This Is What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Be Wearing to Nail That Big Interview
There’s probably nothing more exciting (or nerve-wracking, for that matter) than scoring an interview for your dream job — you go, girl! Your stellar resume (which boasts some seriously amazing summer internships — just sayin’) will no doubt give you an edge over the competition, but what will really win ‘em over is a little confidence. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Interviews can sometimes feel like you’re standing on trial with question after excruciating question being thrown your way. It’s enough to send anyone’s nerves into overdrive. Luckily, it’s nothing a little sartorial intervention can’t fix. You know — the whole dress to impress thing. To help you find your way around the in’s and out’s of interview dressing, we’ve pulled together 15 work wardrobe essentials — sleek skirts, fancy flats and stylish jackets with go-get-‘em appeal — that will help you look the part and put those OMG-what-am-I-doing freakout sessions to rest.
1. C/meo Collective Charged Up Skirt ($190): No work wardrobe is complete without at least one office-ready pencil skirt on hand. A classy alternative to the expected shift dress or pants, a pencil skirt has a fierce, feminine aesthetic that exudes don’t-mess vibes. Skip figure-hugging styles that have the potential to ride up (you don’t want to spend the entire interview adjusting your getup), and ensure the hemline is at an office-appropriate length. If you’re set on showing off some personality (and heck yes, you should!), look to unique embellishments, like these geo numbers, to add visual intrigue in a subtle, unobtrusive way.
2. Express Edition Drapey Boyfriend Blazer ($198): When in doubt, bring a blazer. A sleek, well-fitted blazer can transform even the most basic closet essentials into an ensemble worthy of the corporate world in a snap. Clean lines and proper sleeve length are key to achieving a put-together aesthetic. Layer one over a streamlined shift dress, or team it with belted high-waisted trousers, a silk blouse and stylish pointed-toe flats.
3. J.Crew Colorful Crystal Foliage Necklace ($128): Accessories are a great way to showcase that killer sense of style, but you definitely don’t want to go overboard. Stick with smaller gems that will elevate your outfit by adding just a hint of sparkle or a pop of color without totally stealing the show. You want your potential employer to focus on what you have to say — not be distracted by over-the-top bling around your neck. In the same vein, leave the bangles or jangly jewelry at home.
4. Reiss Lily Printed Blouse ($230): Why stick with white button downs when you can rock a printed blouse instead? Delivering all the polish of a standard white collared shirt, but with a whole lot more personality, this tonal floral top is guaranteed to go over big with your boss-to-be. Wear it with tailored ankle trousers, sharp-looking loafers and a smart jacket for a flawless working-girl effect.
5. The Horse Classic Rose Gold & Grey ($165): Dressing to impress becomes practically pointless if you show up to your interview late. This sleek rose gold timepiece won’t just keep you on your toes — it’ll instantly infuse your on-the-job ensemble with an It-girl-approved edge.
6. & Other Stories Tailored Lyocell Trousers ($115): Fuss-free and fierce, a pair of tailored, neutral-colored trousers is always a foolproof option. To reach peak polish, avoid too-tight trousers (which can be incredibly uncomfortable and come off as unprofessional) and ensure the hem comes off the ground about a quarter to a half inch when you’re wearing heels — dragging, pooling hems can look seriously sloppy. Style them alongside a sophisticated printed blouse, block heel pumps and minimalist jewelry for an effortless look that nails it every time.
7. Mango Saffiano-Effect Tote Bag ($80): Coming prepared is a whole lot easier when you have a chic tote in tow. Ditch the bright crossbody for this structured buckle tote that has plenty of room for all your interview essentials: a notebook, pens, your portfolio, copies of your resume and a freshening-up kit that will send those last-minute jitters packin’.
8. Kenzo Zig Zag Embroidered Dress ($646): Plan on rockin’ a frock? Neutral tones like black and navy are the way to go — they’re professional and timeless. For a more modern edge, opt for an eye-catching print (skip the polka dots) or graphic detailing that will set you apart from the rest. If you’re taking this route, choose classic silhouettes that strike the right balance of elegance and contemporary cool. Avoid loud colors or overly out-there prints that might be distracting or feel out of place.
9. Equipment Adalyn Printed Silk-Twill Shirt ($270): Unless you’re applying for a position in a corporate setting, you don’t need to suit up, but you don’t want to look messy either. A jazzed up button-down will certainly do the trick, especially when paired with a sharp pencil skirt and (comfortable) don’t-mess heels. Plus, you can easily mix and match it with the rest of your wardrobe. Boyfriend jeans and lace-up ballet flats, anyone?
10. Zara Medium Heel Pointed Shoes ($30): On the shoe front, a pair of navy, nude or black heels — or any structured steppers for that matter — is a flat-out foolproof option. These no-frills pumps offer just the right amount of lift, keeping you feeling grounded and confident, no matter what questions come your way. If you go for a pair of peep-toes, make sure your toes are looking their best — hit the nail salon before heading through the office door.
11. Ann Taylor Multi Stripe Wide Leg Crop Pants ($98): Sticking with the essentials is certainly safe — and won’t draw any inquisitive looks from HR or your potential future employer — but they won’t give you the opportunity to show off your creative side or personality either. To land a job in the arts, elect unexpected silhouettes and subtle-yet-funky prints that push the envelope without going overboard. Style these striped stunners with a bow neck blouse, block heels and asymmetric drop earrings for an ensemble that is polished and totally you.
12. Zara Embroidered Jacket ($169): And speaking of personality… A blazer isn’t the only way to layer in style. Seemingly glamorous gigs call for threads with a bit of extra oomph. A feminine blouse will give this clean-cut embellished jacket a put-together vibe, especially when teamed with elevated culottes or refined dress trousers. Boost your getup in seconds with muted metallic pumps or a platform heel that toes the line between traditional and cutting edge.
13. Whistles Jade Wrap Over Dress ($270): Sophisticated doesn’t have to mean snoozy. Show off that incredible attention to detail by sporting a classic wrap dress with unique circle fastenings and an asymmetric hem that exudes RN vibes. Pair with new-age Mary Janes and statement stud earrings for a sleek, so-easy look that just might become your interview signature.
14. Topshop “Jinx” Mary Jane Pointy Toe Pump ($85): Who needs a power suit when you have a pair of hot steppers like these on hand? Blow the competition out of the water by strutting into the boardroom with these bad boys in tow, along with a pretty patterned blouse, pencil skirt and a briefcase-inspired satchel.
15. Iris and Ink Claudia Pussy-Bow Silk-Chiffon Blouse ($165): Fake it ’til you make it with a billowy blouse that is equal parts girlboss and fashionable femme. Bust it out with an updated take on the traditional suit, styling it with silk jogger-inspired trousers, a streamlined jacket and statement accessories that are just as sleek as they are show-stopping.
Follow us on Pinterest for more style inspo!
Brit + Co may at times use affiliate links to promote products sold by others, but always offers genuine editorial recommendations.
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com