A few months ago I spoke at Oxford College of Emory University. It was a very rewarding experience. I loved interacting with the students, they had great questions, and amazing energy! I was there to talk to the students about what they should wear in the workplace and to interviews. Since so many people are graduating, and starting the job search, or new jobs, it is a perfect time to share what I told the students.
When I started interviewing for corporate jobs, I always wore a suite, however with company cultures changing, many hiring managers now ask that candidates come in business casual attire. This is very confusing and can be stressful for the candidates. Below are some of the tips that I gave to the students and that I give many of my clients.
For most interviews you are still going to have to wear a suit. I always recommend to my clients that you wear a grey, navy blue, or a black suit to interviews. Depending on where you are interviewing and the type of role you interviewing for, you can have a little more fun with the rest of your outfit.
If you are interviewing in a very conservative environment, keep your shirt, jewelry, and tie very basic and simple. There shouldn’t be any crazy colors. If you are interviewing in a conservative environment for a creative role, you can wear a fun tie, or fun jewelry, you are a creative person after all.
When you interview for a company that is not conservative, but requires a suit, don’t go crazy with your tie or shirt, but you can have a little more fun. Some of these companies are very creative and will appreciate seeing your creativity. An example is if you have a shirt with a bold print on it.
Regardless of where you interview, you must do the following:
• Men always wear socks, ladies wear nylons
• Skirts should be an appropriate length
• There shouldn’t be any cleavage exposed
The companies that ask you to wear business casual are usually start-ups. Most of these companies are creative and a little more open minded. You still need to look put together, after all you are there to impress the team! On the occasion that you are allowed to wear business casual, here are some tips.
• Do not wear denim, men should wear chinos or dress pants
• I usually pair a blazer with chinos ad button down for my clients or dress slacks and button down and a sweater for the men
• Ladies, a dress, or slacks and a blazer
• Wear dress shoes, not sneakers
• Let your personality come out
• Most importantly DRESS TO IMPRESS!
Below are some example of what to wear:
What do you think is the most challenging part of getting dressed for an interivew? Do you like being able to wear business casuel?