You have enough on your mind when preparing for a job interview. Stressing over what to wear shouldn't add to it. But let's be honest, first impressions count and what you wear can make the difference between feeling confident and feeling less than. Plus there are nuances to dressing for work depending on the position, the industry and the company culture. And if you live in Silicon Valley like I do, it gets even trickier. (WTF does "business casual" mean anyway?)
Ultimately, nailing your interview style is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin while presenting an authentically polished version of yourself.
Here are some pointers to take your mind off what to wear so you can focus on killing it.
Interview Style Tips:
1️⃣ Consider your industry and the company. Start-ups are very different from established brands and accounting is a completely different vibe than graphic design. I’m in marketing which can fall somewhere between highly individualized creativity and more staid polish - depending on the company. For example, I think this denim suit look strikes a good balance. It’s at once confident, polished, and professional without trying too hard. Plus denim in a suit is so unexpected!
2️⃣ Show your personality. Job interviews aren’t just about your skills and experience levels. They’re also about who you are and how you’d fit into the work culture. Try adding something that is distinctively you to your interview look. Maybe you’re known for your bold red lip or you don’t go anywhere without your zen-inspired beaded bracelets. Whatever it is, don’t be afraid to include it in your look. in this case, I chose a biker jacket to spice up the fairly conservative ensemble. It’s a deliberately non-traditional interview choice which signals my creativity, curiosity and willingness to shake things up.
3️⃣ Focus on you. At the end of the day, the job interview is about putting your best foot forward and showcasing what makes you uniquely ideal for the role and the organization. Your outfit helps paint a broad picture of who you are. It should complement but it’s not the focus - YOU are. If you feel the least bit uncomfortable with what you’re wearing, don’t wear it. Believe me, you don’t want to be tugging at a tight waistband or wincing in too tall shoes while describing your past work. An interview is also not the place to test out a brand new hairdo or experiment with a full-face makeup makeover. Trust your instinct and let the real you shine through. They’re gonna love you!👊🏽