Interview Fashion: Dress for Success | Macaulay Honors College

Interview Fashion: Dress for Success

By: Megan Manlunas

Congrats! You’ve finally scored that big interview for the internship of your dreams. As the big day approaches, you find yourself asking “What should I wear?” Although the recruiter can already see that you have all the qualifications as listed on your resume, first impressions are still incredibly important. The first thing an employer will notice as you walk through that door is what you are wearing. Remember that it is important to dress for success. Although different interviews may not always require a formal attire, it is best to be overdressed than it is to come under dressed.

Business Professional

  • Finance
  • Law Firm
  • Human Resources

An interview for a big financial firm or even a law firm may require interviewees to come in dressed in business attire. Women can easily wear a matching blazer and pants and it will work perfectly. I find neutral colors such as black, gray, navy and white to  work well around different outfit combinations. Women don’t have to  wear a full suit either! It’s fun to play around with different outfit combinations such as chic blouses, skirts and dresses. Not only can you mix and match with different textures, but you can also have fun accessorizing! However, it’s best to keep the jewelry minimal – simple gold rings and necklaces will always look classy and timeless. For inspiration, check out these workplace fashion blogs catered to women.

Matching suits work not only for women, but also for men! Nothing works better than a tailored suit – but don’t get me wrong you don’t have to settle for the most expensive suit for just a mere interview. Neutral colored button-down shirts paired with dress pants create a clean and professional look. Check out this article for more tips on how men should dress during an interview.

Additionally, some CUNY institutions offer interview clothes for both men and women to rent for FREE. Check it out here: John Jay and Baruch.

Business Casual

  • Technology
  • Sales
  • Trades

Not all companies will require business professional attire for an interview. Many companies – especially in the tech field – will allow you to dress more business casual. Similar to business professional, dressing business casual allows you to look professional but stay comfortable at the same time. Business casual is a great opportunity for playing around with color. Women can definitely play around more with colored skirts, blouses, tops and an informal jacket. Men can create many different outfit combinations with khakis, button-down or collared shirts, informal tie and leather shoes. For more ideas on what to wear, check this image gallery with different examples of what to wear. 

Casual

  • Start- Ups

Many times companies such as start-ups will have no dress code at work and allow you to wear “whatever”. But what does this mean? Well, this does not mean you should come in a hoodie and sweatpants and it is probably best to leave the worn out sneakers at home. Keep in mind, you are still going to work or to an interview, you still want to remain presentable. Wearing dark jeans with a simple tee shirt may suffice! You may be allowed to wear sneakers, but still try to dress respectable. The most important thing is to be comfortable with what you are wearing. Make sure you check what is appropriate to wear when there is no dress code.

It is important to do your research before an interview. You should know what vibe a company expects of its workers. Researching the consumer demographics of a company should give you an idea of how it will feel working there. If all your research does not help, sometimes the best person to ask is the recruiter themselves. They will let you know if you need to come in dress business professional or if they just want you to come in jeans.

Now that you have an idea on what you should wear, you are ready to conquer your interview! Before you go off to your interview, make sure you check Macaulay’s Interview Tips. Now go and get that internship!