A Guide to…Dressing For The Job You Want

Both outfits from Extra Petite.

I had an interview earlier this week, and I remember running around my room, freaking out about what to wear. Dressing for an interview is one of the most difficult situations that you can dress for, especially since there is so much at stake–you’re really dressing to impress. You’re selling you–and what you represent. It’s a lot trickier to dress for an interview, than any other situation for me. Some people find picking the perfect outfit for dates hard, I think that dressing for interviews is tricky.

It’s balancing the perfect amount of professionalism, style, and creativity. I am not a huge fan of wearing pants, so I have an interview formula that consists of a pencil skirt, a cute blouse, flats, and some sort of accessory and bag.

I love carrying my Kate Spade Wellesley Small Rachelle–it literally goes with everything and is perfect in every situation. I never regret the investment I made in purchasing it, and definitely think that a great, unique, high-quality bag is something that every individual should have.

It does not necessarily have to be a Kate Spade bag, but it should be one of your own style.

For my most recent interview, I wore a green, feminine blouse, a lace crochet pencil skirt, comfortable but dressy flats, and carried my signature bag. I also wore a cardigan, because it was kind of chilly that morning. I definitely brought some creativity and showed my own personal style, but in a professional and chic way.

green interview

When dressing for interviews, I have a few tips and tricks.

1. ESTABLISH A FORMULA.
This will not only help you with picking interview outfits, but any outfit that you wear. I have a general formula of outfit structure that I follow, and I just switch out the pieces accordingly! It really simplifies things.

2. DRESS FOR THE JOB YOU WANT, NOT FOR THE JOB YOU HAVE.
It’s cliche, but true. When I was applying for an associate position, although I had assistant experience, I didn’t dress like an assistant. I dressed like a professional young woman, and like a lady boss.

3. WEAR SOMETHING UNIQUE THAT MAKES YOU STAND OUT.
BUT STILL SOMETHING PROFESSIONAL! Be the candidate that stands out in a good way–so many people are going to wear generic outfits pulled from the Internet. Wear something professional, but unique, that will make you stand out from the crowd.

4. ALWAYS OVER DRESS.
Another cliche, but it’s tried and true! It is far better to be overdressed than underdressed, especially when it comes to a job interview.

5. WEAR SENSIBLE FOOTWEAR.
Just because your footwear is sensible, doesn’t mean that it can’t be cute! Wear shoes that are comfortable, but cute. Walking around awkwardly in shoes that are not comfortable is not a good look, no matter how professional the shoe.

6. YOUR BEST ACCESSORY IS YOUR RESUME.
Even if you look great, if your resume is a mess then you won’t be a considered as highly as you could be. Make sure that your resume is professional, clean, easy to read, and concise. Your resume is truly your best accessory, and it probably will be the thing that interviewers notice the most.

Dressing for interviews doesn’t have to be an intimidating thing, and once you have your own personal guidelines and rules, it only gets easier. Plus, the very first step to getting the job is picking the proper outfit to interview in, so one this small task is completed, you can move on forward to more important things, like acing that interview!

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