questionswhat to wear to my interview?


I'm a guy, so take this with a grain of salt. I always liked the way my ex-gf looked in Ann Taylor stuff.


Depending on the environment, I would suggest a pant or skirt suit in a gray or blue pinstripe. Better to go more professional than less. I've passed over people for showing up in casual attire for interviews. One wore shorts, t shirt and flip flops to a research interview...he didn't get called back.


I'm female, and was a professional before I retired. Your clothes speak for you, as does your hair and your makeup.

Grey is a good suggestion. I recommend against pinstripe, unless you're an accountant. No brown, but lighter beiges are fine. Absolutely no green. Ever. Make sure that your purse is appropriate for your attire.

Heels are good, but two or three inches is best. You may be walking, and you don't want to be in pain (unless you habitually wear heels, are are no taller than 5'4", in which case you could go to four inches).

Back to the suit. Best to do a mix and match, with a simple a-line skirt, and it should be below the knee to mid-calf. A true suit coat is better than a blazer. Pity you don't live nearby. I LOVE to shop, and I'm good at it.

This is kind of okay, although I hate the idiot post the model's using:


Show some cleavage and wear a nice short skirt and it's in the bag.


Oh, this is going to be multiple comments, I can tell.

Nordstrom's has some nice looks:

Please, this is just to show you. They also have crazy prices.

Here's a ton of Ann Taylor stuff (which was an excellent suggestion).

Please note that although many of these pictures have pants, you should not. You really want a skirt, if at all possible. You should also consider buying a couple of little shell tops in some nice noncommittal colors.

I love this one, by the way.

Shoes should NOT be open toed, nor slingback.

Do you want more details? I could do this for hours. I love clothes and shoes. Love :-D


I've read that wearing blue (royal or navy) lends a more trustworthy impression.
And what @shrdlu said.


I agree with @shrdlu about the shoes. And flip flops are never ok. Never.


@shrdlu: I LOVE your insight! Yes! I am 5'9, which is great most of the time but skirt suits can look too short (tawdry?) on me, especially with heels. Pants need a 35" inseam though so they are hard to track down on short notice (hence the shopping at Express, they sell long pants that are ok). I think a below knee skirt would hit me about right.

I am absolutely in love with the Ann Taylor look. The interview is for a senior analyst position, I like a soft color (I am fair with dark features, mom's Puerto Rican, dad's Irish). I took a look at the Macy's one, searched in-store but not available in my area.

I don't mean to impede more on your time but can you elaborate a bit on the purse? I am totally clueless as far as that goes. DH buys my handbags...


Also, I'm guessing I need to get my nails done...


@mrsbeny: Don't worry too much about your nails. At most, you will want them clipped, and with a coat of clear. I'm about to say something that is bound to be taken wrong by someone, but here it is. In general, long fingernails, especially of the acrylic type, are associated with secretaries and receptionists (of the front office variety). Professional women look best with nails that are shortish, and very background.

The purse should not be something that holds everything you will ever need in your life. Anything you carry should hold your wallet, and a few other incidentals, but the suitcase style that we all know and love is too big to be carrying on an interview.

A woman carries more authority in a true suit, than in a pant suit. While some of what is in "Women's Dress for Success" is a bit dated, it's still filled with timely and useful information. I wonder if it's still out there?



@mrsbeny: If you are tending towards soft colors, the grays are really your friend. You can go for camel or beige down the road, but a gray suit is as important as that little black dress. If you already have a nice shirt in a light color you can just use that to complete the ensemble.

I saw the suggestions for blue, and while a navy blue is excellent, royal blue is not a good color for a suit. A nice thing about acquiring a couple of good suit coats is that they can be worn with dresses. My guess is that Mad Men (the television series) may bring back the nice dress that you can pair with your suit. My closet is filled with work clothes.

Okay, I admit it. My closets have a lot of clothes in general.

I'll come back later this evening with links to purses.

Hah! Who knew?

I'll bet you can scare up a used copy somewhere (Amazon isn't currently selling it).


DO NOT wear a jogging suit!! Someone interviewed for a position here walking in like she was Jane Lynch in Glee. What was she thinking?? And yea, she didn't get the job. Then sent a follow-up e-mail requesting constructive criticism as to what she could improve on to help her chances of getting the job we were offering. Yea, I asked someone else to give her a reply; I had a feeling I would have unleashed a whole lot of [bleep] [bleep] [bleep] in "constructive criticism".


I'm back, briefly, with some examples of good purses to take to work.

Black is always best in a purse. Next best choices are dark brown (and leather), or a nice beige or camel color. Not recommending this purse, but it's a good color. No metallic; you don't want your purse to be an attention getter. You want to be the focus.

I like this one, also. Messenger bags are my favorites, because they have all those little pockets.

Really, as long as the bag is subdued, and isn't scuffed or scratched, it's probably fine.

I have to quit looking. I just saw a Prada bag, and I don't need a $2k bag. Ever.


I will echo the Ann Taylor suggestion. Most of my business casual clothes I have picked up from Ann Taylor LOFT. They fit well, are modern, and flattering. They have great selections of tops to wear under a suit jacket, but my one warning is to make sure you try on the top to make sure it isn't too low cut. They really like a low scoop neck, and (especially if you are "moderately-to-well endowed") you want to make sure you have a top that is modest enough for a work environment!


@shrdlu et al - I shopped! Oh boy did I! I took most of your suggestions save for the skirt part as I absolutely fell in love with a heather grey suit at Ann Taylor with... pants :( I got a peach shell with some subtle ruffle and a matching cuff bracelet. Shoes (Macys), belt (Dillards) and new purse (Dillards) are taupe (well the purse is taupe and grey, I think it ties the accessories and suit together nicely). Now I'm even going to ignore whatever Woot! is doing tonight so I get some good sleep so I can KILL it tomorrow! Thanks for all of your and everyone's help! I feel like I can walk in and own it! I REALLY appreciate it!


@shrdlu: And we all need $2K bags... we just shouldn't have to pay for them!
About 9 years ago I was at Nordstrom and fell IN LOVE with a handbag that cost $900. Didn't notice who made it or the name (not well versed in such things unless I own it which is pretty much Coach and one Isabella Fiore that DH splurged on for me) just loved it but the price was ludicrous, especially for a couple of 20somethings with $12 / hour jobs. It was a rich red and reminded me of a treasure chest. For about the past 6 years I have been searching for it with description only, never found it. On an endless quest for that purse!


@mrsbeny: Lucky you. I love to shop. In fact, one of the reasons I live in pretty much the middle of nowhere is to not have shopping available. Clothes on line interest me not at all. I want to touch them, and try them on, and see how I look in a mirror.

Good luck tomorrow! Thanks for letting me play. It was a bunch of fun. :-D



Best of luck tomorrow (or later today, if you're on the East Coast). (Though hopefully you are getting that rest you wrote about earlier.)


Thanks all! It went well but the other candidate is great, too. I'm happy with the result either way (won't know for a week). As a aside, I did miss both BOCs thus far. One while driving, the other while logging into my computer at the desk. oh well.