As Fairfield students get ready for the Spring semester, they might be looking at potential internships or jobs for the upcoming months. Deciding what to wear to an interview is a challenge faced by both men and women because first impressions are very important and communicating the wrong look could cost you a position.
For men, a simple white button down and tie goes a long way. It looks dressy, professional and polished without being stuffy — but make sure that the shirt is crisp and presentable; if you arrive with a half-way tucked button down and a tie that is incorrectly put on, you just look sloppy. Another good option is a sweater over a button down shirt with dress slacks. I always find that men wearing this kind of outfit seem well put together and look nice, while also having good style. A sweater over a button down is a good combination between business casual and business formal, which can be good for an interview if you do not know how dressy to style yourself. There will be times, however, where men are interviewing for very professional companies and in these cases, it will be beneficial to wear a suit. There are still ways that you can add your own touch to a suit, like the kind of tie you wear. Fun ties might even be an interesting conversation starter. The good thing about men’s fashion is that it is fairly straightforward, so no matter where you are interviewing you will likely see another man dressed similarly to you, but remember that there are ways for men to make interview attire their own and showcase their own tastes.
As for women, there are many options for what to wear on an interview. One option is a sweater and dress pants. A good pair of dress pants are definitely a worthy investment because they can be dressed down as business casual by pairing them with a sweater, or can be more business formal if paired with a button down or blazer. Black dress pants are definitely an asset to have and are a good choice for any interview. As for button downs, it is hard for women to find a good one that is both tasteful and modest, but it is very important to find that combination. Remember that the neckline should be appropriate covering your bra and not showing cleavage. It’s also a good idea to keep your button down tucked in; similarly to men, keeping a button down untucked may come across as sloppy. Dresses are another option for women. Statement dresses involve bright colors and showcase your style, and give off a very positive and girly feel. However, a classic, tasteful “little black dress” with tights can also be a good choice, especially in a formal environment. Finally, skirts are another popular option because they too can be paired with a multitude of tops. Women can pair skirts with cardigans, button downs, blazers or really anything else that they would consider wearing to an interview. With dresses and skirts, it is very important that the length and style is appropriate. They should skim the knee, and opting for a pair of appropriate tights is a good way to tie the look together. Finally, shoe options for women include peep-toe heels with a moderate heel height for a more formal look, or if you’re looking for a more casual shoe, add a pair of ballet flats or loafers instead of heels. For men’s footwear, I would go with a pair of polished dress shoes.
Hopefully these tips are helpful in deciding what to wear on an interview and just remember that any style you choose should be something you are comfortable wearing, but should also be something crisp and appropriate that will make companies want to hire you.