Monday, December 14, 2009

What do you wear on job interviews?

Sadly, it's been so long since I've been on a job interview, I feel like I have forgotten how to even prepare for one. Picking out an outfit that is stylish, yet appropriate is always stressful. I usually wear basic dresses and heels and jazz them up with a cool piece of jewelry, belt or cute cardigan.

I'll never forget the time I wore an outfit that was completely wrong for an interview. It was a black sleeveless V-cut dress from Club Monaco, which I paired with a cream cardigan and bangles. I bought the dress in a rush, but somehow managed to convince myself it was the perfect interview attire. Wrong. Even though my look was semi-conservative, I realized later (in the reception area, when it was way too late) that my plunging neckline was a no-no. The dress wasn't tight and my cleavage was under control, but I just felt uncomfortable. A couple times during the interview, I swear I caught the editor looking at my chest. I'm not sure if she was batting for the same team or if she wanted to let me know that my dress was inappropriate. Either way, I got her message loud and clear, and I learned a lesson.

My bangles were also a mistake. My intention in wearing them was to showcase my personal style, but the result was noisy handshakes and annoying jiggling sounds every time I made a hand gesture. Not cool. Needless to say, I haven't repeated these mistakes, but I looked at my wardrobe the other day and realized I don't have many interview-friendly pieces. I need to tackle this issue--stat--you know, for all the job interviews I'm gonna have in 2010!

Tell me: How do you feel about your interview outfits? Have you ever made a big fashion faux-pas like I did? One of my PR pals recently told me about a new TV show that is doing head-to-toe fashion and beauty pre-interview makeovers. I'm considering applying to be on the show, and if you live in the New York area and need a little help in this arena, you should too! The info is below.

Summary: TV Show Casting: People in desperate need of a Pre-Job interview fashion and beauty head-to-toe Makeover

Name: Jobs Makeover Show – NYC
Category: General
Title: Pre-Job Interview Makeover - NYC
Media Outlet: TV Show
Specific Geographic Region: N
Region: NYC Boroughs: Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Staten Island
Deadline: January 4, 2010
Are you out of work and in need of a complete head-to-toe makeover to boost your confidence before your next job interview? If this sounds like you or someone you know, then you could be chosen to appear on a television show for a complete wardrobe makeover — which will include professional styling from Celebrity Fashion Stylist Felix Mercado, (new clothing and accessories) and a beauty makeover by his glam squad! If you believe you “fit” the mold of any one of the four types we are looking for (see below) then please send us:

1. Your Name and contact info
2. Photos of yourself (Please try to send photos that back-up your story)
3. Tell us why you deserve a makeover

And be sure to include the title that best describes which makeover candidate type you are applying for. NOTE: All candidates must live in NYC (all boroughs) and must be available for the Television show in January 2010


1) A woman mid to late 40’s – lost her job at least a year ago – and hasn’t been having much luck finding another one. Her confidence is low – and she feels that her age is working against her.

2) Young woman early 20s – finished school within the last year. Has been looking for work – so far unsuccessful – is worried that her “look” isn’t helping her! She doesn’t know what to wear – needs guidance on what’s appropriate etc.

3) 2 brothers or friends – in their 30s – both out of work (laid off) --– both have been looking for a while. They know they need help! – have no idea how to improve their wardrobes – they need to be rescued!!

4) A woman in her 20s or 30s who has a very limited budget – she’s out of work – looking – and doesn’t think she can afford to “dress the part” to find a job


  1. I haaaate dressing for job interviews. Hate it. Hate hate hate. I haven't been on an interview in four years and the memory still gives me hives. Ugh. I just always felt underdressed, overdressed, tacky, stuffy, outdated, or some combo of the above!

  2. So I guess the "Navy Suit" option doesn't work for your line of work, does it?

    Yeah...dark skirt suit, pearls, hose, heels, maybe one bracelet. That was/is/will always be my interview uniform.

    Unless I interview to be on some type of reality show for nearly-30 lawyers...naw...probably the same outfit for that, too.

  3. "My line of work," haha..what am I? A hooker?! Juust kidding, I know what you meant, Shannon.

  4. ha! oops. Yes. Actually, the conservative suit may be a good angle for "the oldest profession". Shoot, lawyers and hookers aren't that different.