Styling for job interviews


Graduate position job interviews can be very stressful because the stake is high and the competition is keen.  Wearing right and get ready for it anytime can remove much of the stress, especially for entry level professionals, and executive roles. 

Be yourself and be at ease is the key, so one can carry herself with ease and present confidently and comfortably.  Interviewers look for the right person, who can focus on the real discussion, on substance, and so can get work done.  Try not to stress out over what to wear for interviews.   Just see tips below. 

1. Don't pair blazer with white shirt  
Almost 10 out of 10 entry level graduate applicants go to interview with black suits and pair it with white collar shirts.   This is not desirable.  First, it is too much like a school girl.  Employers, at their hearts, prefer workers who can readily play a role rather than coming in starting just to learn.  This is true even when the role is named trainees.  Ladies should wear in a way that project a certain degree of maturity, and looking like a school girl does not help.   
Secondly, as entry level job applicants are mostly wearing this black blazer white shirt outfit, then every applicant looks the same.  One may want to look different and to project more confidence.   This is more so when it comes to a group interview.              
Thirdly, white shirt requires tucking in, and it is not that all skirts, and trousers have belt loops.   When the shirts do not have specially long hem, there can be additional and unnecessary stress created when one has to worry over shirt hems coming out.  
Fourthly, there is always a problem with shirts as in whether many buttons to let loose.  There is no strict rule because it is all down to the button intervals and how they are placed against one's chest.  The problem is when one button up too high, it looks like a school girl, and if one buttons down too much, it does not look proper in a job interview setting especially where the interviewers are conservative ladies.   But what is too much up and too much down are never absolute and sometimes, the only right style needs somewhere in between two buttons, and hence one needs fashion tape to style just right.   At job interviews, however, the energy before and during should better be spent for carrying oneself well, smiling with confidence, and most importantly, answering questions right.   It is not worthwhile to risk not getting the button down level right and to stress over it.  
2.  Choose white tops with V-shaped or straight/square neckline.
White tops without button are suggested.  There is then the question of what neckline.   As lapels and collars of blazers are all straight lines, the necklines of tops should best be straight lines.  Otherwise, the curves of scoop or round top disturb the straight lines of the blazers and weaken the seriousness the collars and lapels project.  People wear blazers for business because the lapels and collars project seriousness.  The tops inside should complement the blazers, without disturbing the lines.    Hence, V-shaped neckline top is ideal, and for those whose bodies are thinner, go for straight or square neckline.   
3.  No wide or peaked lapel for blazers 
Wide and peaked lapel may project dominance which is of course not what a graduate interviewees want to communicate.  Avoid wide collar, wide or peaked lapel.   
4.  Blazers should not be stuffy or made of thick fabrics 
Entry level positions are usually expected to do many tasks and to work hard on the job.  Wearing stuffy or thick blazers may not help projecting an impression of quick movements.   So, avoid belted blazers or heavy shoulder.  They have more fabric bulk.  Avoid blazers made of thick fabric.  Avoid blazers with details like trims or ruffle details.   Whilst having one own style is encouraged, the extra materials may harm an impression of simplicity, quick action, and swift movement.    For projecting one individual style, using color is preferred.     
In cold weather, pair the suited look with any coat, or even a down coat.  The coats do not matter so much because one puts it one only when you are outside and not during interview session.   
5. Wear accessories 
Putting on accessories projects a confidence that you not only can look appropriate but also nice and stylish.   Pick one or two contemporary accessories to pair with the simple suits (which as mentioned above should be without details).   Simple suits have left the space for accessories to project sophistication.  Use accessories to create the thoughtfulness and confidence in the look.   But avoid luxurious, branded or expensive accessories or watches.  Avoid projecting that one comes from very well to do families, unless the positions are not about merits and hard work, but prefer good background. 
Wearing simple and polished accessories gives an impression that you are capable of not only doing an appropriate job but you can look after yourself well and to look nicer than just being wearing what is necessary.    
6.  Be free to wear color or blazers with details that do not create extra bulk
Even for graduate position, for one's first job, there is no rule that the applicant must wear a black 'uniform'. The problem nowadays is that black suits are considered as the safest choice.  However, black suits especially paired with white shirts look like just uniform.   It is fine to wear colored blazers as long as it is coordinated with the skirt or trousers.  It is good to wear blazers with fine details which does not add extra fabric or bulk.   
The key is basically that there is no strict rule as to what to wear for interviews.  Just wear what you feel like as being at ease and natural is most important.  Avoid extra bulk, and be guided by the above suggestions.      
When one has her own style and be thoughtful enough to wear in her own way, the interviewers will more likely tend to think that she is independent, competent and confident.  These are qualities of a good worker.   
7.  Get ready for over two sets of outfits
Lastly, be prepared for more than one interview with the same organisation, and hence, get ready for two or more looks.  Try not to look the same when appearing again.   Wearing the same outfit again does not project an admirable quality to take good care of oneself.