As a follow up to my creative agency interview post, we need to discuss what to wear on a more conservative interview. These can be a bit tricky. The worst thing you can do on your first corporate interview (besides chew gum or let your *Nsync ringtone play full blast) is try to ignore your personality or appear drab when you present yourself. While you may want to be more polished and less modish, that doesn’t mean you need to hold back who you are. Here are a few of my favorite pieces for the more conservative meeting, along with tips to remember when dressing: I rarely wear slacks, so you’ll never see me put them on for an interview. Most important to me is to have great classic items that can mix together in any which way. A dress, whether it’s solid or patterned, is a must-have. Cannot go wrong with a wrap dress. I prefer darker colors here as they are universally flattering. A pencil skirt is another great option. Rather than a two-piece skirt suit (who wears those?) I would pair a patterned skirt with a solid blazer (like this one too) and a blouse or shirt.
As for accessories, you can have one playful item that adds a little something to the outfit – whether that’s a chunky necklace or a collection of bangles and bracelets. Avoid neon colors. Shoes should be a solid pump, no toes showing (check the tips and make sure these are clean!). I like a classic black bag too. No matter your outfit, a trench coat is the perfect topper for the professional outfit. I like this one.
As these are very basic, clean-cut clothes, fit is incredibly important. Do not wear pants that are not hemmed, skirts that tug or hang loose, or dresses that do nothing for you. The key here is figure flattering, not “what is the most professional thing my mother purchased for me last Christmas” (only saying that because I’ve been there). If you don’t have any items in your closet that do not fit you and you need to make a purchase, I would recommend buying one great professional dress and a perfect-fitting pencil skirt. You can mix the skirts with any tops you wish, and the dress is a great item to wear to all of your first interviews.