Chit Chat

NWR: Interview Attire

I know I'm probably overthinking this, but I've recently lost weight and cut my hair so I need to go shopping (oh darn) and have been playing with hairstyles.

Are suits/blazers with a light-colored top still the fashion go-to for interviews?

I have an interview with the State next week and want to make a good impression.  I've been waiting almost 3 months for this opportunity.  I know someone who works in the same office in a different city and they wear a lot of dressy shirts/blouses/sweaters with slacks (so...not suits) on a daily basis so I'm worried about looking overdressed or too stuffy (is that possible?).

Closed toe obviously, but does short pump vs boot vs flats matter?

Would something like this be too "fancy" or should I stick to something more conservative like a low ponytail/bun/braid?


image
Formerly known as flutterbride2b
image

Re: NWR: Interview Attire

  • Typically government/state jobs are way more conservative than most offices so for the interview I would wear a suit or at least slacks with some sort of jacket.  To avoid looking "stuffy" I would wear a blouse with a brighter color with a pattern, just don't go super bright with the color or super busy with the pattern.  Shoes are less of a concern as long as they are in good condition (not scuffed, dirty, etc.)

    I think that hair style would be appropriate for an interview but maybe your acquaintance can shed more light on how conservative the main office is.

    Good luck!
    photo composite_14153800476219.jpg
  • I would still do a suit or blazer.  If the office really is as casual as it seems, you could maybe get away with a dressy top instead of a button down.  The fact that you mentioned your interview is with the state makes me lean towards more classic business. 

    For those same reasons I would go with a low ponytail or bun.  I actually would not do a braid at all, while supercute they scream juvenile to me in work settings.  The hairstyle in the photo you attached is adorable, but not for an interview, IMHO.

    As for shoes, if you are wearing pants or a pant suit you have a lot more leeway, as long as they are in good condition and your pants aren't dragging.  If you are wearing a skirt or skirt suit I would go with a low to mid heeled pump.  Keeping in mind that a heel can be an automatic confidence booster and make you stand and walk taller!

    Good luck with the interview!!!

  • Unless you know the work environment is very casual, I think you should always go to an interview with a suit (either pants suit, skirt suit or a conservative black dress and suit coat).  I'd much rather take off a suit coat if I felt over dressed in an interview than not have one.  Shoes...I'd go with either closed-toe flats or pumps.  I'd avoid boots personally. 
  • Having both worked for the state and for headhunters, I suggest sticking with a dark suit and a top or blouse in a nice color. Make sure your clothes are not wrinkled. Do not overload on perfume. Make sure your hair, however you style it, is neat and you aren't fidgeting with it during your interview. Shoes should be clean and not scuffed. Flats or a low/mid heels are ideal. If you prefer a higher heel, feel free but stilettos during a job interview don't always give off the most professional vibe in a conservative workplace.

    You want the person/people who meet with you to remember you for what you say in the interview, not for something unrelated.

    ~*~*~*~*~

  • I agree with PPs: you are safer just wearing a dark suit.  I have a lot of silk shells to go under suits: just a bright or pastel color, no pattern, no buttons.  That's my go-to for interviews or client meetings.  A button-down shirt or silky blouse would also be fine.  Because your hair is short, I think down is fine as long as it is "done."  And I would always suggest pumps over flats: they are a confidence-booster and although it's a double standard, I do think women look more professional in heels.

    This blog has awesome advice and discussions about corporate attire for women.  They also have lively comment chains and you can get a lot of ideas over there.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
    image

    "I'm not a rude bitch.  I'm ten rude bitches in a large coat."

  • You always want to overdress a tiny bit for the interview.

    As an interviewer, you know to expect only 70% from what the applicant shows in the interview. So if you come in something more casual that reads, to me, that you'll be UNDERdressed on a regular day.
  • Wear a suit or shift dress/pencil skirt and blazer for sure, and pumps. Do not wear flats. Err on the conservative (but not boring) side. Also err on the more formal side as opposed to more casual. Make sure your hair is neat (can be down or up) and not overdone. Do not wear perfume, and keep makeup clean and minimal (neutral eyeliner, tiny bit of mascara and blush, neutral lip).

    Wear something that makes you feel both feminine and confident. When you feel like a powerful woman, you'll exude that.

    Sidenote: we once had a guy show up in holey cargo pants and an old t-shirt for an interview. He was also annoyed when he couldn't get his phone to connect to our Wi-Fi and kept asking the receptionist if the password she gave him was correct. I was tempted to send him home right then, but we humoured the interview.


    image
  • You can never go wrong by wearing a suit and having people think you're a little overdressed. You can go WAY wrong being underdressed. PPs have good advice
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • KytchynWitcheKytchynWitche member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    Pretty much what the PPs have said. You want to overdress rather than underdress. Sadly, it's very easy for interviewers to mistake "casual" for "sloppy" or "doesn't care". You want to show them that you take the job seriously, so you need to dress "seriously".

    True story: When I was doing my apprenticeship at the hair salon, we had a girl come in for an interview. Now it's a salon, it's pretty casual, because (especially as an appie) you need to be able to move freely. Jeans and a nice top would have been perfectly acceptable attire for the interview - the only people who dressed "up" in the salon were in admin. This girl came in in the lowest low-rise jeans I have EVER seen, they had a corset-lace closure in front which was not properly done, her rhinestone thong stuck out the back, and she wore a halter-neck crop top that was so short it could just about have been a necklace. Her parents dropped her off for the interview, and we were all STUNNED that they let her out of the house looking like that. Needless to say, she didn't get the job.

    So don't do that! ;P
    imageDaisypath Friendship tickers
    pumpkinsandturkeysWildMagelet
  • I always wear a suit to an interview. Good luck! 
  • Love the feedback, ladies!  I'll definitely have a leg up on some of the "horror stories" you've told, lol.

    I'll probably take both a low heel and flats with me and wait to decide before I go in.  They'll be easy enough to switch out in the car.  It will also probably depend on how slippery it is outside.

    I love the blog @JCBride2014 !

    The position is at a prison - would that sway your decision over pants vs skirt?  I know my professors in college always considered skirt suits to be more "classic" and "conservative" for women but I also don't want my interviewers to think I'm trying to seduce the inmates by showing some pantyhose, lol.  


    Formerly known as flutterbride2b
    image
  • @flutterbride2b, I think a pants suit might give more of a nod to the environment that you'll be working in: you'll want something that's easy to move in and provides good coverage. I think a skirt suit might come across a bit more as "uh, does she know where she is?!" Not 100% sure though, but that's my take on it.
  • @flutterbride2b I would go for the pants.  With the position being in a prison I would think they would appreciate the pants chosen over a skirt as being more practical.  Even if a skirt suit is more classic, I would think a pantsuit would still be very acceptable in this instance.  I also bias towards pants myself because I'm a little clumsy in heels.
  • With that little extra tidbit of information, I would likely go with a pantsuit too!

  • Love the feedback, ladies!  I'll definitely have a leg up on some of the "horror stories" you've told, lol.

    I'll probably take both a low heel and flats with me and wait to decide before I go in.  They'll be easy enough to switch out in the car.  It will also probably depend on how slippery it is outside.

    I love the blog @JCBride2014 !

    The position is at a prison - would that sway your decision over pants vs skirt?  I know my professors in college always considered skirt suits to be more "classic" and "conservative" for women but I also don't want my interviewers to think I'm trying to seduce the inmates by showing some pantyhose, lol.  


    Wear the pants and flats for this environment.
    KeptInStitchesWildMagelet
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards