While many folks tend to suspend searching for a new job during the holiday season, this is actually the perfect time to keep up the job hunt! In hopes of helping those of you who are out there in the trenches, I am so pleased to share this guest post by professional recruiter, wardrobe stylist, and fashion consultant Natasha Thomas of Archetype Style.
Job Interviews: What should you wear?
The short answer is a suit…but I’m going to elaborate on that for you a little further down, so keep reading!
Before I tell you what to wear I’ll tell you why I’m qualified to tell you. I am a 12 year veteran of the staffing industry. I’ve recruited and interviewed thousands of people for all sorts of positions. In addition to being a Recruiter I’m also a wardrobe stylist for both everyday wear and my true love which is editorial styling. You can check out some of my work here: www.archetypestyle.com.
As you can imagine in 12 years I’ve interviewed impeccably dressed people, and some who definitely appeared to have forgotten they were going to an interview. Like the lady who showed up wearing a mini skirt and red pumps. The shoes were definitely cute, but my first assessment of her was that she lacked proper judgment. Her chosen interview attire was a definite no-no. As an insider I can tell you that the way you present yourself makes a long-lasting impression and your wardrobe has a lot to do with it.
The best way to ensure a good first impression is to dress as smartly and professionally as possible. You can’t beat a dark-colored, conservative suit. If you’re interviewing for a job where the dress code is more casual – like at Google (then lucky you). A nice dress or blouse and slacks or skirt are usually appropriate. You should avoid wearing excessive jewelry, perfume, and flamboyant clothes. Remember its job interview and not a fashion show. This is your chance to showcase your experience and abilities, not your color blocking skills.
You also have to remember that your clothes aren’t the only thing the interviewer will notice about you. Good personal hygiene is important. I’ll spell it out: Please take a shower and please wear deodorant. This sounds funny right? You’re thinking why would she need to tell me that? Well I’m saying it because I’ve met with people who clearly couldn’t find the soap or a toothbrush and didn’t have time to run out and buy any before they met with me. Not good.
Lastly, if you’re a smoker avoid doing so before the interview. The smell of smoke can linger on your clothes and be off-putting to the person interviewing you. This happened to me just last week. My interviewee was dressed nicely and she was very pleasant but I couldn’t get over the cigarette smell. You do want to leave a lasting impression, but it shouldn’t be about the way you smelled.
So now that I’ve given you the good, the bad, and the ugly; you need to go shopping for the perfect interview outfit. The following stores and online retailers have stylish pieces at prices that will work for every budget:
…And don’t forget about your local thrift stores and charity organizations. They can often yield wonderful finds at amazing prices. Check out TheThriftShopper.com it’s a great online resource that allows you to search for thrift stores in your area.
Here are a few examples of great interview looks:
You absolutely cannot go wrong with an outfit like this. It’s stylish, yet conservative and classy all at the same time.
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