Top Tips for Your Interview Attire

Congratulations! You’ve heard back and scheduled that interview you’ve been dying for. You know… the one with that amazing studio you’ve been salivating over. The position is perfect for you, and you know that you’ll be great at it. Your portfolio is perfect. You’re all set and ready. One final hurdle that can trip up many people – the interview attire selection. The challenge is that the position you are interviewing for isn’t a cut and dry, standard job. We have put together a helpful guide to what a creative professional might wear to interview for a studio job in their firm of choice. Although I’m no expert in fashion, self-confidence is much more important than the clothes selected so you don’t have to be a fashionista to make great choices.

Visualize yourself – There a many different types of work cultures within creative design firms. From highly professional corporate environments to laid-back polo and ballcap environments. You need to look like you belong from the moment you walk in for your interview. Your resume and portfolio say so. Your references verify it. Now you need to visualize yourself and choose your attire based on seeing yourself working in THIS studio in THAT position.

Keep in the front of your mind, it was you that landed the interview! So from the first hand-shake your interviewer will be trying to visualize you in the position you’re interviewing for. Your attire should be selected so that from that very first moment you blend right in.

Environment research is key – As you’re preparing for the interview you will research the firm’s work culture to get a better feel for  the environment. While you’re doing that,  pay attention to their dress code too. Here’s some ways to find out.

  • Google and/or Glassdoor – Answer questions like, “How does the executive team dress? Casual like hoodie and sneakers? Or maybe button-ups and casual shoes?” and “What kind of attire do those in a similar role of the one I’m interviewing for wear every day?”
  • Their company website – are there pictures of their employees in action?
  • LinkedIn or the company’s facebook page – find current and past projects looking for style, recurring themes, and of course how representatives are dressed.
  • Press Releases or other publications on the internet.
  • If all else fails, ask. Use your contact(s) at the company to discuss what the typical dress and/or interview attire would “look like” and then use their recommendations.

Here’s another tip: Find out what colors their firm uses or echoes in their online presence that would make you seem to “fit” right into the company’s culture.

Find the balance – Try the “minimalistic” approach to your selections to keep the attention on you and not your attire. Minimizing your jewelry, makeup, and cologne to more simplistic is the best approach. We all know that spending a lot of time boasting during our interview can be a major faux pas, so don’t let your clothes do any boasting for you. Try wearing things that are soft enough that they keep your interviewer’s attention on your professional skills and abilities.
However, underdressing can be a mistake as well. If your research shows the environment is casual, take it up one step.

Send the right signals – Confidence can be the determinate factor in winning over your interviewer and interviewing is all about confidence. If you have a piece of clothing or a jewelry (like a special bracelet) or another small thing you have experienced success with in the past, don’t leave these behind. They can be the game-changer simply because they can boost your self-assurance. Also, make sure you are comfortable. Test your dress. At home and prior to the interview stand up, sit down, walk around…are you comfortable? If you are comfortable you will have your entire focus on the interview and not on your hemline or another distraction.

Remember, the focus of the interview should be YOU – your work experience, professional goals, and your personality. How you are dressed sets that tone and is your personal brand. You will want to wear what reflects you and how you wish to be perceived. Standing out of the crowd and using your attire to help create that strong personal brand means you will be bringing your gifts into your new studio or firm.

We wish you all the best in your fabulous new position because we know you will ROCK your interview.