Putting together an outfit for a job interview at a traditional place of business, like a professional office, is fairly straightforward. After all, you can’t go wrong with a well-fitting suit or a tailored blouse and simple skirt, like a pencil skirt.
But what if you’re interviewing somewhere less traditional, such as a software company or a creative agency? Do the same rules apply?
Here’s what to wear to a job interview at a creative workplace
Whether you’re a copywriter or a graphic designer, a coder or a publicist, you’re still trying to make a good impression. You have more freedom to express yourself with your clothes, but be careful not to confuse dressing differently with dressing down.
- Do some research. As part of your research into the company you’re interviewing with, get an idea of what the standard of dress is. Attend a networking event where the company is attending or presenting, or look at company culture photos on its website, Facebook page or Flickr account. This will give you an idea of what the boundaries are for creative expression.
- Don’t be distracting. You want the focus of the interview to be on you, not what you’re wearing. It’s OK to wear one item that’s a conversation piece–it can give you something interesting to talk about in your interview–but consider whether your whole outfit should be.
- Keep it polished. Whether your garments are designer, vintage or discovered in a boutique full of unusual pieces, they should be clean, pressed and well-fitting. Put together, you want an outfit that’s the equivalent of a Level 4/Client Meeting.
What if you’re interviewing at an office that’s somewhere in between? You have a few options. Keep the clothes traditional, but bring in more color; think red blazer instead of gray or navy blue. Or try the reverse: a suit in an unusual cut, but a traditional palette. Or boost an otherwise traditional suit with an unexpected accessory, like a statement necklace.
- Fab mamas: Do you work in a creative or nontraditional workplace? What’s appropriate for an interview at your office?
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