An Interviewing Wardrobe You Can Afford

If you’re approaching that point in your college career at which you’re going to be interviewing for jobs or internships, it’s time to give serious thought to your wardrobe. Whether or not we like it, people do make judgments about the way we dress, and those first impressions are critical in the interview process.

That doesn’t mean you have to rush out and spend thousands of dollars on tailor-made clothing. You can assemble a simple, practical interview wardrobe with just a few pieces. You can find affordable business clothes at large retailers (be sure to check the sale and clearance racks). Another great source is secondhand and thrift stores. You don’t need to have brand-new clothes, as long as what you wear is clean and neatly pressed.

The best choice for interviews is a business suit. Even if casual dress is normal at your prospective employer, a suit always makes a good first impression and suggests that you’re serious about work. Whether you’re a man or a woman, it’s best to choose conservative colors such as black, dark grey or navy blue. Plain white long-sleeved dress shirts (for men) or blouses (for women) are the perfect choice, because they go with any suit color. You can use a tie or scarf to add some color, but choose a design that’s conservative.

Make sure the suit and shirt or blouse are neatly pressed. Most dry cleaning shops will press clothes for a fraction of the cost of cleaning them. You can also buy wrinkle-remover sprays in the laundry aisle of the supermarket.

People also notice shoes, so make sure yours match, and are neatly polished. Men should wear black or dark brown lace-up dress shoes with matching socks. For women, low- or medium-heel black pumps are usually the best choice, along with sheer or neutral pantyhose. Finally, go easy on jewelry. It looks nice to accessorize, but keep your choices simple. Now you look great, so walk in with confidence, look the interviewer in the eye, and smile!


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