Interview Outfits for Women 2022 – Expert Advice on What to Wear – WWD

Interview Outfits for Women 2022 – Expert Advice on What to Wear – WWD

The transformation of the office culture means widespread change across a high volume of variables, but when it comes to fashion, dressing for interviews in the post-Covid workplace has its own rules.

Whether virtual, hybrid, or in person, potential candidates and employees dress a little more casually across the board. To start your job search, you can create a free profile on ZipRecruiter.com to apply with just one click. Yet, “Casualization”, or the concept that “dressing has become much more casual”, was a trend already underway before Covid, according to a report by McKinsey & Co., and the pandemic has accelerated a sentiment that was constantly brewing.

This means that consumers have shown increased interest in athleisure, and as more casual office wear is expected, the athleisure market is expected to reach $ 551 billion by 2025, up 25%, according to GlobalData.

While it seems like we’re all leaning towards this mass insecurity both in the workplace and at home, it doesn’t necessarily extend to potential new employees or those within the interview process.

“When I started my agency in 1997, it was a very different time,” says Elizabeth Harrison, CEO and founder of H&S, who estimates she has interviewed hundreds of people at all different levels of management, from SVPs to interns. “I would say that the expectation of how people present themselves for an interview has evolved. Being tidy and well put together is still very important, but what has changed is what connotes clean and put together is much broader now. “

This evolution of business casual, as well as our shift of society towards greater inclusiveness, means that many offices, from corporate to creative, have eliminated many of the outdated rules in favor of new ones that reflect our collective drive for awareness and upon acceptance.

“As bosses and CEOs, we have had to help educate our junior managers who are hiring for the first time on how to expand their preconceived notion of what is ‘right’ because it has changed,” says Harrison. “Not everyone has access to a designer bag or they might be wearing something cool from a designer you’ve never heard of. And you don’t even have to spend a lot of money to interview well; you can go to Zara or H&M for more affordable options.

Casual interview dresses vs. Formal interview dresses

One of the first rules for nailing your interview attire with a potential company is not to look inside or rummage through your closet, but rather try to understand how the company sees itself.

For example, take Harrison’s PR agency, which represents a mix of luxury fashion, alcohol and lifestyle brands, and where creativity is not only encouraged, but seen as an asset.

“If you walk in and look cute, chic and well dressed, and wear a cool baseball cap or street wear, at least in advertising, marketing or public relations, that wouldn’t be against you,” he explains. “Now, if you were interviewing to work on brands that are very corporate, I might stop and think not that you don’t have the right style, but that you might not be the right candidate or have the right style for that particular job.”

To help guide your search, Harrison recommends taking a look at the company’s social media pages, especially their Instagram, but their profile on ZipRecruiter.com is also a great place to learn more about what they are looking into potential new hires. Additionally, candidates who are invited to apply for open positions are nearly three times more likely to be hired.

“I’d start by checking out on Instagram what people in that company are wearing. What is the CEO wearing? Or the creative director? Is their style corporate, business casual or casual? ”He says, adding that you should seek out not only the company, but also their top executives, for an accurate snapshot of their work style. culture, because if they’re not wearing jeans, then don’t show up to the interview in jeans, even if they are jeans paired with a fantastic blazer or jacket, because this shows that you are not by paying attention to the culture, or who they are as a brand “.

From formal to business casual, this guide will help you navigate the world of clothing for an interview with tips on what to keep in mind, key pieces that mean business, and other useful notes for dressing in different roles and industries, plus all the ” don ‘ts “to avoid. And once you have identified your dream interview wardrobe, go to ZipRecruiter, classified as the No. 1 in the United States, to help you find your next opportunity.

What you wear reflects your personality

As our home and office lives merged during the pandemic, many employees and potential new employees began dressing in a way that reflected their authentic self, while still adhering to and respecting their workplace culture.

“First of all, you probably don’t want to work in a place where you can’t show yourself for who you are,” says Harrison. “I think you should show yourself as yourself, but you should think about how this will affect your personality and your style.”

It tells of a recent misstep made by its creative director, who wore a trendy outfit consisting of tailored shorts and a matching blazer, paired with a button. “It looked super chic and appropriate for someone in his role as creative director, and we went to the client meeting, but the feedback we got was ‘how could you bring someone to the meeting in shorts?'” And I couldn’t fault him for that. ; it was my judgment call.

Virtual interviews are still interviews

Many interviews are still conducted virtually, even at Harrison’s agency. However, it’s not an open invitation to take your outfit down the style ladder – it’s still important to present yourself as you would if it were an in-person meeting.

“I think because of Covid, people have become a lot more casual,” he says. “But I don’t think it’s a good idea to dress more casually for an interview just because it’s on Zoom. You can still tell when someone has put in some effort. “

Even if you take the company to the top, the parties to the bottom, you get closer to dressing up for virtual interviews, it is vital to continue to match your clothing and style with what you believe the company expects of you.

The point is, you’ve made the effort anyway, and it’s a sign of respect for the person who took the time to interview you.

Dress for the season

It can be difficult to know exactly what to wear for an interview if the temperature skyrockets to 95 degrees in the summer or if you find yourself in the middle of a snowstorm on the morning of your big meeting.

“Fortunately, there are so many cute snow boots or other weatherproof and seasonally appropriate accessories,” says Harrison. “I’m also a great person with coats. I think you can wear a great coat and always keep it on; a coat is a great statement piece that you can really make it work for you.

And while it may seem like there’s nothing to wear when it’s merciless 95 degrees outside, Harrison disagrees, saying there are “a lot of linen clothes that are light and chic” and you might even wear a top. that shows off your shoulders for your commute, but wear a blazer right before entering for a slightly more conservative feel.

“Just don’t wear flip-flops in the summer – there are beautiful sandals and other options – and no one will really blame you for being climate-friendly,” she says.

Wear what you are sure of

“If you’re interviewing for an art or creative director role, you can go crazy,” laughs Harrison, but usually argues that “an interview is probably not the best place” to try something new. Just make sure whatever you’re wearing fits you well and is tailored to your body, as the handbag lends itself to an overall sloppy look. This means that the cuffs must not exceed the wrists and the shoes must be securely fastened.

“Wear something that you feel very confident in, and it doesn’t even have to be expensive, because if you’re dressed in something you know you look good in, you look confident,” he explains. “You probably won’t play with your hair in the interview. You won’t sit or move uncomfortably in your clothes, and you can focus on what’s really important, which is to answer the questions correctly and listen to what the person interviewing you is saying. “

“Smart casual” clothing is booming

“Presenting an interview isn’t like showing up for coffee with a friend, and it shouldn’t sound like that,” says Harrison. “It’s a big deal, it’s a test.”

If you are not sure what to wear, it is useful to lean on the “smart casual” category. For men, this could mean a neutral buttoned shirt – no blazer needed – paired with ironed chinos and loafers, while women can rely on a long-sleeved blouse in a subtle pattern and neutral-colored pants (never jeans ) with a ballerina or low heel. It’s a light and fun style, but still professional and assembled. Harrison suggests keeping your makeup clean and your nail polish neutral to play it safe.

“I think dressing the way you want to be perceived is great and dressing up for the next job you want to get is great because I think it will make you look elegant and good looking.”

Meet the expert

Elizabeth Harrison is the co-founder and CEO of New York City-based communications agency H&S, formerly known as Harrison & Shriftman. He has worked with global lifestyle brands, including Jimmy Choo, Alice + Olivia, Wilson Apparel and Remy Martin, and believes the secret to professional success is hard work, tenacity and the ability to change and change.

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