I am a 22 year old that just graduated from college. I am starting to go on interviews, but I have absolutely no idea what to wear. I want to look professional but chic. Please help me BB and your fashionable readers. —Megan
When I was a college senior, I did the nerdy thing and took some job hunting workshops offered by the Career and Placement Services department at my college. I'm pretty sure all schools offer this, so definitely take advantage of this worthwhile service, if you still can. They'll walk you through mock interviews, spruce up your resume and even share tips on what to wear (and what NOT to wear) to the all-important job interview!
Having said that, I was advised to wear a suit, so months later when I landed an interview for an entry-level position at Oprah.com, I went out and bought a nice black suit with a very subtle tone-on-tone pinstripe, a crisp white button down shirt, and some practical black pumps. I bought the best suit I could afford at the time (Tahari, on sale), pulled my hair back, wore neutral makeup and carried a no-nonsense writing pad/folder thingy with my resume tucked neatly inside.
I felt confident in my suit, and it must have showed because I got the job. Even though my interview look was far dressier than the general office dress code, I think it was the right move. In my opinion, it's always better to overdress for an interview as well as the first couple days on the job, and then to gradually adjust your look to be more casual as you get a better feel for the work environment.
The funny thing is, I never did wear that suit again—I was fortunate enough to stay with the same company for a number of years—but I'm confident that suit had something to do with me getting the job. In my mind, it was worth the investment. And, having subsequently been in the position of the interviewer, I can say with certainty that what you wear and how you present yourself in an interview is critical. You only get one chance to make a first impression, so concern yourself with looking polished, put-together and professional (and don't worry too much about looking chic unless you're applying for a job in a fashion/creative industry). You'll have plenty of opportunities to express your fashion sense after you land the job!
Ok, enough rambling from me. What did YOU wear to the interview that landed you YOUR last job? Be specific!