It’s incredible how in the blink of an eye, this country’s economy went down the tubes. Unemployment rates have skyrocketed since the coronavirus pandemic and it’s still unclear what the post-pandemic economy will look like.
It all feels like a storm to me, like when a tornado hits and ravages a town. While the storm is raging, everyone hides and takes cover in order to survive. It isn’t until after the storm passes that the damage can be assessed and recovery can begin. This is why part of me, in a twisted psychological way, wants the pandemic storm wants to continue. At least while it is going on I can live in a bubble. My anxiety is making it hard to muster the energy and confidence to deal with the aftermath. Of course, I know, the longer this goes on, the worse off it will be. I am just sharing what I am grappling with in my head.
Interview Style: Interview Looks for the New Normal
As a business owner, yes, it has been hard, but I don’t think nearly as hard for those who have lost their jobs. I remember going through the economic crash of 2008. Despite it almost taking me out, I was in control. I could rework things, make new plans, I could keep going. These are things someone whose employment depends on another doesn’t have. For those who are scrambling to find new employment, you truly have my support.
I have been thinking about life in this new normal. People are struggling to make ends meet while looking for a job which makes it obscene to expect someone to go out and just buy a new suit, especially these days when it will likely just hang in the closet after the job is secured. Workplaces are more casual and few people have the disposable income to buy clothing they don’t need. I have put together some interview looks for all job types that will not only work for the interview but can be worn once you get hired.
Outfit #1- Suited Separates for Corporate
You want to be memorable when you interview and rare is it that someone will be memorable when they stroll in wearing a variation of the predictable black suit, especially when they have reached a high point in their career.
Additionally, what are they going to do with your suit once they get the job and suiting isn’t the preferred dress code among co-workers. This is why I like suited separates that send the same message of professionalism while looking more interesting and memorable. I styled this blush blazer, ivory tank, and rust tailored pants, all from Reiss. I finished the look with beige pumps from Marc Fisher and simple earrings from Bony Levy.
Once the job is secured, these pieces can be easily reworked for everyday and if you’re going to have one pair of pumps a beige pair will get the most mileage.
Outfit #2- Business Casual Interviews
The last thing you’ll want to spend good money on if you are interviewing for a company with a business casual dress code is a suit. Dresses are perfect for this type of interview and not only will a basic shift like this from Ann Taylor be easy to style different ways for work, the silhouette styles well with flats. Considering you’ll likely wear flats more often than heels, flats are the more economical choice.
For the interview look, I styled the dress with a face-framing scarf and popped the look with hot pink flats. The shoes will add a punch to a look without being distracting when sitting for the interview. For a finish, I added simple knot earrings.
Outfit #3- Unsuited Alternative for Creative Interviews
Coming from a creative background, I know that suits are seldom required. If your look is your calling card, creative companies may not be impressed if you interview looking like a banker. This is good news if you want to wear something past the interview.
I love The Fold’s top to create an unsuited, suited look. The top looks finished without the addition of any extras and the wide leg cropped pants are in the same fabric as the top. I added these slingback heels from Boden and linear ear jackets from Madewell.
Outfit #4- Entry level suited
This interview look may contradict what I have been saying about suiting, however, when I put this together for an entry level interview I chose a suit that can easily be broken apart and worn as separates.
While this solution could be used for all types of interviews, I thought of the woman fresh out of college looking to start building her wardrobe. These navy pants from J. Crew can be worn in endless ways as can the blazer, which would even look with a pair of jeans. I finished the look with a cobalt short sleeve sweater from Ann Taylor, beige flats and pearl earrings.
Outfit #5- The Interviewing Intern
Nobody is expecting an intern to wear a suit to an interview. Something simple and professional will work just fine for a job such as this. This collared shirtdress from Halogen with a softer print in a swishier fabric is suitable for intern level interviews. I finished the look with block heel pumps from Sole Society and clover stud earrings.
Tips to keep in mind when interviewing
- Avoid linen and fabrics that wrinkle easily. These fabrics will wrinkle on a regular day and will really wrinkle when your temperature rises during the interview.
- Before selecting a look, try bending, sitting and reaching your arms up in the air to make sure there is nothing too revealing about your outfit.
- You want the interviewer to remember your face, not your outfit. Avoid earrings that hang past where you jawbone angles and are larger than your eye socket and be sure to check that your outfit doesn’t have more contrast than you do.
- From a color psychology standpoint, the belief is red evokes aggression and shouldn’t be worn when asking things, including a job.
- It’s hard to come back from bad first impressions. Probably much harder than you think. You can read more about this here.
If you are on the job hunt during this economy, I hope these tips help you economically put a look together that will have the versatility to be worn beyond the interview.