The Do's and Don'ts of Interview Attire

unspecified-1 It’s the most wonderful (stressful) time of the year!

Internship application season is upon us and the apocalypse is near— it’s time for us all to start acting like adults *heavy sobs*.

As your interviews start to line up, it’s important to keep in mind how to put your best self forward. Leave the frat star we all know and love behind. You want to look presentable and appropriate, but still have enough style to stand out– after all, they always say dress for success, right?

So from us Jerks to you, here are some do’s and don’ts for dressing professional.

DO: Keep it conservative. I’m not talking full-out nun here— yes, your ankles can show (I'm looking at you J. Crew cropped trousers). The golden rule: if you wore it to DJ’s last week, chances are you shouldn’t wear it to an interview.

DON’T: Make an impulsive style choice right before the interview. Leave your new ~edgy~ blue lipstick in your purse. Do your hair the way you normally do. YouTube tutorials can be tempting, but if my disastrous crown braid has anything to say about it, some up-dos are better left…well, down. You have the rest of your life to experiment with fashion— the Miley buns can wait (contrary to popular belief, Miley can and should stop).

DO: Make yourself stand out. In a sea of dark pantsuits and stuffy white collared shirts, be a maroon sweater dress. Or maybe a swishy skirt and matching sweater set. Whatever your statement piece is, make it work (*to be read in Tim Gunn’s voice*).

DON’T: Be anyone other than yourself. Just because you’re trying to intern for a Wall Street firm doesn’t mean you have to dress like Jordan Belfort or do that awkward chest-thumping/ humming combo that Matthew McConaughey so famously originated (still confused, tbh). Employers are looking to hire you, not a caricature of yourself.

DO: Be comfortable! If you’re like me and can’t stand in stilettos for more than two minutes, don’t wear them. You don’t want to squirm in your seat or feel constricted and miserable while someone’s deciding on your future (no pressure). While sweatpants are out of the question (are you sensing a theme here? Because I sure am), find your most comfortable slacks, slide on a soft blouse, and slay that interview. Your sweatshirt will faithfully wait for you until you get home to send that follow-up email.

DON’T: Overthink your outfit. Business casual means casual. Gents, now is not the time to break out your tux. Ladies, this is not prom, so keep your gowns at home and your sashes stowed away. Keep it simple, keep it real, and as always, keep it classy.

DO: Wear what makes you feel confident. Throw on that good-luck bracelet your parents got you for Christmas last year. Don that sweater everyone says matches your eyes. If you walk into an interview feeling great, you'll perform great too.

Side note (unrelated to style): always bring an extra copy of your resume and cover letter. What’s the point of looking good if you don’t have any paper to back up your skill set?

StyleBridget HallinanComment