Throughout women’s history, the classic pencil skirt and blazer set was the universally accepted business attire. But, with the rise in job opportunities for women, we have shifted away from this uniform look. As the list of available careers for women is changing, our work attire is changing too. Because of this, what you wear for a job interview plays a huge role in the impression you could make as a candidate. It could be decided in a matter of seconds whether you are a good fit for the position simply from what you are wearing. But with the wide variety of career opportunities available today, it can be difficult to know exactly how to properly dress when preparing for a job interview. With that in mind, here are a few tips on how to dress for an interview according to the job you desire:
When applying for a job in the finance industry or other related business fields, you should aim to dress more conservatively. Your work attire should consist of a nice blouse tucked into a pant suit or work-appropriate skirt. For shoes, wear closed toe black or brown flats or a low heel. In a finance setting, the colors that you choose to wear on your interview can say a lot about your personality. Typically, it is suggested by interviewers that applicants wear darker colors. According to Business Insider, the best colors to wear for an interview are black, blue, gray, brown, and red. Each color can portray specific personality characteristics as a candidate. For example, black symbolizes leadership while brown can represent dependability. However, many believe that the best color to wear during an interview is a hint of red as it conveys passion and power, which are both great qualities to express when applying for a job in finance.
In contrast to the finance industry, creative agencies prefer a more lax and casual work attire. When interviewing for a creative company, you should wear a pair of dark wash jeans or colored pant with a fun blouse and loose-fitting blazer. Stay away from corporate and formal business looking suits that do not showcase your personality. Showing up in a full suit while the rest of the employees are wearing button-up shirts and jeans sends the message that you might not be the right click to blend in with the team. Remember that you should be representing the personality of the company you are interviewing for. If the company is chic and cool or quirky and eclectic, make sure to portray that with your outfit. Creative brands are all about what is current, new, and on trend, so your interviewers expect your attire to reflect that philosophy. Jessica way, director of human resources at Derek Lam, commented, “Your outfit tells me two critical things right off the bat: how well you understand our brand and how important the interview is to you. In the end, it is all about dressing for the position you want and sending the message that you are the right fit for the company”. From your attire, your interviewer should be able to see your creativity but more importantly see that you fully understand their company.
Now, for the fashion industry, my personal favorite! When applying to work within the fashion industry, there is more room for self-expression and the ability to add elements of your own personal style to your outfit. However, while you are able to express your personal style, it is crucial to remember the brand image of the particular company you are interviewing for, especially in the fashion industry. For example, if you are applying to work in Burberry, you should have a more polished look with hair up, clean nails, minimal makeup and a suit. Or if you are applying to a local boutique, wear clothes either from that store or similar clothes that match the company’s branding. When talking about applicants, Lela Rose mentioned, “As a designer, I do appreciate if an interviewee has studied the collection and the overall feel. I don’t feel like an interviewee needs to dress like the collection but tailoring their look so that I feel like they understand the aesthetic is important.” In an industry centered on clothing, understanding a brand’s image and aesthetic is crucial to standing out in the crowd of applicants.
Regardless of the industry or career that you are applying for, it is all about dressing for the position and sending the message that you are the right fit for the job. Your interviewer should be able to visualize you as a part of their company and believe that you will represent their brand well. In addition, you should be comfortable and confident in the clothes you wear because a lack of confidence is the first thing interviewers will notice. Prior to your interview, take the time to do due diligence on the company that you are meeting. Be sure to choose the outfit that encapsulates the brand but also allows you to still feel like yourself. Overall, best of luck to you and your future endeavors!