A job interview is your opportunity to make a great first impression on your potential employer. Dressing for success is a big part of the interview process. Are you prepared to make that fantastic first impression? It’s always a good idea to have some interview clothes ready to wear so that you don’t have to scramble at the last minute to find a suitable outfit.
If you’re wondering what to wear to an interview, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you must look professional and polished. While your interview attire depends on what job for which you’re applying, no matter what the position, you should arrive at the interview looking neat, clean, and well-dressed.
If you’re a woman who needs some inspiration for your interview attire, look no further than this article to get some ideas of what to wear to an interview.
The Conservative Look
The safest outfit that you can arrive in is a suit, either skirt or pantsuit. It’s both classic and traditional. (The skirt is not shown in the above collage, but it’s implied with the pants). If you don’t want to be this “buttoned up”, you can try pairing the pants with a cable knit sweater and a button down shirt underneath. It’s more business casual and, therefore, more appropriate for some job interviews. Obviously, you must judge the environment where you are seeking to work and what the more appropriate outfit is.
A pair of classic black pants is an essential part of a woman’s interview wardrobe. It’s worth it to invest in a pair of quality black dress pants that fit well and will hold up after many wears.
Once you have a good pair of dress pants, it’s easy to dress them up or dress them down. You can pair your dress pants with a button-down shirt or a blazer for a formal look, or with a sweater for a business casual look.
Peep-toe heels with a moderate heel height are fashion-forward but still tasteful. If you’re looking to dress down your look, add a pair of ballet flats or loafers instead of heels.
The Statement Dress
Although it’s important that your interview attire is professional and conservative, that doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with color. A tasteful dress in an interesting color, such as a muted green or deep orange, is a good addition to your interview wardrobe.
With a statement dress like the ones here, you don’t need to bother with adding jewelry or other accessories – the dress speaks for itself. When working with bright colors, though, make sure the rest of the dress is modest.
It’s always important to make sure that both the neckline and hemline are appropriate: avoid short dresses and low-cut, revealing necklines. With a bright-colored dress, it is more important than ever that the piece covers you appropriately. All you need to round off a dress like this is a pair of black heels or black ballet flats.
Pair a blouse or a button-down top with a v-neck sweater for a versatile look. You can dress the top up with black dress pants or a skirt, or dress it down with khakis or dark-wash jeans if you’re interviewing at a start-up or casual company.
What’s great about this combination is that it’s easy to create a variety of looks, with only a few pieces. If you invest in three simple blouses or button downs and three sweaters that all coordinate with each other, you’ll have nine different tops that you can mix and match with different bottoms.
Blouse with a Bow
A blouse like the ones shown here with a bow makes for an elegant look, which can be completed with either a skirt or slacks. Add a skinny waist belt for a touch of detail that really makes the top pop. A skirt made of an interesting fabric or a simple black pencil skirt is a great way to make a business look your own.
A menswear-inspired khaki blazer is an extremely versatile piece to have in your wardrobe. Wear it with a button-down or blouse. It looks great with a matching skirt or dark-wash jeans for a startup casual interview, or navy blue bottoms for a dressier look.
The button-down here might be a basic top, but the pink really makes the look pop. With a shirt that has an interesting collar detail, you can button it up to the top, eliminating the need for a necklace. Another option for a unique collar detail is a rounded “peter pan” collar.
Finally, a navy blue skirt is a stylish alternative to the traditional black pencil skirt. It’s a bit more easygoing than the typical black skirt, but it’s still professional, creating a look that is relaxed and also refined.