Making a good first impression is often the difference between landing your dream job and dreaming about landing a job. While there are a number of ways to immediately score points with a potential employer, your outfit is arguably the most important thing to consider.
Every industry and workplace is different, but there are a few core rules to consider when dressing for an interview. So rather than rely on guesswork, we asked four influential women — with impeccable wardrobes — for the formula to an unforgettable interview outfit.
Eleanor Pendleton, Founder and Editor of Gritty Pretty
“When interviewing for a role, you’re presenting your best, most professional self. Stick to neutrals — black and white — and opt for smart silhouettes like a tailored pant or midi-skirt. Avoid low-cut tops.
Depending on the industry, work wear can either be more corporate or skew towards fashionable. Dress appropriately for the industry and the company you’re applying to work for. Hair and makeup should be kept simple and never overdone. If you wouldn’t like your potential new boss to see you out on a Friday night, then it’s not appropriate to do your hair and makeup as such.”
Roxy Jacenko, Director, Sweaty Betty PR & The Ministry of Talent
“It’s important to understand the appropriate company dress code before deciding what to wear for an interview. Some businesses require a corporate dress code, whereas in other businesses, such as PR and marketing agencies, it is often more appropriate to wear something stylish but smart casual . . . but that doesn’t mean blue jeans.
It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed! Wearing black, especially a structured black blazer (which is a staple in my wardrobe), pulls together most outfits. Wearing heels is something that I would recommend, but only heels that you feel confident walking in — you certainly don’t want to be breaking in a new pair of shoes the day of a job interview!”
Alison Rice, Group Publisher, Allure Media
“I truly believe it depends what role you’re applying for and how you perceive the company culture. Doing your research here will really help. But speaking directly to my experience, I’m looking for someone who represents the brand. That means wearing a relevant trend, while also clearly having a deep understanding of your personal style. All that said, keep the hemline no shorter than just above the knee, and not too much cleavage or perfume. Cropped black pants, a silk top or Equipment button-up and killer heels is always a winning look.”
Pip Edwards, Co-Founder and Creative Director of P.E Nation
“It’s hard to give the exact advice as it always depends on the job. However, I think you should always look smart and clean, yet don’t be afraid to show a bit of personality so that there is something to remember you by. A splash of colour or a pop of print — something that reflects you and who you are!”
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