What to Wear to an Interview to Help You Land the Job
Selecting what to wear to an interview is one of the most nerve-racking outfit decisions, right up there with first dates and meeting your S.O.’s folks for the first time. Though your ensemble is not a deal maker (or breaker), what you wear can be a crucial factor in creating a great first impression.
We all know the basics: Black and blue top the list for best color choices, inappropriate hemlines are a big no-no and, if you must wear a loud color, tone it down with neutral basics. But before you start sweating these details, first do your homework. From the company culture right down to your interviewer, these factors are monumental in choosing your attire. If you’re interviewing for an editing job at, say, Brit + Co, bright colors are applauded, whereas if you’re trying to land a gig with a corporate giant, a more classic approach is highly recommended. Keep in mind that even in creative fields, you still have to convey a sense of professionalism. The key point is to strike the perfect balance between polished and fashion forward, giving the interviewer a glimpse into your work ethic and personality.
Armed with this knowledge, we figured we’d help take the stress off your next interview with beyond-basic wardrobe staples to keep on hand the next time you find yourself at a loss for what to wear to an interview.
1. Kate Spade Saturday Mini Satchel ($165): A bold handbag can add the right amount of edge to any look. Since this crimson purse is already eye-catching enough, you can skip the high-end designers or reach for a diffusion line instead when it comes to your clothing. (via Stockholm Street Style)
2. Equipment Signature Shirt ($208): Classic white shirts are a no brainer, but even so, too often we find ourselves ripping our closet apart looking for a chic interview blouse. Let’s all stop that! We’re huge fans of Equipment’s spin on the classic. Just be careful of any sheerness and do a check in natural lighting before you head out the door. (via Gastro Chic)
3. Windowpane Ankle Pant ($80): Get away with a bold windowpane print by restraining the color palette to black and white. If you’re feeling a little daring and interviewing in a non-corporate environment, try mixing prints. It shows off your creative side! (via Collage Vintage)
4. Cleo Stripe Ponte Dress ($43): Forget being nervous about taking the print plunge. Stripes are a safe way to introduce pattern into your interview ensemble. Plus, you can quickly trade out your blazer for a chambray button up to head to a post interview lunch! (via Mr. Newton)
5. Faux Leather Herringbone Jacket ($70): Swapping out your blazer in favor of a moto-style jacket is a gutsy move, but when done tastefully, it can really make you stand out from the pack. Make sure the rest of your outfit is classic and refined and keep in mind, this look will only work in a more fashion forward job environment. (via Grazia Daily)
6. Leather Envelope iPad Case ($167): It may be a small detail, but your iPad case can be a standout element to a prospective employer. Be prepared and dress your tech in a stylish case that doubles as a clutch. Or better yet, why not make your own?! You’ll not only impress your interviewer with your killer digital portfolio but with your savvy DIY skills, too. (via Star Style)
7. Reiss D’Orsay Pumps ($131): The classic pump gets an update with an electric blue wash. This is the ultimate heel to pair with an understated pencil skirt or cropped trousers. (via Harper’s Bazaar)
9. Theory Rhin Austell Skirt ($190): Nothing makes us ooze confidence quite like the timeless pencil skirt. Take a cue from your favorite street-style blogs and try rocking the season’s midi version instead. Pull the whole look together with a crisp button up and nude heels. (via Collage Vintage)
10. Collette Dinnigan Tango Shift Dress ($251): Go for a poppin’ print if your interview is at a creative office. A killer graphic print on a shift silhouette will show off your taste for aesthetics. Tone down the burst of color with a solid, dark-toned blazer and heels. (via The Sartorialist)
11. Resort Chain Necklace ($34): Don’t get too complicated with arm candy stacks and layered necklaces. A simple bib necklace is always a surefire bet. Kudos if there’s an impressive story behind the piece (ahem, like that you made it!).
We’re sure your knockout skills will land you your dream job, but we like to think this style guide will give you that extra oomph of confidence you need! Still have style questions? Don’t sweat it, ask us in the comments below!
Getting the word out about your brand takes time, drive, and ingenuity. And it doesn't come easy for many entrepreneurs. As part of our collaboration with Office Depot, we're chatting with Selfmade alum Taylor Morgan McPherson, founder of Sustainable Sparkle Bar, about ways in which she scored press as a solo startup brand and what she learned from Selfmade to take her brand marketing up a notch.
B + C: How did you know Sustainable Sparkle Bar was your business to start?
Glitter has always been my thing, so when I started my event company I decided to make it my niche. I started telling people I threw glitter-themed parties where people would get sparkled with glitter body art and makeup. Six months after that I applied to my first festival and to work with SUR restaurant in West Hollywood.
B + C: What's one strategy that's helped you start your business?
I honestly can't say that I've had a specific strategy that I've followed when it comes to getting my business off the ground. I have a PR background so I was just constantly pitching new business and posting on social media.
B + C: What's the biggest challenge you face as a small business owner?
I would say creating a stable income and revenue stream. With a seasonal, event-based business it can be very up and down.
B + C: What was your most valuable takeaway from Selfmade?
The relationships I made and the push to start an email database.
B + C: How do you stay motivated?
I love what I do and I believe in myself 100%. Staying motivated isn't the hard part. Pushing myself to do the work and staying accountable is the hard part.
B + C: What's your best organizational tip? Do you use any apps that help you manage your business?
I keep multiple to-do lists, hand-written and digital. I also tell clients and partners that I will have something to them by a certain time or day so I have to stick to it.
B + C: What's one piece of advice you would give to female entrepreneurs on the brink of starting?
Just do it, take the leap. And don't worry about what anyone else says to thinks.
B + C: Who inspires you in the entrepreneurial space?
Issa Rae, I'm so inspired by everything that she's created being a creative and a black woman. It's my dream to have my own show one day based on my life and where I give advice and talk about the world. She's doing it and making people laugh and giving people joy. And it's based in LA. Watching Insecure only further cemented my dreams of wanting to live in LA.
B + C: How did you hear about the Office Depot scholarship?
One of my friends that I met through Camp No Counselors saw an IG ad for it and nominated me.
B + C: What has receiving the scholarship to Selfmade done to help you start/grow your business?
It's completely helped me level up and take my business to another level. Selfmade helped me host my first virtual event and taught me how to set up my website to sell tickets to events and get RSVPs.
B + C: How have Office Depot services or products helped you accomplish more in your business?
I got new cards to send in all of my orders with my discount code on them. I also bought a really cool 4K camera that I now use for my social media.
Let Office Depot OfficeMax help you stand out in the crowd. From signs, posters & banners to promote your business, to marketing materials to keep your customers informed, Office Depot OfficeMax offers a full suite of business services & solutions to help you & your business get noticed.
Head to Office Depot's Selfmade page to check out even more amazing business resources (and discounts!) to help you accomplish more on your entrepreneurial journey. These offers are available for a limited time only, so be sure to take advantage of all this goodness while supplies last. Want to join the next Selfmade cohort this summer? Check out all of the scholarship details right here.