03/28/2024 by Jessica Wright |

Interview Attire: Authentic Suggestions for a Modern Day World

While job interviews are a necessary part of the job search process, they can also be overwhelming.  Besides having to decide what to say, you are going to need to decide what outfit to wear that demonstrates your professionalism but also reflects your own personal style! As you start to sift through your closet and line up your options, take a look at the tips below to help you craft your perfect outfit.

  1. Be professional.

The pandemic brought with it many changes in professional spaces – one of which has been the evolution of what is deemed “professional”. Avoiding short skirts, ripped pants, and shorts remain off limits. However, most other clothing choices are acceptable. Making sure that your outfit is clean and wrinkle-free is also important.

As you begin to interview with various schools, take the time to research the schools you are slated to meet with by looking at their websites. How do folks in the featured photos dress? This will give you a good expectation of what works within their school communities. Every school is a bit different and, in your quest to find your next opportunity, finding a place where you can be your most authentic self is key. Do not feel like you must mimic the style you see in the photos but use it as a guide as to what might work from your own closet.

  1. Be comfortable.

You are already battling interview jitters – no need to have your outfit cause unnecessary discomfort. If you have never worn a suit, don’t make this the first time you wear a tailored jacket. Not a person who likes to wear heels or loafers? Wear those comfortable leather boots you love. Just make sure you take a minute to shine them up.

If you don’t feel like yourself, that is going to come through in your demeanor at the interview. Wearing pieces you already own (that you know will get you through the day) is key. Shoes that are broken-in but not tattered. Tops that you know aren’t too hot and won’t make you sweat. Comfort is everything when it comes to helping you concentrate on what you want to say in your interview.  It will limit distractions and help you focus.

  1. Be yourself.

In every aspect of your interview, you want to feel as though you have shown up in a genuine way. You are looking for an institution and a position that you can be comfortable in for the long term.

Start that engagement by being you. Showing pieces of your personality through your clothing and accessories is a great way to show folks who you are. A favorite pair of earrings? A tie from your alma mater? That sweater you feel fabulous in – wear that! It’ll help your confidence and that will come across to the interviewer.

At a recent hiring conference, I met an Art teacher who was wearing a nice top and pants with her painting apron, covered in dried paint”, says Jessica Wright (Director of School Services), “It was a perfect reflection of her. Schools knew who she was as soon as she sat down at the table. An artist – and a fun, engaging person.

Hopefully these tips allow you to feel your best as you land that new, fantastic job!

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