Dress the Part
I’m sure just about every adult has had a job interview before. Probably multiple if you’ve had your fair share of entry-level jobs like myself. While employed at my most recent job, I learned that there are a lot of women out there that don’t know how to dress for an interview - it’s not like it’s something that you’re taught in school, so I can’t really judge them for that. However, it is something that I think every adult should feel confident doing. Typically, I always say you want to dress the part … to a certain extent. Don’t show up in the full uniform of the position you’re interviewing for because Daysia told you to, because then you’d be lying. “Dressing the part” has more to do with the professional level of the position. For example, the majority of the interviews that I’ve had thus far have been for sales associate positions in fast fashion retailers. Therefore, the dress code is pretty much based on common sense - you know, no bikinis, keep your titties covered, keep your ass covered … no visible logos of other brands. Very easy. The goal is simply to look fashion forward, not necessarily professional, so I kept that in mind while preparing for the interviews. Now, lets say you’re interviewing for a corporate position with a company; it’s definitely still okay to be stylish and fashion-forward, but you want to focus on professionalism first.
Being in a creative field such as fashion, it’s easier to stray away from your standard “black slacks, white button-down, and black blazer” look because employers want to see that you have some sense of personal style. Of course your skills and qualifications are what will get you the job, but depending on the employer and the position, the outfit you’re wearing may be that touch that gets you in or the factor that keeps you out. I can’t speak on every field, only on my experiences with interviews, so it’s important that you’re knowledgeable on your field of interest. Additionally, you want to be knowledgeable on the position, the company, and even the person that is interviewing you. A little harmless creeping on LinkedIn never hurt anybody; and besides, you’ll feel a lot better going into an interview that you have actually prepared for. Trust me.
This was THE outfit that I wore to the interview for the internship position that had me stressed for weeks. Like y’all, my nerves were so bad that I was literally not sleeping at night. From the phone interview, to the in-person interview, to actually waiting to know if I got offered the position is the nearest I’ve felt to death in my 22 years of life. It’s weird because I felt so good after I left the interview, that I honestly could’ve bet money that I would be offered the position. I don’t know, it’s just something about not being offered a position on the spot that really messes with my head. In the past, most of the jobs I’ve held have been one’s that I got offered on the spot, and the one’s that I didn’t are the ones I never heard back from. So being that this was my number one choice for an internship, I was honestly freaking myself out. What I was wearing was the LEAST of my concerns, surprisingly.
I put this look together when I was trying to figure out what I would wear to another interview the week prior. I did a good bit of research on both companies, so I figured this outfit would be more suitable for the interview in Miami - the company does make corporate attire, so you know I had to come through with the blazer. If I told y’all that I bought it from Goodwill for $5 would you really believe me? If not, it’s cool, because I probably wouldn’t believe me either. As much as I love thrift shopping, I still have to slap myself anytime I come across a nice, quality garment in damn near perfect condition. Not to mention, it’s from H&M, so their blazers typically run from $35-$60 depending on the style. I’d say it was probably the second most important part of this look behind my shoes (eBay, $28). Yes, it is the end of 2018 and I am still obsessed with mules. Even more since I purchased these a few months ago. They’re really a year-round shoe … and you can debate that with your mama, your grandma, your aunts and uncles … basically anybody but me. Period. Your heel isn’t even the part of your foot that gets cold, so I’m not trying to hear ANY of it. Just looking at the outfit as a whole, there really isn’t a better style of shoe for it anyway. Heels are an option, but in a professional type setting you don’t want your heel height to exceed more than three inches, and being that I have a strong disliking of baby heels (or unless they’re block heels), I couldn’t take that route even if I wanted to. Now, if I wanted to make a few modifications to this look for a night out, I could do away with the blazer, spruce up my jewelry a little, and add a hat; then a pair of pumps or single sole heels would be right up my alley. I love the way heels look with these pants (Forever21) anyway, I’ve just never had a reason to wear them together outside of my apartment. I’ve worn them with a pair of booties before, but we all know heeled booties and pumps will give you two completely different looks. Regardless, these pants look good with both, and that’s why they’re one of my favorites. They’re also high rise, which is how I was able to get away with this cropped top (A’Gaci). It is a dressier top, so that in combination with it’s deep, olive color made it a great piece to complete the outfit. Maybe it’s just me, but against the pants it almost makes the stripes look olive? At least from a distance …… please tell me I’m not crazy and that my eyes are not deceiving me.
To finish it off, I carried my gray cross body bag that I purchased from Maurices ($34). It’s small, but very mighty with five different compartments to hold all of my shit; and by that I mean 20% of what I actually need and 80% old receipts. I’m not really proud of myself for that habit, but I used to put all of my receipts in my wallet, so while you may consider it a simmered down version of hoarding, I see it as growth. PLUS, the bag is a nice, neutral color so I can literally carry it everyday - in other words, bring everything I could possibly need with me everyday. Since the hardware is gold, it makes it easy to pair with jewelry because I go for gold the majority of the time. For interviews, I keep my jewelry very simple. More simple than I normally do because too much can be distracting to your interviewer. You can never go wrong with a watch, so I opted to wear my favorite one by Michael Kors. I’ve needed new batteries for it for some time now, so I couldn’t tell you the time from looking at it, but it look so good paired with my shoes that it really doesn’t matter that I can’t use it’s sole function. It’s for sure the the flashiest piece of jewelry that I’ll wear for an interview; my necklace (Charlotte Russe) and earrings (Maurices) just serve to make me feel a little less bare.
And a final tip for dressing for an interview; I don’t care what the professional level of the position you’re applying for is, do not wear jeans to your interview. Ever. Like don’t even think about it. Colored jeggings you can get away with, but just your basic light wash or dark wash jeans is a definite no.