an outfit that you absolutely love, the likelihood that you will feel more relaxed and confident is much higher than if you were wearing something uncomfortable or that you just didn’t care about as much. Find your favorite office-appropriate dress and wear it to your next interview. And if you don’t have a favorite women's dress that would be fitting for a job interview, get out there and find it! If you’re unsure of where to start looking, you can never go wrong with a ponte short-sleeve dress in black (or another neutral color like grey or navy). If you want something with more color and design, go for a short-sleeve knit sheath dress in bright cherry or a long sleeve woven print ruffle collar shift dress with a black and ivory checkered design.
Pencil skirts are like the color black: they will always be fashionable. If a dress really isn’t your style, maybe a pencil skirt and blouse pairing is. You could stick to the classic black pencil skirt and white blouse, or you could switch things up a bit with a more colorful top. If your job interview is happening during the spring or summer months, consider a short-sleeve keyhole soft blouse in a traditional color (like soapstone) or something more colorful like sierra coral or capri seas. For shoes, finish off the job interview look with a low black pump.
The options for pants are endless. If you’re in a colder season like late fall or winter and you want to play it safe, go with a wool straight modern pant in charcoal gray or black. A black dress pant will go with anything, whether it’s a short-sleeve white blouse or a long-sleeve emerald green shirt. For color, consider going with a mid-rise chino wide leg pant in light green or mauve. If you want to include some patterns in your job interview look, try a high-rise slim straight ankle pant in an ivory and black houndstooth pattern and pair it with a solid-colored women’s cashmere cardigan.
A job interview isn’t the time for statement jewelry unless you’re vying for a position at a fashion company. A job interview is, however, an acceptable time to bring out tasteful pieces, like a gold or silver chain pendant necklace or studded pearl or diamond earrings. You could also dress your wrist in a timepiece—something that is both elegant and useful. A watch is a great way to finish off a clean, professional, polished look.
Will blazers ever go out of style? Probably not. They’re so dependable, so sharp, so versatile. You can wear it with a dress pant to complete a pantsuit outfit or with a pencil skirt. A blazer gives that added touch of seriousness and sophisticated professionalism. For something elegant and refined, finish off your job interview outfit with a hopsack blazer in black or deep navy. Another option is a one or two-button wool blazer in light charcoal heather or black. If you want something slightly unconventional, but something you’d want to wear on a cold winter day, try a women’s peacoat in gray or black.
Although your job interview will likely take place at a desk or table where your shoes won’t be visible, they will be seen when you make your entrance. The shoes you wear are an integral part of your outfit. Find something that you feel comfortable and confident walking in. As we stated above, a low black pump is always a good idea. It goes with everything: dresses, skirts, and pants. A second option is a flat like a loafer, mule, or ballet flat.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to find a shoe you feel great in; because then you’ll feel great in your interview.