A Millennial’s Guide to Interview Style

In college, most girls have outfits for two occasions: going to class and going out. One consists of yoga pants and hoodies, while the other consists of too-tight jeans and flashy tops. Lots of girls graduated from college never having had to attend a job fair or business meeting or an internship. When I landed my first interview for my first big girl job, my excitement soon turned into anxiety when I realized I didn’t know how young women dressed for professional interviews. I’ve seen so many young women walk into interviews wearing skirts that they used to wear to the bars in college.

After some thorough Google searches, I feel like I gained a solid grasp on how to interview in professional style. But, I’ve still seen so many young women walk into interviews wearing skirts that they used to wear to the bars in college. Though I’m a firm believer in embracing whatever personal style makes you feel beautiful. However, when it comes to interviewing, the truth is that perception is reality. If you look confident, you are confident. If you look unprepared, you are unprepared.

Consider your employer’s perspective: the only thing they have to understand you is what you put in front of them on that day. That’s why it’s so important to look great for your interview, while still feeling confident in your own skin. Today’s post is all about some interview style tricks that I’ve learned over the years. I hope they can be useful to you, too!

interview style for millennials

Invest in Staple Pieces

My staple pieces include a blazer, a pair of well-fitting dress pants, and a versatile pair of ballet flats. Adding these sorts of items to your closet will step up your professional wardrobe and give you an overall more polished look.

Consider the Workplace Environment

Some workplaces might demand a traditional pantsuit, while others might allow more creative liberty. Research the company beforehand – maybe even do a drive-by – and notice the aesthetic of the environment and its employees. If you see suits and ties, you’ll probably want to wear your blazer. If you see a sea of color and trends, you could probably get away with wearing something bolder. Following the company’s social media profiles can also give you an inside look into the workplace. This will help you get an idea of how much personality you will be able to throw into your interview day look.

Show Your Personality

No matter what the workplace environment looks like, try to show a little bit of personality in your interview style. This will not only help you feel more confident, but it will help you stand out in a sea of interviewees. Stylewise, I like to show my personality through my accessories. I always throw on a few of my Alex & Ani bracelets because the symbols show a glimpse of my character (they’re also great conversation pieces when a person on the interview team is wearing them, too!). Most importantly, don’t be afraid to show your personality while you’re speaking. For instance, I have a light-hearted personality, so I naturally end up throwing small jokes into some of my answers. Showing your personality will help you stand out from the crowd of other hopefuls, and it will make you appear more genuine.

Grooming & Personal Care

It’s important to consider some of the smaller details on your interview day. Rid yourself of any chipped nail polish or unruly talons. Check your teeth and nose before exiting your car. Most importantly, eat something an hour or two before you leave for your appointment; the last thing you want is for your stomach to be rumbling throughout your interview. These small details can help you look and feel more put-together and prepared.

Have a Go-To Look

Is this top too much? Are my pants too tight? Is my shirt still tucked in? You shouldn’t be distracted by silly thoughts like these during an interview. Help yourself feel secure each time you’re called for an appointment by having a go-to outfit that you can trust. Try it on in advance and be sure to put it through the test. You should sit, stand, walk, shake an invisible hand… all the things you might do in a meeting with a future employer. Finding a go-to outfit should make you feel confident in yourself and allow you to focus on landing the job.

What’s your interview style? Do you have professional wardrobe staples?

  • Shane

    Your outfit matters so much when it comes to portraying confidence in an interview. Such great advice!

    • Emily

      Abolutely! Thanks for stopping by!

  • Girl these tips are gold! I’m only 25 but I’ve already sat on both sides of the interview table… when people came in with ripped and stained clothes it made me wonder if they didn’t care enough about the interview to put on something more presentable. I love your tips to show your personality and think about the place you are interviewing for. As a teacher, we don’t wear suits, so it is kinda funny to see someone come in for an interview dressed to the nines. A button down and tie is plenty!

    • Emily

      I’m a teacher, and I always wear my blazer to job interviews! Why not, right? I like to think it shows that I’m committed! It’s nice to hear your perspective, though. Definitely going to keep that in mind for my next teaching interview!

  • I’m a little past this now as I’m in my early 30’s but I sure would have loved this advice as soon as I got out of college – I was a hot mess then. 🙂 Thanks and hope lots of young women find it helpful.

    • Emily

      I’m glad you see this as helpful advice! Thanks for stopping by!

  • As a millennial, I’m loving this post! Bookmarking! 🙂

    • Emily

      Glad you like it!

  • Love these tips! Picking an appropriate outfit that sends the right message really can be the most stressful part sometimes!

    xx emily

    • Emily

      I agree! I’m glad you liked the tips!

  • Great tips! It’s always better to be a little overdressed in interviews than underdressed, for sure!

    • Emily

      I totally agree with you! It sends a strong message.

  • These are some great tips! I guess I never thought about not knowing what to wear in interviews after college. It is pretty tough, so this post will help out a lot of interviews for sure 🙂

    • Emily

      Thanks, Crystal!

  • love this! this is such an important thing, especially in today’s society. there are so many different types of work environments out there these days and you really need to dress for the part!

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

    XO Sahra
    Que Sera Sahra

    • Emily


  • It’s so important to dress appropriately for the job, and to look your best! It might seem shallow, but appearance DOES matter!

    • Emily

      It’s true! Thanks for stopping by, Chloe!

  • Lauren

    I’m not a millennial but this advice really does work for most others as well 🙂

    • Emily

      I’m glad it works across generations!

  • This is so important! Thank you for sharing your helpful tips and tricks.

    xoxo, Jenny

    • Emily

      Thanks, Jenny!

  • I’m in the process of interviewing so these topics are appreciated!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

    • Emily

      Good luck, Greta!

  • You only get one chance to make a first impression and your choice of clothing definitely matters. Great info for millennials!

    • Emily

      Thanks, Antonet! I totally agree with you.

  • These are helpful tips.
    Must remember this for future reference. 🙂

    • Emily

      Thank you!

  • I’m definitely going to set aside a go-to interview outfit. I always wear some form of color or pattern to an interview because that’s who I am! I wouldn’t want to work for a company who didn’t hire me because I wore pink instead of black. (Total Elle Woods Move!)


    • Emily

      I do the same thing! I usually wear a bold top under my black blazer. Plus, it helps you stand out from the crowd.

  • I’m HUGE on showcasing a piece of your personality through your interview style. For me, that usually translated to a bright blazer or bold piece of jewelry somewhere. Gotta be yourself through it all!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Emily

      I love those ideas! I’m all about bold jewelry.

  • I’m always amazed by the things that some people will wear to an interview. Interviews are totally different than a typical workday or even a client meeting. Whether you like it or not, you’re being judged from the moment you walk in the door so making sure you look appropriate is so important.

    • Emily

      I agree, Alex! Thanks for your input!