This is a question that every woman has asked herself as she stands in front of the mirror while getting ready for a job interview: What should I wear? The reality is that women will be judged on their appearance the moment they walk into the interview room, expected to be presentable and make a positive first impression.
Successfully doing this means mastering the careful balancing act of looking elegant and professional, but not too overdone. Of course, men face this same pressure when it comes to job interviews and their wardrobe choices. The difference is that women have so many more options to choose from!
This article will introduce you to three versatile and professional outfits that are sure to help you put your best look forward, impress your interviewers, and land you that dream job.
How to wear a suit to an interview
For a business or more professional interview, you are going to want to take things up a notch. Many women opt for a women’s suit, featuring a blazer, tailored pants, and a simple dress shirt or blouse underneath. Choose deep colors for the suit, such as navy blue, black, or dark gray. Paler colors can also look fantastic, but for a first time interview, play it safe with a neutral color and perhaps a brighter color underneath. If you’d like to express your femininity, suit blazers can also be paired with a pencil skirt of a matching color, for a stunning and professional look.
Don’t forget your jewelry, shoes, and hair
These three aspects of your overall outfit are not to be overlooked. Jewelry, hairstyle, and choice of shoes can make or break even the most professional looking outfit. For example, you would never wear bright pink pumps to a job interview, or multi-colored stilettos.
With a suit, it’s best to keep everything else prim and proper. The suit is already a step up from casual, and therefore you should keep earrings and other jewelry simple. A set of small dangling earrings (make sure they aren’t too long or flashy), and a simple necklace or bracelet. A statement necklace can also work with a blouse and blazer, and add just the personality you need to pull together the entire look. For hair, down and lightly curled is a great option, or up in a neat knot or bun will add to your professional demeanor. For shoes, don’t be afraid to wear heels (although make sure you’ve broken them in a bit first!) A pair of simple, neutral-toned flats or dress shoes will also help bring this look together.
How to wear a skirt to an interview
A skirt such as a knee-length pencil skirt is a favorite among professional women. It looks fantastic with a blouse or a V-neck sweater, allowing you to appear chic and elegant, as well as professional. Again, neutral tones are the best choice for a first interview but don’t be afraid to use jewelry to give yourself more expression and character. Simple, not overly flashy jewelry is your best bet, such as a chain necklace with a simple stone, or a pair of small earrings. For shoes, opt again for a neutral pair of flats, kitten heels, or court shoes.
It’s always important to keep your hair neat. Even if you don’t style it, make sure you’ve combed it thoroughly before the interview and perhaps put in a bit of defrizzer spray to tame any fly-aways. You can also try a ponytail, bun, or knot if you prefer to have your hair out of your face. There aren’t many rules for hair, as long as it doesn’t look like you just rolled out of bed.
How to wear pants to an interview
If you are applying for a more casual job, wearing a simple pair of pants paired with a blouse or sweater should do the trick. It’s an outfit that will impress, but is also comfortable and shows you are laid back and ready to do the job. A very common style for business casual is trousers, a simple top, and a casual blazer over top.
The same rules apply to jewelry, shoes, and hair. Something that will match the simplicity of your top and pants is essential, such as a statement necklace, dangling earrings, hair that is neatly styled straight or curled, and a pair of flats or black dress shoes. Don’t be afraid to add more character to your outfit; however still try to remain as professional looking as possible. It shows that no matter what kind of job you’re applying for, you are going to approach it as someone who is presentable and professional.