Powerful & Personal Job Interview Style Advice
Use this powerful and personal job interview style advice for your professional advantage. These image consulting tips will help you appear polished and professional at your next interview. They will boost your confidence and help you leave a good impression to your interviewer.
I hope my style tips will help you land your dream job. Your style is just one aspect in this process but my advice will allow you to concentrate on the essential part: Your ability to do the job you are applying for.
Good news is that you might have several job interviews but you only need to prepare just ONE (or maybe two, just in case) outfit to wear to all interviews. Put some time aside and prepare your ideal job interview attire with my image consulting advice.
Things About Your Style To Consider First
- Appropriateness of your outfit. Is it too tight, too open or too short? Are you over-dressed or under-dressed? Whenever in doubt it’s better to over-dress for a job interview.
- Company culture. The recruiters and hiring managers are likely to be looking for a person who gets the company culture and fits in. Do you look like that person? If you don’t, are there other ways you can convince them that you are the right person for this job?
- Job description. Are you able to perform the tasks in your job description in the outfit you are wearing? In a regular office job few are the actual restrictions but say you had to visit a construction site, go to court or to stand all day. It’s unlikely that you would start right away but your outfit can always give an impression that you could.
- Function & title. This point is full of assumptions and subjective prejudices that should actually be long gone, but you can use this in your advantage. How does an engineer, a manager or a CEO look like? What if those titles are placed in a start-up instead of an established corporation?
- Work safety. This doesn’t apply in most industries but when it does it’s non-negotiable. If you are visiting a manufacturing or construction site leave flowy hemlines, stiletto heels and long scarves at home.
- Location. Choose footwear based on the terrain you’ll be walking on. Office jobs allow all kind of shoes but your cute heels could look out-of-place in a large warehouse or at a farm.
- Weather & season. Dark colors can take the weather changes better than light ones. Use season-appropriate fabrics that breathe and keep you warm/cool.
Powerful & Personal Job Interview Style Advice Per Item
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to wearing a skirt or trousers to a job interview. Same goes for wearing a blazer. But these are the questions that I get asked all the time so let’s break it to pros and cons to help you decide.
- Displays authority and professionalism
- Wearing a blazer is an instant way to elevate your outfit
- You can mix and match clothes for an outfit that looks best on you
- Doubles as a jacket
- Can look stuffy or outdated in some creative or customer facing industries
- Some blazer styles need their matching trousers or a skirt to look complete. Do you want to wear a suit to the interview?
- A blazer might be too warm in the summer
- Classic skirts are generally appreciated in conservative and some customer facing industries
- It’s easier to find a well-fitting skirt than trousers
- Keeps you cool in the summer
- You need to think of hosiery/tights
- You need to think about a matching top. Perhaps you could wear a dress instead? It’s an instant outfit and looks always polished.
- Pencil skirt length tends to get shorter when you sit down so practice in front of mirror to see how high up it rides
- Flowy hems are a work safety hazard at factories and construction sites
- Can be considered too sexy
- Classic cut trousers are a unisex style choice
- They can display authority on women
- Keeps you warm in the winter
- Allows you to cycle to your interview
- It’s often difficult to find a good fit
- You need to think about a matching top. Consider wearing a jumpsuit. It’s an instant professional look
- Trouser styles tend to age faster than skirts
Choose The Right Accessories For Your Job Interview
Good accessories can make or break any outfit so choose yours carefully. Elegant jewelry, sophisticated shoes and a chic scarf are always great choices for a job interview.
Less is definitely more and you don’t want your accessories (or your outfit) to steal the show. Your job interview is supposed to be about you, your skills and your personality, not about your style choices.
So keep it simple and chic. Add one understated, yet fabulous, piece that works seamlessly with your outfit. Consider adding a second one only if you are perfectly comfortable with the first one.
Start with a nice pair of earrings or a necklace. Wear a set of earrings and a necklace only if they are not too loud or big. Add a belt if your outfit needs more shape.
A scarf or a necklace will frame your face nicely so they are an ideal choice for interviews that take place on Teams or Zoom. Alternatively you could choose a top with an interesting collar or go for a color that makes your skin and eyes radiate.
Image Boosting Style Advice
- A powerful and successful interview attire supports your personal brand. Choose an outfit that sends the right message while you are looking like yourself. Interview attire is a lot about creating a good impression but also very much about highlighting that you are the right fit for the company and the perfect candidate for the job.
- Your interviewer may have already checked your LinkedIn or other social media profiles and have an idea who you are. Your appearance should support this image. This is not the time to make dramatic changes to your appearance. You want to appear recognizable, approachable and memorable, regardless of your industry.
- Look like you could start right away, even if that’s not actually the case. Interviewers are often looking for a cultural fit and your appearance has a big impact on how you are perceived. You don’t have to look like someone else but looking like you belong there is very helpful.
- It’s important to know your industry well enough to know what is considered an appropriate work attire. With the lack of company dress-codes a lot of this guess work falls on your shoulders. Search inspiration on the company’s website and social media to get an idea what others are wearing.
- Look like you’re worth every cent you are going to ask. The company is ultimately looking for a return on their investment in you and your task is to deliver those expectations. You style acts as a visual aid in this process and helps you to demonstrate credibility.
Confidence Boosting Style Advice
- Put some time and effort in personal hygiene and grooming. This is not a beauty competition but you need to look clean and in charge of your life.
- Make sure that all your clothes and accessories are clean and polished. If you decide well in advance what you are going to wear, you’ll also have enough time to check those little details that matter.
- Be cautious about wearing something brand new for the first time. Instead wear a trusted outfit that you know will deliver. You want to be sure that the outfit looks and feels good throughout the interview. Run a trial and wear your new outfit at home before the interview. This way your attention is 100% on the interview and not on your appearance.
- Go through your bag and remove all clutter. Consider keeping personal hygiene and grooming items in a separate zipped pouch. You should be able to find the right things in your bag without digging around too much. In many ways your bag is an extension of yourself so if it’s messy, you too are considered messy.
- Brush through your outfit with a lint roll right before the interview. I keep a lint roll in my car and handbag for last minute emergencies.
- Check your teeth before the interview. You don’t want to give any clues of what you ate last or smile through lipstick stained teeth.
- If your interview takes place online, test your system in advance. Make sure the lighting is ideal. Remove clutter from the background or consider using a custom background that some systems offer.
Further Reading On The Workwear Topic
Get more amazing job interview attire inspiration in I on Image’s blog:
READ ALSO: Interview Tips in Jobhunting Basics -series by Helen at Dotted Pages
Share your most powerful and personal interview style tips in the comments section. Help a friend and share this blog posts with someone who is also looking for a job.
With this post I am wishing you the best of luck on job hunting front. Remember to celebrate every small victory along the way. You got this!