Dressing for Your Job Interview

Now that I’m coming up to the end of my job, I’m currently interviewing for new positions. While most of my job interviews are at big-tech companies, where the culture is laidback, I make it a point to dress up. Dressing for your job interview is a big part of showing up and being prepared.

Dressing for Your Job Interview

1. Better to Play it Safe than Sorry

Job interviews are places you want to put your best foot forward. Austin is a pretty liberal town when it comes to people dressing at work (within reason) but I still show up to every interview dressed up. I typically like to wear a nice blouse with pants and a suit jacket. That way I know I’m covering all my spots and my clothes aren’t a distraction.

I want my interviewers to pay attention to what I’m saying, not what I’m wearing.

2. Just because you’re dressing conservatively, that doesn’t mean you need to wear a dress.

Honest to goodness, I hate wearing dresses, especially to interviews. My thunder thighs stick together and will rub together and get all sweaty. I will always take a pair of slacks over a dress, especially for a job interview. Because I don’t want to have sticky thighs and walk around like I’m waddling, I typically stick to pants.

3. Heels are good, but…..

I usually wear heels to interviews, but keep in mind the job you’re doing. A friend at work has an interview for a retail store in a few days. If it’s a job where you’re walking all the time, skip the heels. They’ll just seem impractical.

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I personally like the heels because they give me extra height (I’m 5’7″ and the heels I wear make me 5’10” or 5’11”) and I’ll admit, as a woman, sometimes it’s nice to stand taller than the male interviewers because there’s so much imbalance in an interview to begin with.

Though anytime I wear the heels, my toes hate me.

4. Don’t accessorize too much.

This goes back to the first one – I want people to pay attention to my words, not my jewelry. I typically stick to my class ring and some simple earrings for my interview. Something to add a little sparkle, but not enough to distract.

5. It is better to overdress

Even if you’re interviewing with a casual company, dress to impress. Taking the time to go out of your comfort zone is something that will always impress interviewers. Take time to do your makeup, even if it’s something that looks minimal (aka, I should actually put foundation on). Brush your hair or do something nice with it.

Wear the heels. Bring an extra pair for after if you need to.

But most importantly, as you take all this to heart or to mind, there’s one thing I really want you to remember:

6. Be Comfortable

I talked about being out of your comfort zone, and if you wear jeans every day, dressing up will be a little out of your comfort zone, but wear things that are comfortable. Don’t try to wiggle into the pants that are too tight (it’s like I’m writing all these points out just for myself). Find clothes that look nice, but you can still breathe in.

You’re out of your comfort zone with interviewing in general. Find a happy medium for your clothes and focus on impressing your interviewers.

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