What To Wear To An Interview For College Women
When it comes to dressing up, college kids tend to get a bad rap. When most people think of the stereotypical “college student,” a particular image comes to mind: coffee in-hand, iPhone earbuds plugged in, and pajamas thrown on to make it to that 8 a.m. class.
While this certainly isn’t true of every college student, it is true that a job intervieweven if it’s a position just steps from the dormitoryrequires a certain level of professionalism. Sure, in most cases you don’t need to go out and buy a formal suit and briefcase, but, it is important to look nice and make a good impression on your interviewer.
If you aren’t sure what to wear, this guide will provide inspiration for college job interview outfits for women. Here’s what to wear for a college job interview for women.
You May Not Have To Look Further Than Your Own Closet When Choosing Your Interview Clothes
Find interview outfits on a budget.
Everyone knows you should look your best for an interview, but what if you can’t affordor cant fit into your oldfancy interview clothes? Not to worry. Weve got some cost-conscious advice for how and where to look for wardrobe must-haves, plus tips for pulling together stylish interview outfits.
General Tips On Suits For Women
First, some general notes on buying a suit:
When constrained by budget: go for a black skirt suit rather than a pants suit, because pants fit is by far the hardest thing to get right. In my experience a $60 skirt suit looks OK but a $60 pants suit makes you look like you come from Planet Frump.
Furthermore, the skirt suit will go farther you can wear the pencil skirt as a basic bottom in your wardrobe , plus if you have a dressed up occasion, a skirt suit is always going to be the more formal option. Another pro for a simple pencil skirt: you completely bystep the trends that pants have been subject to the past few years to shop online youd think that cropped pants suits are de rigueur now, but they are still a fringe/trend item in a lot of workplaces.
Other trends Ive seen with suits: jumpsuits! culottes! short suits! You want 1) a pencil skirt + hip length jacket or 2) a fitted sheath dress + hip length jacket these combos have been in for years and probably will be for years to come.
If youre shopping online, look for words such as: seasonless wool, stretch wool, tropical wool, gabardine, triacetate. Avoid words like sateen, shimmer, linen. Crepe can be really tricky sometimes it means a polyester drapey blend for suiting and sometimes it means a bridesmaids dress/MOB type thing.
Treasure hunting for a suit : T.J. Maxx, Yoox, ASOS, Off Fifth, and Nordstrom Rack
, Ann Taylor, Boss.)
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What To Wear To A Formal Interview
For corporate roles, smart interview wear is usually required. If youre wondering how to dress up for an interview in finance or law, a smart shirt with tailored trousers is a foolproof option. Save your jeans, trainers and tees for the weekend, and opt for smart heeled boots or courts with your outfit. Other safe options are structured dresses, or a skirt and blouse combination. Its vital you feel comfortable, so if you prefer you can forgo your interview heels for a smart pair of flats.
Interview Suits For Women: A General Note
If you are interviewing for a conservative job , the whole point is that the interviewer is interested in your brain not your fashion sense.
Your resume and your words should speak louder than your clothes, and to that end, the entire goal of the interview outfit should be to make sure that it doesnt distract the interviewer. Show personality through your words, not your clothes.
If you are interviewing for a conservative job , the whole point is that the interviewer is interested in your brain not your fashion sense.
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Smart Casual Interview Outfit Examples For Women
Smart Casual is a pretty ambiguous style, so it can be tough to know how to draw the line between too casual or too formal. I really liked this quote from Trend Spotter that helps differentiate between Smart Casual and Business Casual:
Due to its polished yet relaxed aesthetic, smart casual attire is often confused with business casual dress code. While many outfits can fall into both categories, there are differences between the two. For instance, business casual tends to require a more conservative style of dress while smart casual can be more fashion-forward.
Overall, Smart Casual is great because it lets you show off some of your personality during the interview. Just make sure to err on the side of professional. If you’re wondering if something is too informal, then it probably is. Let’s run through some outfit ideas to help you look perfectly smart and casual:
Women’s Outfit Example #1
Top: Button down. You definitely don’t have to tuck it in all the way for Smart Casual. I’m a big fan of the French Tuck, which was recently popularized by the fabulous Tan France on Queer Eye.
Bottom: Chinos . I love ankle cropped pants here, since they give a more relaxed look.
Shoes: Ballet flats. If your outfit is neutral, you can safely wear shoes with a color or mild pattern. But if you already have some patterns going on in your top, opt for more simple shoes.
Accessories: Less is more. Stud earrings with a simple necklace or bracelet / watch.
Dress For Success: Interview Outfits For Women
Congratulations, you have landed a job interview! You have your CV and cover letter updated, you have questions prepared, and the only thing left is to decide what to wear. Its very important that you get your interview attire right, as you only have one chance to make a first good impression.
Make no mistake youre being judged as soon as you walk into the room. It may not be fair, but its a reality – the interviewer will make an initial impression of you the first few seconds they see you based on how you look. Its crucial that you make an effort and dress appropriately to show the interviewer that youre taking the opportunity seriously and that youve made an effort. There really is no excuse for not dressing appropriately for a job interview.
Here are some interview attire outfit ideas to help you nail your interview attire :
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Business Casual And Business Formal Attire
When you’re on the fence with what to wear, it’s better to look too dressed up than to look sloppyto an extent. A business casual look is almost always a good choice unless you know for sure the position you’re applying for requires a formal business look.Still unsure? When scheduling your interview, it’s acceptable to inquire about the office dress code, which should give you a good sense of what to wear.
Top Interview Tip: At the end of an interview, a majority of interviewers will ask you something along the lines of, “So, do you have any questions for me?” You don’t want to appear disinterested or bored by having nothing to say, so make sure you have a few questions on hand to demonstrate your enthusiasm.
Classy Suits For Women
Pictured above, some of our favorite investment suits as of 2020: pant / skirt / pant / skirt / pant
For many women this is going to be the first splurge suit two pieces will cost you more than $500, but less than $1000.
Brooks Brothers They dont seem to have anything terribly classic in stock online at the moment, but this brand is obviously a stalwart for womens suiting.
Elie Tahari This is the parent brand to everyones starter suit, Tahari the prices are much steeper but so is the quality and the cut. They have a lot of stores in malls, but you can also find the brand at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, and Saks.
The Fold London I mostly think of this brand for their gorgeous origami-like top, but they make a lot of neutral suiting and other tailored pieces, so if youre looking for something different , keep the brand in mind.
Hobbs This British brand has a few locations stateside, and carries a lot of gorgeous workwear, including some nice basic suits. Note that Bloomingdales also carries the brand.
Hugo Boss My admiration for this brand has only grown the more Ive done this blog everything they do is beautiful quality, extremely classic and stylish. They have stand alone stores, but you can also find that at Nordstrom and Bloomingdales.
LK Bennett This British brand has a ton of tweed suits and feminine suiting options, but they also carry neutrals if your goal in your interview is to feel like a super confident Kate Middleton, this is where Id go.
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Good Job Interview Grooming
Itâs also important that you manage your grooming before a job interview. To give your best first impression you want to be clean, look clean, and smell clean.
Also, be careful not to wear too much perfume or cologne. The purpose of proper grooming is to look like you know how to manage and take care of yourself.
Wear A Navy Blue Blazer For Endless Options
These blazer and blouse combinations are great business interview outfits that consist of three pieces that are simple, yet extremely versatile. A navy blue blazer is a great addition to your interview wardrobe. Not only can you wear a blazer on numerous occasions, but it also works well with many different outfitsover a button-down, with a blouse, and even with a dress, for example. The gray collarless jacket with three-quarter-length sleeves is a less formal look.
A navy blue blazer also looks great paired with a simple blouse or button-down shirt. It’s a staple combination that you can wear with khaki pants, a khaki skirt, and even dark-wash jeans in a casual workplace or to a casual interview.
A matching skirt or slacks, or a khaki skirt or dress pants, round out the outfit. A khaki skirt is a good addition to your working wardrobe because it can be worn with many different tops. Like the blazer, it can also be dressed up or dressed down depending on the occasion.
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Business Formal Interview Outfit Examples For Men
Our most formal option and the easiest to prepare for. You’re going full matching suit and tie for this one!
The biggest thing to watch out for here is matching the suit and shoes. The suit’s already going to match, but you don’t want to ruin the whole thing with a goofy color choice for your shoes. Just because they’re fancy doesn’t mean they work with the outfit. Business Insider has an awesome guide to help you match suits and shoes.
When you’re suiting up, your best option for showing off some personality is with your tie. Be careful though, it’s easy to go a little crazy. You still want to keep things on the professional / conservative side, but don’t be afraid to go beyond basic black or blue if you feel compelled.
Men’s Outfit Example #1
Bottom: Suit pants that match your jacket
Shoes: Polished formal dress shoes
Accessories: Tie is a must here, watches are great, and a pocket square is always a nice touch if it’s your thing
Black and blue suits are a super common and traditional move. They look awesome and are definitely a safe play. If you want to spice things up, you can switch up the suit color to something that’s not quite as common like a charcoal or gray.
Just don’t go Miami Vice on us with the white, khaki, or seersucker. You may think I’m dumbing it down a bit too much I wish I wasn’t, I’ve seen it.
Men’s Outfit Example #2
Bottom: Light gray suit pants that match the jacket
Shoes: Brown or black formal dress shoes
Accessories: Tie and watch
Skirt Suits & Pantyhose
Do I really have to wear pantyhose? In the past, readers have frowned on wearing tights for interviews and bare legs are certainly not advisable.
Nude-for-you hose is the most popular for interviews check out our advice on how to wear pantyhose if youre having problems such as runs.
2021 Update: Hunting for pantyhose for work? These are some recent reader favorites! one / two / three
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Tip #: Pack A Backup Interview Outfit
If you have the option to pack a backup interview outfit, do it!
You never know what can happen between now and the moment you need to suit up. A giant rainstorm could pop up out of nowhere, a bird could decide to go number 2 right as you’re leaving the office, or John in Accounting might spill that homemade marinara all over you.
If you’re able to drop a spare outfit in the trunk of your car or somehow squeeze it into your backpack, it’s absolutely worth it for the peace of mind.
Skirt Suit V Pantsuit
Should you wear a skirt suit or a pantsuit? Traditionally, the most conservative answer here was a skirt suit times are fortunately changing and in all but the most conservative of places a pantsuit is usually fine.
There are still pros to the skirt suit anyway, though: if youre looking to buy something classic, the pencil skirt has been in for eons, while suiting pants have gone through a number of trendy iterations plus, they really should be hemmed for either heels or flats, which limits your shoe choices more than a skirt does. Another pro: If youre buying a suit on a budget, it can also be far easier to find a skirt that looks good by itself and can be worn as a separate in your wardrobe.
The major con: a skirt suit generally does mean pantyhose, although tights may be acceptable in colder weather. Avoid a miniskirt at all costs, and be careful of vents in the skirt what seems like an acceptable side-slit may reach mid-thigh once youre sitting down.
Always, always, always do an interview mirror check: pull your chair to the front of a full-length mirror and sit down in front of it, to assess your interview outfit.
You may also want to check out our poll on proper hem lengths for skirts it seems like just above your knee is a good length.
Please back away from the shorts suit. If youre only buying one suit Id avoid the short-sleeved suit as well.
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Wear Casual Clothes For A Casual Job
You might be pleased to learn that you don’t have to go shopping for your interview attire! If you’re interviewing for something like a peer tutoring position or library attendant, a relaxed look will likely be fine.
Top Interview Tip: Do your homework before the interview and review the list of most common job interview mistakes to improve your interview technique.
+ Examples Of What To Wear To Your Job Interview For Women
Hey ladies! Lily here. I’m subbing in to give my two cents.
I have nothing to wear.
How many times have we all said that especially before a big event like an interview? For must of us, I bet it’s way too many times to count.
My goal is to simplify things for you. Interviews are stressful enough. We shouldn’t be freaking out over our outfits, while also wondering how to craft a charming and sophisticated answer to so, tell me about yourself.
My interview attire philosophy can be boiled down to two basic principles:
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+ Examples Of What To Wear To Your Job Interview For Men
Alright guys, it’s our turn!
My goal is to make this as simple and painless as possible. The good news for us is that our choices are pretty cut and dried. We can start with a couple of immediate go-to’s, a strong foundation, and then you can improvise and style right off of that.
We’ll start with the most diverse and casual outfit in our arsenal:
Outfit : Womens Pants Suit Set
Loafer heels may seem a bit severe for this lightweight pants suit and Nine West pinstriped shirt, but you can wear black close toed shoes with almost any outfit. Besides, once your interview is over and youve dazzled the hiring manager with your professional prowess, you can pair the shirt and shoes with nice jeans for a fab business casual outfit.
Getting the job doesnt have to cost a fortune check out our other money saving job search tips!
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