Interview Style: Break out the Blazer


So, you’ve impressed the company of your dreams with your sterling resume, and they want to meet you in person. Now it’s time to show them what you’re made of off paper! While education and work history are typically the bulk of what employers look at, the line is not merely drawn there. Hiring managers will look at you as an entire package; this means, your demeanor and appearance are also largely taken into account. They want to make sure they are hiring a professional that will fit in seamlessly with their particular workplace culture. Finding the perfect outfit for your interview is a crucial step in exhibiting confidence and proving you that you are the right candidate for the job.

It all begins with doing some research on the type of workplace environment you will be interviewing for. You can usually make generalizations based on the type of company and industry field. Is it a young, creative start-up environment where employees play just as hard as they work? Are you interviewing at a corporate office where everyone wears a suit? Or is it somewhere in the middle? These are important questions to ask your self before thinking about putting together your interview outfit. Below we break down three types of workplace environments and how you can use your outfit to impress the interviewers and land your dream job!


Blouse + cardigan combo...great for a day at work!

Image Credit: Stylin’ Mommies

More and more companies are turning their offices into a space where employees can both work and let off steam, whether on the break room ping-pong table or in their fully stocked snack room. It’s safe to say that these creative companies have a very relaxed approach to workplace attire. While you may notice employees of the company wearing jeans and sneakers at their desks, this does not mean you should dress this casually for your interview. As the first meeting with your potential employers, you want to make sure you look polished and professional, yet still wear something that expresses your style and personality; have fun with colors, and take a look at the trending palettes of 2014 for inspiration.

Since this is a more casual environment, you may want to forgo the high-heels and pantsuit. Instead, try wearing dress slacks, stylish flats, and a blouse with a cool pattern (think polka dots, plaid, or bold stripes). Bring a tailored blazer with you, as you can easily peel it off or keep it on based off of the overall vibe of the environment. For accessories, you can certainly be a little more creative in a casual workplace environment, but try to make sure you don’t wear anything that will be overly distracting during the interview. You want to make sure the employers’ attention is on what you are saying, not your loud jewelry.

Business Casual

Great outfit to wear to work!

Image Credit:

Perhaps the trickiest interviews to dress for are the companies that are in between casual and formal. However, this should not be a stressful endeavor. The importance is to make sure you look classy, conservative, and confident. If you plan on wearing dress pants, be sure to wear a modest-sized heel to dress it up. While most feel that a dress-suit is somewhat drab and outdated, nowadays there are endless ways to give them a modern twist. Layer the piece on top of a girly, sheer top and accessorize with a classic string of pearls for the perfect woman-in-charge look. While being conservative is key, you should still try to incorporate your own flair into the outfit to make sure your true self shines through in the interview.


Professional Pink

Image Credit: Polyvore

A formal workplace environment calls for a top-notch professional dress code. This means that men wear tailored suits and ties, and women either wear pantsuits or dresses. For this type of interview, you want to make sure you look elegant, simple, and professional. Make sure that if you go with a pantsuit that it looks clean and tailored. Avoid flashy colors and make sure to keep your hair and makeup basic. Of course, formal attire does not mean you have to forgo fashion or dress uninspiringly. Try working in some classic accessories, like a thin gold necklace or pearl stud earrings to make your outfit more on trend. This type of company wants to be sure they are only bringing the most professional people on board, so dressing the part will help make you look like you meet all their expectations.

No matter where you are interviewing, make up sure that your hygiene is impeccable. For starters, make sure you get a good night’s sleep so you can wake up early to add that extra touch of effort and eliminate any dark eye bags! Make sure that you’re organized every step of getting ready, from the time you pull out shampoos from the shower caddie to the moment you take your high heels out of the closet organizer. Not being able to locate small things like your “good blazer”, an umbrella or your keys wastes time so you either appear looking a bit frazzled or are late. By making sure everything you need is within arm’s reach, you can take your time to perfect your overall appearance and boost your confidence.

Good luck!

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OCM Staff
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