May 18th, 2011
Style Inspiration, What to Wear, Work Wardrobe
Style Inspiration: What to Wear to a Job Interview
By Claire

Alexis said, “I just received a call back for an internship follow up interview Friday. The internship is for a major record label. I need to ace this once in a life time opportunity with the perfect outfit!! I have nooooo idea what to wear ! Please help?!?”

Hey, Alexis! For an interview, it’s simply important to look polished. Skew towards conservative in a black pencil skirt and a crisp white shirt (try one with a bow detail to show a bit of your personality). Also add flair with a pair of funky shoes–sure black pumps are fine, but consider being adventurous in snake embossed pumps by Pour la Victoire or even a pair of show stoppers by Miu Miu (love!). Complete the look with a tote bag in a chic cherry red–and why not try red lipstick?
Get the look above plus options for less here:

What do you think?
Get even more inspiration from these chic celebs:

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44 Responses to “Style Inspiration: What to Wear to a Job Interview”

  1. Good Post, I like Ms.Jackson’s outfit!
    Good luck Alexis!

  2. sunnylovey says:

    I think THIS style dresses is suited for interview, and like it so much!

  3. yahum says:

    I agree that Ms Jackson’s outfit is the best considering the subject. Depending on your area of work, you should consider that the interviewer doesn’t care if you look cute, they just want you to look professional. In the past I see that’s a mistake I’ve made a few times. Kim K and Zoe Saldana’s outfits are great, but I would caution against wearing them to interviews.
    And I understand the irony of my opining on a blog called the fashion bomb that looking cute is not the goal.

  4. llehsal says:

    I agree with Yahum. I would think the only two I would wear is that of Janet Jackson and Victoria Beckam. The other two can me worn at other semi formal events…I love all these outfits though. Nice post.

  5. BOOBOO says:

    I think these choices are excellent. I would jus add that make sure your skirt hits above the knee and no higher and a suit jacket matching the skirt is a MUST. I wouldn’t do a peep toe until u get hired.
    Good Luck:)

  6. Shaq Nichole says:

    I love Zoe’s outfit then Ms. Jackson. Very nice! I also would note that, if you can’t afford the below options our dear Claire has posted, you can always go to Zara, Ann Loft ect. God Bless you Alexis on this interview!

  7. Shaq Nichole says:

    *above* options…

  8. SimplyMe says:

    Many of the options seem out of price range for someone going on an interview for an internship. I think BooBoo is right about the suit jacket. I’ve never been to an interview without a suit jacket, whether it was for an internship or a job.

  9. KBS says:

    I;m cosignin’ on the looks. I always keep it nun-ish for the interview. No crazy patterns, no club shoes or sleeveless t shirts (I’ve seen it done!). Good luck, and can a sistah get a hook up on some cd’s when you get the gig? #imjussayin

  10. SimplyMe says:

    AND I wouldn’t recommend wearing colored lipstick or nail polish to the interview. Keep your make up and accessories very minimal.

  11. KBS says:

    @SimpleyMe, I think , hope, Claire was just giving her an overall look to run with, not saying she should go buy a $600 jacket. If she doesn’t have a suit by now, she should ASAP. For a suit on a budget I’d try Zara, Target, Burlington Coat Factory, TJMaxx, Marshalls, Daffy’s , Consignment store, Macy’s, Spiegle’s and The Limited. One of these places has to be close. And have the suit tailored if it needs it, be on point! TTFN

  12. alice says:

    i think the number one tip for what to wear to a job interview is ALWAYS wear a well-fitted blazer in black or navy. it doesn’t matter what the position is or in what field, this show that you are serious about the position and can look the part if need be.

  13. MizzNique says:

    I totally agree that Ms. Jackson’s look is key. While I agree that a chic tailored suit is key, there is nothing wrong with going with a sweater instead. Always make sure that your clothing is dry cleaner ready as that is the top mistake that many people make. No cleavage (this is another). Also, minimal makeup (try neutrals and nudes). Last, there should be a statement piece (maybe a brooch, pop of color, necklace, nice handbag or briefcase, bracelet, or wedding ring). Good Luck! I’m out…

  14. Vanessa says:

    Trust me you NEVER want to come off flashy. EVER. It’s best to be safe then sorry- Janet’s look is pretty much spot on for a SECOND interview.
    But Big flashy bags, shoes, and red lipstick (unless of course you are in the Fashion Industry, but even there play it safe) are just no nos… Trust me (*reviews resumes at my agency. lol )

  15. sun.kissed says:

    I say go with Zoe’s or Ms. Jackson’s look. Good luck!

  16. vonnie says:

    seeing as to how this is the music industry that she is interviewing into and not wall street, i think that the printed shoes and colored lip are fine. i went to an internship interview for a modeling agency and would have looked crazy all buttoned up like I was going to an interview at something more tightlaced. and i got the internship.

    erring on the side of chic/polished always helps, but for creative fields, a little pop of personality never helps.

  17. vonnie says:

    *never hurts

  18. LawyerChic says:

    Red lipstick to an interview?!? Please don’t do that. All the other tips were excellent except for that one!

    Interview/work makeup (unless you’re working at MAC) should be very minimal, as well as fragrance, and jewelry.

    She may get a pass because she interviewing at a record label, but otherwise these are interview faux paus!

  19. RHONYC says:

    super cute!
    this ensemble reminds me of the fashionista’s outfit that interviewed to replace Charlotte at her gallery on SATC. remember?!
    classic. ;-)

  20. Claire says:

    Hey my opinionated Bombshells!
    As always, the pieces used to display the look are expensive. There are more affordable options if you just keep scrolling through the widget (there are 5 pages of options).
    Also, true story: when I interviewed with Carine Roitfeld for my internship with Paris Vogue, I wore a crisp white shirt and tweed skirt from Zara. I actually did a funky gray shoe. Topped off with a trench. I accessorized with a Louis Vuitton vernis handbag in plum. And a red lip. Carine loved my red lip! And yeah, I got the internship. I think in creative industries you can be a little adventurous with the makeup. Look crisp and clean, but add a dash of flavor.
    At @Lawyerchic, I understand you’re a chic lawyer, but with creative industries you can be a little bit more adventurous (I think). xx

  21. yusufswifee says:

    This is a cool ensemble…for a record company internship – especially the red lip. The general feeling is that black is too harsh for first time interviews…stick with navy blue, brown, or gray. But then I work in DC.

  22. LawyerChic says:

    @ Claire I’m actually pursuing an IP law career in the fashion industry and from what I’ve experience (from interning & shadowing) is that even in the creative industries traditional interview rules still apply. You may get away with being trendier, but the essential principles are the same. I guess its been different for me since I’ve been a different capacity of the industry. Thanks for sharing! (I’m still a student by the way 1 more lousy year!)

  23. 05girl says:

    I think you’d have to also factor into what kind of role it is at a record label.

    Play it safe, don’t do the bright makeup.. especially if your look has a big azz bow or some other creative pop.

  24. I’m with Claire on this! When you are looking to get a position in a “creative” industry well that should also be displayed in your look. You heard the saying “look the part”, which means you should dress for the job you want! Besides a red lip makes your smile brighter and everyone LOVES a gorgeous smile!

  25. Ninjo says:

    Cherry red lipstick is not a good idea on an interview.
    Keep your make up neutral. When you get hired… you can ease your way into the funky colored lips and such.
    I liken it to an artist wearing black when presenting her artwork. The focus should be on the work (or in this case, your expertise).

  26. CCristine says:

    I agree with Lawyer Chic keep it classy for the interview, you want the interviewer to take you seriously. You don’t have to dress like a nun but a simple crisp white button down and pencil skirt (hits just above the knee) will look stylish and sophisticated. You can show them your style once you nail it. I like Ms Jackson and Victoria Beckam (last photo). Good Luck!

  27. kaliente says:

    I agree, keep it simple…once you get the job then you can play around with other ideas…but with interviews you NEVER know so to play it safe…IJS.
    it’s a record label….not ANTM…or a MAC internship. When I think record label i think of behind the scenes business wise yano?
    no shade tho to anyone else…

  28. wallflower says:

    I do Marketing and PR for Arts organizations. My last job interview was for a management position in the Marketing department of a dance company.

    I wore my favorite (and lucky) grey suit with a berry lip and pink pumps. I wasn’t sure about the pumps, but as I was getting on the elevator the woman who interviewed me complimented me on my ‘pop of color’.

    After I got the job one of my co-workers was like “I saw you walk into your interview, you wore the cute pink pumps, right?”

    I think you can be the tinniest bit more daring in creative fields. A little pop of color may also help you stand out in these types of interviews.

  29. Nunyabizniz says:

    The devil wears Prada, anyone? The industry in which you are trying to get a job totally matters. That being said, you can get away with trendiness and adventure in the fashion industry but you still have to be careful, nothing over the top, it’s not time just yet for your inner Anna Wintour/June Ambrose to surface when you are merely interviewing…
    For the rest of us, a polished /conservative look, neutral colors, would do the trick.

  30. abb says:

    Open toe? bare legs? RED lips? black and white looking like a hostess? To a job interview???And for God’s sake even the red bag screams too much. Plenty ways to be fashionable at job interviews without looking like just too much-even for the fashion/music industry!

    Leave the flair for after you get the job, a great attitude and friendliness during the interview and credentials of course will be a huge part of impressing the employer.

    This is a miss for me.

  31. hehe says:

    Girl do not go to your interview with 5 inch heels, open toe, and red lips. So not professional. Sorry Claire not feeling the pick.

  32. dyshaun says:

    Unless she is the only person being interviewed this is the last thing I would wear…what about a nice wrap front dress in green or some other unexpected (solid, not print) color.

    I’m just saying, ery body gonna have this on. IMO, its professional but in the music industry you should prolly be memorable as well.

    Here they hate when they dont get what they hired…meaning I dont think its a good idea to show up cookie cutter then come back out-the-box. For my interview I wore an olive green suit, black sleeveless blouse, and black, unique shoes….sure its a corporate environment but I am in a creative dept….and pray God I dont have to have any more interviews LOL


  33. KBS says:

    This poor girl is gonna walk into the interview confused with some Birkenstocks, umbrella and a G-string.

  34. esme says:

    i recently went on an interview for an internship with fashion company in a conservative black dress, sweater, and shoes, but with a vintage gucci tote and a red lip. i got the internship and the interviewer specifically told me that he liked the way i dressed. on an interview, i generally play it safe with my outfit, but i’m a little bold with my lips, bag, or shoes (never open toed shoes though). as others have said, i think people are given more leeway in creative industries. i think it’s even somewhat encouraged for interviewees to exhibit some creativity in the way they dress because it shows a bit of personility and is another way of making you more distinctive from the other candidates being interviewed. i think janet jackson’s outfit is the best example for an interview outfit overall. in a more corporate enviornment, i’d agree she’d have to be more conservative and that it would be imperative to wear a suit jacket, but i don’t think with a record company she should be that restrictive.

  35. Kiajd says:

    Lots of comments about what liberties one could take when interviewing in the creative sector. While the recording industry could be considered creative, there’s no guarantee that the internship homegirl is going for is creative in nature. You could have a legal gig, HR, marketing, sales, etc position within a record company and those individual departments might be more buttoned up than others.

    I think it’s even more important for younger women and men to err on the side of traditional – though I do support the idea of one personality piece/pop of color – to show they’re serious about the job.

    Cute picks but I would stick to one of these three – the lipstick, bag, shoes – instead of putting it all together in one outfit.

  36. Simone says:

    The outfit suggestions are great, however, I would steer away from a red lip or funk shoes. You show your personality with the way you answer your questions and not expressed through your clothes (for an interview). I work in a corporate environment now, and it is really hard to be taken seriously wearing clothes that a hiring manager does not understand. The person you interview with may not know current trends so keep it classic and good luck!

  37. binks says:

    I like the suggestions. I think it depends on the company/industry in where you work. Some professions give a little leeway to be more fashion foward than other professions. I think she is okay in the realm of the music industry, now if she wanted a corporate job I can see where it is a bit to much where she has to tweak it some but not much. But the rule is always dress for the job you want and look to cues of how the bosses dress or other co-workers dress(if you can) to know what to wear beforehand. But great picks, I hope the young lady gets the job!

  38. JB says:

    It won’t matter how you look! You won’t get the job anyhow. Ever since Affirmative Action got into the White House only minorities are getting the available jobs. This is because there is a mandate from Obama’s admin to the Atty. Generals office (Eric Holder) to only hire minorities at the present time.

  39. esme says:

    jb-shut the eff up.

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  42. [...] are too big now. I’m in the medical administrative field so I wanted to spruce up my look. Your “What To Wear To an Interview….” post inspired my interview look today! This was the 2nd interview, as I would always throw on a [...]

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  44. [...] need ideas on what to wear to an interview? Read here. Also, check out our extensive work wardrobe category. Be Sociable, Share! [...]

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