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!
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?