(Closed) Need help with how to dress for a job interview!

posted 8 years ago in Career
Post # 3
156 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2010

I actually read a study that said a simple black dress (that you can dress up with a belt or scarf) is what most interviewers prefer to see on women.  I don’t think you can go wrong with a pant suit though, but if you’re worried about looking too corporate, throw on a scarf or flower pin.  You could also wear a jewel toned shirt or something with a small pattern to add interest to the suit.

As for your hair, I always wear mine in a low bun for interviews but that’s because I will fiddle with it if it’s down.  However you wear it, just make sure it looks appropriate and clean.

Post # 4
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

I would always recommend a suit. You always want to be more dressed than what you would wear to work. It shows that you care about the interview and are trying. You can wear a nice suit and change up the shirt color, white shirts are nice but can be way too boring. In regards to jewelry unless you have a 10ct ring lol, wear it. Most people’s rings are really not that flashy. I would really jewlery that represents you, just don’t go overboard.

Good luck!

Post # 5
2475 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

I think it’s smart to go with the overall feel of the company and industry it is in.  For your situation, I wouldn’t wear a boring pants suit or a dress.  I’d suggest wearing a nice professional pencil skirt with a dressy, tailored, unique top.

I agree that jewelry should be at a minimum.  But I don’t think that means you have to take off your rings.  Just don’t wear big earrings, necklaces, etc.

I’d wear your hair back somehow.  Maybe a low ponytail or knot with your bangs swept to the side.

Just my opinion….but good luck!

Post # 6
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

In NYC, it totally depends on the industry, and sometimes going the pantsuit route can actually hurt you as opposed to helping. If it is something like advertising or anything creative like that you will need to be a bit trendier, and I think a black dress will work better.

If you have a black dress which you can dress up with a belt and you wear your hair in a bun, I don’t think you will go wrong.

Post # 7
229 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I agree with the comments above. Pull your hair back to avoid nervous fiddling and choose something modest and professional, but not stuffy. I think a pant suit sounds too buttoned up for the job for which you’re applying. I would avoid lacy frills, but agree that a belt or scarf could give you a nice jolt of color or personality. I’d go with the dress, out of the choices you gave. Best of luck with the interview!

Post # 8
11325 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

I would recommend a skirt suit. Depending on what looks best on you, probably a pencil skirt that hits right at or barely above the knees. If the place you’re interviewing is a little “hipper” go with a pretty blouse rather than a button-down shirt with it. You can wear both your e-ring/wedding band but lose other rings. Keep earrings relatively simple. As for hair, wear it up. Probably not a ponytail unless you can make it look sleek (which is hard with wavy hair i think). I’d go for some kind of twisty-up fashion like a loose bun or looser french twist. You don’t want to look like a librarian but you want to look put together and professional. 

Post # 9
1580 posts
Bumble bee

I’m an engineer, so your industry sounds a lot more creative than mine, but over the years I’ve learned that its better to be more formal and straight laced. I don’t think an employer would not give you a job because you look too professional. On the other hand, they might think you are not serious if you come dressed too trendy.

I think a dress would be fine as long as you wear a coat. But you can’t go wrong with a dark pant suit.

It’s definitely a struggle to mesh your personal style with an appropriate interview outfit, but I definitely think less is more. Ann Taylor has some nice feminie tops that you could wear under a suit to add a bit of personality and color. Cool shoes (I’ve got some red pumps) are my favorite way to add style to a formal suit.

Good luck!

Post # 10
66 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

I have a pretty fitted black suit jacket and skirt that I wear to interviews. I pair the jacket with a feminine blouse that has a few frills on the front. I usually don’t wear jewlery (apart from my e-ring). I just throw on a pair of black heels, grab my portfolio and I’m good to go!


I have wavy hair and sweeping bangs as well. It’s shoulder length though. I don’t like how I look in a bun, so I pull it back in a neat ponytail. I usually pin back my bangs since they tend to get wild and wispy at times; it gives me a more polished, professional look.

Post # 11
5670 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Do you have a picture of the dress that you would consider wearing?

From an interviewers point of view I am usually taken back when someone doesn’t care in wearing a suit, but I also don’t work for a design firm. Just make sure that if you are wearing a dress it is at least knee lenght, does not show cleavage, and it should cover you arms somewhat.

What about a black dress with a really cute jacket?

Post # 12
14186 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

Since it’s a design firm, I’d er on the side of a little bit of fashionable with underlying corporate. It IS a job interview after all. Unless it’s for like, Vogue, ya know? Or something insanely trendy. All in all, place want to hire someone professional. Your work/portfolio will do the talking. 

What about something like this? I love banana republic for a mix for “work chic”. I think a frilly shirt is fine if you wear a jacket or blazer. To me, an interview says “wear a jacket” so I think a pansuit with a fresh top and some earrings would be the way to go.

Stick with classic pumps also–not open toed. Something that is comfy enough to walk around in in case they show you around. You could even do color here I think and coordinate with a clutch or something.Or even boots if they are slim enough to hide under your pants.

In my industry, a classic suit is always best but engineering is kinda boring. I jazzed up my suit with a scarf and a bright shirt so I stood out a little. I don’t think anyone really cared, but I also didn’t feel like I blended in and I felt more put together than just the standard black-white combo. I would not wear a dress. It IS very feminine and you don’t know who is going to be interviewing you. I’ve been advised by recruiters that pants are always best.

I have long hair, too, and long hair is best off your face if it’s long. Long can scream “sexy hair!” and give you an overall sex appeal you want to avoid. It makes me look fliriter, especially if i mess with it, which i have a tendency to do. I’d wear it back in a classic french braid or a low bun or ponytail, maybe with a side part.

I have heard that jewelry should be minimum but for the msot part, unless you’re rocking a humongous engagement ring, I’d imagine you’re fine. Anything ‘average’ sized won’t be thought much of. But if it’s huge, it could be distracting for the interviewer. I dunno, I just dont’ think most people care enough to notice what their interviewer is wearing unless it’s really obvious.

Just my opinion.

Keep it Simple Chic =]


Post # 14
4667 posts
Honey bee

I think is skirt suit is adorable. It’s professional looking with the jacket and skirt to the knee area. But it’s flirty with the shorter sleeves and a bit chunky necklace. I think you should cut your rings to just wedding and e-ring. Possibly a bright color button up shirt under the jacket. Try polka dots and skip the necklace? There’s a hundred possibilities with this staple.


Post # 15
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

From the way you describe the dress, I am not sure that it would be professional enough for an interview.  Typically the more tailored the look the better for an interview.  In my head I don’t equate “drapy” with tailored.

Post # 16
2410 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

A dress with a slit in the front is definitely a bad idea as you do not want to give the wrong impression. I work in a very corporate field and would never dream of intervieing in anything other than a suit, but in another life I worked in creative fields and lost opportunities because I insisted on doing the suit thing. As a woman, there are a lot of looks that give you the formal feel without necessarily being a suit, and yes, overdressing can absolutely cost you a creative job.

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