Do you have a big interview coming up? Stressed about what to wear? Confused about the difference between loafers and oxfords? We’ve got the style guide for you! We understand how stressful dressing for an interview can be, so we’ve done a style breakdown to help you “Dress for Success.”
Many interviews call for “business casual” attire. This style is seen as a comfortable alternative to a more formal outfit. However, we suggest you take a safer route and go with a more formal outfit for interviews. We want you to make the best first impression possible. After you score the job, you can add more casual outfits to your style.
Men have two main options for shoes: oxfords & lace-ups and slip-ons & loafers. We suggest keeping your shoes black or brown. Note: do not wear brown shoes with black pants or vice versa.
Go for a classic suit. Keep the coloring simple and make sure your jacket and slacks match. We suggest black, dark gray, navy or brown for your suit colors. Note: make sure your suit fits well in the shoulders and chest. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight! Take it to a tailor a few weeks before your interview to make any necessary changes.
Button up shirts are a must-have! This is where you can let a little personality shine through. Go for a solid-colored shirt in a lighter tone but remember white is always a classic choice.
Ties are another way to show your personality. We don’t suggest going too crazy but having a fun pattern or color is always a good way to express yourself!
If you feel comfortable wearing heels then go for it; if not, flats are always the best way to go. When choosing a heeled shoe, avoid platforms and keep it comfortable. Try to keep your heel less than three inches, especially if you’re on the taller side.
We suggest a pair of slacks. Black, dark gray, or navy are all solid color options. Make sure these pants fit you correctly and fall at a suitable length. If you take them to a tailor for alterations, make sure to wear the shoes you plan to wear to the interview.
A plain black, navy or gray knee-length pencil skirt can be worn instead of a pair of pants. Note: if you wear a skirt, be sure to wear a pair of pantyhose.
Knee length dress:
Go with a solid color or a very simple pattern. Try to stick with neutral colors, as this can be worn repeatedly when paired with a different pair of shoes, sweater, blazer or necklace. Note: if you wear a dress, be sure to wear a pair of pantyhose for a more professional look.
Button up shirts are always a good option, especially an oxford style shirt. Blouses offered in chiffon, cotton, linen or silk are professional must-haves. Note: wear a camisole under your blouse and make sure your neckline isn’t too low.
Pair a blazer with a black, dark gray, or navy pant/skirt. Some women are starting to pair dark slacks with lighter blazers for a more modern look.
Keep your accessories to a minimum. Accessories are used to complement your outfit, not overwhelm it. Go for a watch or a simple bracelet and a dainty necklace instead of the loud statement necklace you have.
We hope you find our suggestions helpful and have a great interview!
The 2014-2015 JSMA team contributed to this post. This includes; Account Supervisor Megan Connor (@Connor_MeganN), Account Executives Drew Forrest (@DrewJF1), Kayla LaDuke (@kayladuke12 ), and Kiersten Olsen (@KierstenOlsen_).