What Should You Wear on a Job Interview?

November 19, 2009

In a recent New York Times article, Lisa Kline, the fashion stylist notoriously known for dressing Sarah Palin with $150,000-plus of designer clothing in what the article’s author Lauren Lipton calls, “Wardrobegate” talks of outfitting the former Vice Presidential candidate for what was one of the most widely-seen job interviews of the year.

Sure, the $2,500 Valentino jacket from SAKS that the stylist selected for Palin to wear as she accepted the GOP’s vice-presidential nod, looked amazing paired with that black pencil skirt but if your wallet isn’t as big as the Republican National Committee’s ¬†read on for our top five tips to looking good in the interview.

1. Don’t show the toes. Open-toed shoes are never appropriate for an interview. Leave the sandals for the beach and the strappy heels for prom.

2. Nylons, yes nylons. We get it, nylons aren’t only dowdy, but they’re uncomfortable. However, for an interview you’ve got to be ready for any situation and any interviewer. Many people are still stuck in the mindset that you don’t show a bare leg with a skirt, so it’s better to error on the safe side and then after you’ve landed the job dump the hosiery. There are a few exceptions to the rule: when interviewing at a fashion forward company/fashion industry company you can leave the nylons behind.

3. Brushing alone will not suffice. Ladies — if you’ve got long hair we’re talking to you. Your normal routine of air-drying and brushing your locks isn’t going to do. Either pull back your hair in a simple and professional bun or take the time to style your ‘do.

4. Get polished. It really is the simple things that matter. Look at your nails. Yes, right now, we’ll wait. Is the polish chipped? Are the edges jagged? Chances are in an interview situation you’ll be gesturing as you passionately explain why you’re the perfect candidate for the position. You want to look professional and put together–and that means a clean look from head to nails. Just as you wouldn’t go into an interview with greasy hair or make-up still on from the night before, you wouldn’t want to show up with chipped polish (even if it is that fab new Russian Navy Blue).

5. Jeans are never OK. We said it. Yep, deal with it. Jeans are never OK for an interview. Even if the setting is in the most casual of situations, think: coffee, lunch, etc. You always want to dress for the position you want not the position you have (read: unemployment).

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