Post-Grad Interview Outfits

Hello! Sorry once again for the long wait before another post. It’s the last four weeks of school for me, and I’ve been swamped with group projects and presentations. Before I go about about giving tips for what to wear to an interview, let me just update you guys on the current state of my hair. It’s been about two months since the last time I dyed it, and my black roots were growing in much quicker because of the warmer weather. (It’s true, look it up!) I ended up buying a box of Garnier Nutrisse #63: Light Golden Brown (Brown Sugar), and apart from the roots, it didn’t change my previous shade by much. So I’m not going to be posting pictures this time. :<

I probably shouldn’t be experimenting too much with new shades anyway, since I’ve been spending the past two or three weeks applying for jobs and waiting for callbacks. Who knows if something can go wrong with a hair dyeing session the night before an interview? :P Speaking of which, I just had my first interview yesterday for an entry-level job relating to my major! :D Which inspired me to write this post.. here’s a good Polyvore representation of the outfit I wore:

Always dress appropriately for the position you’re applying for.
This is common sense. Yet I still hear of horror stories of applicants who show up to interviews in jeans and a blouse. At the same time, it also depends on the field you’re looking to work in. As a Health Care Management major, I always assume that the company will be a distinguished organization and bring my best business attire. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, after all.

It’s 2012. You can look put-together without being too conservative.
What always irked me about putting together an outfit for an interview are reading websites giving advice on how to dress demurely. Given, these websites mostly target middle-aged women. And I think that many younger college students are led to believe that they have to dress in their grandmother’s Sunday Best in order to secure the job at the interview. I disagree. In fact, I firmly believe that you can wear clothes that are more fitted to your body. Many websites tell women to avoid skirts, on the risk that they may be too short. But I think that times have changed, and it’s now acceptable to wear a skirt above the knee – as long as the hemline and the rest of your outfit is still reasonably modest.

You can never go wrong with a blazer.
I understand that freshly graduated college students may not have the wardrobe or income to provide them with several full business suits. Thus, I’ve come to the conclusion that blazers are a lifesaver. A single-button blazer looks great on top of many dresses, shirts, or blouse you may already own – and add instant class to your outfit. :) Invest in one or two, for now!

Avoid patterns – solid shades look neater.
While I was looking at websites targeting young women, many have a “professional wear” section. I was horrified to see pages and pages of fashion faux pas in the business world. Gaudy embellishments, tacky pinstripes, and too many ruffles to count, just to name a few. In my opinion, sticking to solids in a more traditional cut looks much neater for a first impression.

Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors.
Monochrome suits are dated. Many companies seek applicants who are on top of current trends and technology. To a certain degree, I think you should look like it. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you should wear anything too trendy. Sticking to neutral colors like black, grey, and beige are very safe bets. Just don’t hold the old-fashioned mindset that your outfit should be limited to a suit in the same color. In fact, statistics have shown that navy blue is the most successful color to wear to an interview. ;)

Leave your statement jewelry and dramatic makeup at home.
This, too, is common sense. Don’t wear your giant feather earrings or tribal necklace. In fact, I had to take off my favorite necklace before my interview because the pendant was a pair of scissors – which may have raised some concerns if my interviewers were from an older generation. Additionally, don’t make up your face to the point where you can be mistaken for a street walker. Keep it natural and light. As a girl who really enjoys lipstick, I would advise settling for chapstick or tinted lip balm for your interview. Good luck!

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3 responses to “Post-Grad Interview Outfits

  1. Awesome post! It can be really intimidating putting together an interview outfit. I particularly like the line about dressing more modernly. Properly fitted clothes look less sloppy and are visually more appealing that a boxy suit from the 90’s. Best of luck in your job search! Are you staying local/in NY?

    • Thank you! And I agree, I always feel less confident in baggy/boxy clothing. I’m trying my best to apply for a local job, so I can live at home while paying off my student loans. How about you?

      • That’s an excellent plan! Student loans & interest are just awful. Plus, gotta love living in New York. You probs have already, but have you tried looking through LinkedIn?

        I still got about a year of school left. I’m trying to graduate like 3 months early to get a head start on the job market search, but I have no idea if that’s going to be effective at all haha. At this point anything in the area of the NYC-Philly-DC area that will hire me for a job or pay for more schooling/not too many more student loans would be ideal.

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