How to Dress for Your Job Interview

So You Got the Interview… Now What Will You Wear?

Congratulations—you’re on your way! After countless hours of tweaking your LinkedIn profile, writing cover letters, and submitting a never ending stream of job applications, you finally managed to land an interview. The next step is preparing for the big day. Not only do you need to study the company website and come up with a list of questions to impress the interviewer, but you also need to figure out what to wear. Don’t panic. We’re here to help.

A college professor once informed my female classmates and I to “Always wear classic, simple pieces to an interview. You don’t want to distract the interviewer by wearing something inappropriate.” She suggested wearing a combination of black and white and always making sure to wear the appropriate length when opting for a skirt or a dress. “When in doubt, wear pants,” she said. As for jewelry, she suggested pearls. While I agree with my former professor, for the most part, I also believe in incorporating a “personality piece” into one’s outfit. After all, if you walk in wearing the same black pant suit as the interviewee before you, how will you be remembered? (That’s my inner fashionista talking).

The truth is, wearing a classic black pant suit to an interview is a perfectly acceptable and safe option. It is how you style the pant suit that will set you apart. When planning your outfit for the big day, start with the foundation: Choose pants, a skirt or a dress. I agree with my former professor in choosing classic black and white, or at least staying within the neutral family (grey, navy, etc.) Next comes the fun part! It’s time to choose your “personality piece.” This can be in the form of a pop of color, a piece of statement jewelry or an interesting pattern.

A Pop of Color

If your foundation pieces are black or another neutral, i.e. dress pants or skirt with matching blazer, try opting for a colorful top underneath instead of the standard white or black. Keep your jewelry simple, such as a pair of gold studs and a nice watch. Pair this look with a neutral handbag.

pop of color

Top: UNIQLO.com

Another way to add a pop of color is through a statement handbag.

colortote

Bag: Michael Kors Citrus Leather Hamilton Large East West Tote, Zulilly

Statement Jewelry

Adding an interesting piece of jewelry to your look can serve as a conversation starter. It’s also a great way to show a hint of your personal style.

katenecklace

Necklace: Kate Spade, Amazon

Statement jewelry is not limited to just necklaces. A uniquely shaped ring is a subtle way to add a touch of personality:

ring

Ring: Stella & Dot

Patterns

Don’t be afraid to mix in a patterned item with your neutral ensemble! Try a striped chiffon blouse for a classic yet modern look:

stripes

Blouse: SheInside

Are you more of a polka dot girl? Layer a polka dot tank underneath a chic blazer or cardigan.

polkadot

Blouse: SheInside

You’ve studied the facts on the company you’ll be interviewing with, and now you’re on your way to looking the part. Dressing well, while still being yourself, will help your confidence beyond belief. You might even receive a compliment or two on your “personality piece.” Now go rock that interview, girl!

Photo By: Photography: Angie Candell / Wardrobe: Tidal Cool / MUA: Brazil Raine / Hair Stylist: Stephanie Gardner of DeStefino Southside
  • I have purple hair… so that alone makes me stand out a ton. So I try to keep it pretty neutral for the actual interviews. I’d wear any of these outfits!

    • Lauren

      Angela- Props to you for pulling off purple hair! Good idea to keep your interview ensemble pretty neutral. I’m glad you like the outfits!