Dress to impress
As the summer break gets closer, less time is available to snag that perfect summer internship. As if scoring an internship was not hard enough, there is the added stress of what to wear to an interview. However, figuring out what to wear to an interview does not have to be so hard. There are a few simple rules and tips that can greatly ease this problem.
Women should first be sure the hemline is appropriate for an office environment. While it is tempting to show off some leg, work is not the time or place. The shortest a skirt or dress should go is only an inch-or-so above the knee. However, it is better to play it safe and wear a pencil skirt that goes a few inches below the knee instead.
Second, never wear shirts that are too low-cut. Even though some suits can have a masculine look, showing a lot of cleavage will not solve this issue, but, instead, create another. There are a series of alternative ways to stifle the masculine-look problem like wearing a fitted suit, adding silk to the outfit or, more simply, just wearing it with pumps.
Third, be sure to cover anything that is sheer with appropriate coverage. An effective way to do this is by wearing a blazer on top of a sheer top, or laying other clothes on top or under the article of clothing. This rule should also be applied in order to prevent loose-straps.
Finally, bags used should be very classy and formal. It might be best to avoid bringing a purse all together and instead bringing a briefcase, tote or portfolio. Avoid chunky bags with lots of designs and wild colors.
The same rule is suitable for shoes. Avoid wearing peep-toed heels. The best shoes to wear are simple close-toed pumps in basic shades like black. Chances are anything that you would wear on a night out with friends is probably not the best choice to wear to an interview.
Men should wear good-quality shirts and ties. Much like women, men should also avoid wearing outrageously-flamboyant attire with their matched suits. Being too conservative in this environment is better than looking too ridiculous and risk not being taken seriously.
Socks on men should be dark, and reach mid-calf. This will help stop the possibility of any skin being revealed when sitting. It is usually best to wear socks that are close in color to the suits. Shoes should be lace up shoes or Oxford shoes.
Sneakers should never be worn to an interview. The shoes should be leather and either black or dark brown.
Professional clothing can be purchased in several different stores. Women should look at places like Chanel, Chloé, Club Monaco and Ann Taylor. Men can find suits at department stores like Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales and Macy’s as well as designer stores like Versace and Hugo Boss.
Amie Donahue, assistant director of career and experiential education, said that while it is important to be prepared for an interview, it is just as crucial to look the part. This includes wearing the correct type of clothing.
“All clothing should fit properly and be clean,” Donahue said. “No matter how nice your clothing, if it’s too big or too small you won’t look prepared.”
With the incorporation of these tips, looking professional does not have to be so difficult. The hidden element behind a successful interview often is what you wear and, more importantly, what you do not wear. Appearance during your next interview does not have to impress your potential employers; however, it should not turn them away.
Juhi Patel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.