Last week I had the honor of being a mentor volunteer to students here in Houston. My role was to go through the do’s and don’ts of interview attire, and to help answer any questions they may have about professionalism in the workplace. Which obviously meant a lot me- as I want nothing more than to encourage and support all those trying to achieve their dreams.
So today I am walking you through a few of the suggestions we discussed for that initial interview process post-graduation. Let’s dive in…
To me, the most important part of dressing for an interview is to ensure your outfit does not distract from the value you bring to the company in front of you. So while you always want to be polished and professional, the enthusiasm and knowledge you bring with you that day should also be top of mind for a potential employer. Even in the fashion industry- you need to embody the brand you are speaking to, but also showcase your character and work ethic.
So with that, here are some bullet points to keep in mind:
Wear the blazer and/or cardigan initially. You can always remove them afterwards, but a strong first impression is key.
Try on your outfit the night before. You want less stress and to-do’s the day of.
Make sure your outfit isn’t too tight. You want to be able to sit down and stand up without having to fix anything.
If possible, and I know this is tough, keep your hair out of your face. It can be extremely distracting when someone is playing with their hair. This way it’s one less thing for you to worry about.
Keep accessories simple. You want to show your personality but not over do it.
Hide all tattoo’s and take out any additional piercings. Not because you are hiding anything- but because you don’t want the company to focus on it. You can always ask them about their dress code policy and how that works within it later on.
Stay minimal on the nail polish and perfume. Neutral tones and one spray is all you need.
If you have a long commute- do not wear an oxford button down. You will be completely wrinkled by the time you arrive. Look for a slinkier fabric that you won’t have to worry about.
Dress ON BRAND. Research the company’s website and social media. If it’s a much more casual environment, grab a pair of your rinse wash jeans. Just be sure you look professional versus date night casual.
Be COMFORTABLE. Whether that is in black pants, denim, a pencil skirt, or dress. You will be more relaxed and have more confidence if you feel good in what you are wearing.
Be YOU. No one is saying you have to wear neutrals at all times or that you can’t incorporate some fun color or pattern within your look. It’s all about balance. PS: If you are concerned about getting creative with some color- resort to all black.
Be PREPARED. No matter what you look like- knowing the company you are interviewing for, your strengths, your weaknesses, and why you would ROCK that available position is the most important aspect of all. Show them the VALUE you will add to their team.
Below are some of my favorite pieces that are all under $100, along with some inspirational wear-to-work styling. If you ever any questions please feel free to email me anytime. Best of luck- YOU WILL BE AMAZING…
Zara Inverted Lapel Blazer $49.90
J.Crew Tippi Sweater $79.50
Banana Republic Charmeuse Drape-Back Top $60
Banana Republic Blue Floral Flutter Sleeve Top $78
Photography: Banana Republic, Memorandom, and Ann Taylor.