Thursday, September 16, 2010

Interview Attire Do's and Don't's

In the spirit of recruitment for one of the student organizations that I'm in, I figured I would post about what's appropriate to wear to an interview. We're holding second round interviews for students who moved past the forum round to a panel round. Last night I worked the check-in desk and so we saw everyone the minute they walked in. One girl had a black, cotton/spandex blend, short tight skirt:
It was so wildly inappropriate for the interview or even anything remotely close to an interview. She wore it with a pink top and a white sweater on top. My friend Laura remarked that people think black and white automatically means appropriate. And usually, I'd say that that holds true, but this girl had it SO wrong. She had to tug on this skirt so that it would stay down. That should have been her red flag #1.

We also had an applicant come in wearing a black Polo t-shirt, garnet skirt and Target flats. She looked cute for her outfit, but it wasn't dressy enough for an interview of this caliber. She even admitted to mixing dressy and Carolina, but this time unfortunately it didn't completely work. It's always better to be overdressed than underdressed in my book.

I clearly remember one girl and how cute she looked. She wore a super cute houndstooth skirt that was similar to the one above, but was grey and black instead of white and black. She wore a cute cotton top that was the same shade of grey, a cropped black blazer, a cute necklace and very basic black flats. She was fun and peppy and I really hope she makes it! Her look was so classic and clean though, and she did a great job of looking appropriate without looking stuffy.

Another candidate was wearing a blue shift that had some white beading, she added a white cropped cardigan and wore Jack Rogers. I liked her outfit, but it was generally on the more casual side of things. There were definitely more dressed up people and less dressed up people. 

I always enjoy the people watching (now that I'm on the easy other side) element of things like this. It's clear that some college students know how to dress for events like this and that others still have some learning to do. Professional dress always means such different things to different people too which is also interesting to point out. Sometimes it means heels and sometimes it doesn't, where the line is drawn isn't always easy, so I don't mean to complain about everyone and I understand that often times it is unclear. I wish the best of luck to anyone who has upcoming interviews!

What do you wear to interviews? Have any go-to pieces? Is being overdressed better than underdressed?



Delilahgirl said...

Love the houndstooth skirt, it's always a classic, and perfect for fall! =)

Summer Wind said...

I totally agree... I always overdress for things.. it's much better than finding out you are under-dressed!

An Inquiring Mind said...

Always better to be overdressed! I have a black suit that I always go to with a light colored shell underneath, with heels and non-flashy jewelry.

The Sailor in Pink said...

I definitely think it is so much better to look too prepared and too dressed up, rather than looking relaxed and not serious. Right now, I'm a sailing coach, so my interview was after a regatta, where I was wearing a lifejacket, spandex, and covered in salt. weird enough, I was hired on the spot! I can't do that though for actual, real jobs!