Every college now adequately prepares its graduates for interviews when they’re unleashed into the “Real World.” Bring your resume. Shake hands and make eye contact. Have three researched questions to ask your interviewer. Follow up with a thank you card.
Well that’s all well and good, but what happens when you are interviewing with a fashion company where your credentials and appearance are equally important? Before you rush out to buy a Stella McCartney suit (which you probably couldn’t afford until you got this job anyway), follow these simple DO’s and DON’Ts for interview dressing!
DO bring at least three copies of your resume in a portfolio.
Perhaps the biggest faux-pas in any interview is showing up without a resume, even more so in a fashion industry interview. Be sure to carry your resume, references and cover letter in structured portfolio on solid card stock. It’s a simple investment but will demonstrate your absolute professionalism.
DO keep your makeup clean.
Now is not the time to practice your smoky eye or red lip. Keep your makeup clean, fresh faced and minimal. When you’re caked up with makeup you immediately set the tone that you’re more self-absorbed than your work. Moreover, with more makeup, you run a more serious risk of lipstick on the teeth or eye liner running down.
DON’T wear head to toe designer labels.
When you are sporting the Chanel handbag, Hermes bangles and Gucci sunglasses all at once, your interviewer will second guess how your resume got to the top, “Did someone call in a favor? Will this girl really roll up her sleeves and work or is she just pampered?” Instead of loading up on blatant designer goods, wear more obscure or less flashy designer pieces that reflect your personal style.
DO wear crisp clothes in a neutral palette.
Just because you’re interviewing for a fashion related job, don’t forget you’re still on an interview. Think that less is more and opt for a clean, crisp black dress with select jewelry pieces. It’s more impressive to see an interviewee pull together a balanced outfit with classic staples than to see them wearing the latest fashion trend. Also, have your clothes dry cleaned before your interview.
DO wear sensible heels.
Absolutely wear heels as it will naturally help your posture. Make sure you can comfortably walk in them across all possible flooring materials: marble, hardwood, tile and carpet. It sounds weird but imagine the instant panic you’ll feel when realizing your heels are gliding more than walking over the lacquered floors. Also, make sure they’re polished heels and the nail of the heel isn’t exposed from that time you drunkenly got it stuck in a subway grate.
DON’T opt for a more casual look.
Even if you’re friend tips you off that everyone working at the company sports jeans and a t-shirt, don’t dress down. Remember: they have the job already and don’t need to impress you. A more lax look may be acceptable in this industry but not for an interview. Don’t wear jeans and don’t wear open toe shoes.
DO go in with confidence and a smile.
As Annie once proudly sang, regardless of what you’re wearing, “it’s what you wear from ear to ear… that matters.” Of course, she may have been a redhead that barely pulled off a red dress but the advice is sound. Shoulders back, chin up and smile! When your face is brimming with positive energy, your outfit becomes secondary and your personality, charm and wits take center stage.