How To Dress Up For Interview

How To Dress Up For Interview

How To Dress Up For Interview

Your first job interview is probably the most nerve-wracking experience of your life. You must look confident on the outside, yet you are probably feeling lost and unsure within. The aim is to feel confidence on the inside. Looking good goes miles in making us feel good about ourselves and boosting our confidence. Therefore, an attractive appearance is just as important as an attractive resume. Here are steps that will help you look a million bucks at your job interview.

1. Keep in mind the dress code of the company:


Every office has its own dress code. So, as much as you love your t-shirt and jeans, you cannot make a good first impression wearing them. You can, however, go for a semi-casual look by teaming your jeans with a buttoned-up shirt and corduroy jacket. You can also wear T-shirts in neutral colors as long as you wear a formal shirt or jacket over it. However, T-shirts with graphics are an absolute no-no. The safest option is to invest on a couple of cigarette trousers in colors like black, blue, beige, white, or if you are the more daring type, in pastel hues of yellow, rose etc. You can make the same choices with knee length A-line skirts, but don’t wear short, Ally McBeal-ish skirts. Make sure the trousers fit you well. They cannot be faded, frayed or have the ends turned up. Buying shirts and blouses in white, beige and blue is a good idea as they always look trendy. Go for skinny leather and pleather belts and the rules of trousers apply to the same.

2. Go Indian with a Bang:

Fusion wear is so in that it is hard to invest on office wear without going Indian. If you are eyeing government jobs, especially in education, saris are the best. Khadi rocks all the way, so go for more natural and trendy saris like tant, matka, mulmul, etc. Avoid chiffon and silk as these are a little too dressy for office wear. Go easy or totally avoid zari work and embellishments. There are also an array of kurtis to choose from. Whatever you do, and this applies to both sari-blouses and kurti sleeves, do NOT go backless or sleeve-less. Unless you are going for an acting audition or a modeling agency, it is best to go a little conservative. Show a little back, have smaller sleeves, but don’t go totally without them. On the color-front, as far as Indian is concerned, anything goes as long as you skip the more ‘dressy’ effect(read: embellishments).

rati beauty ad

3. Wear proper lingerie:

White shirt

If the fashion mantra in college ranged from “daring” to “outrageous” to all in all individual and free-spirited; in office you have to give the impression that you are a responsible, collected and no-nonsense person. Which means wearing lingerie in the right size and the right colors. Sure you thought it was cool to wear a black bra with a white sleeve-less tee, but if you have to wear a white shirt or blouse, make sure to wear a white bra underneath.

4. Pumps and peep-toes for corporate wear, sandals only for ethnic wear:

Steve Madden Black Heels

Of course, you can also wear pumps with ethnic wear, but no wearing sandals with corporate. Avoid contrast when it comes to shoes. No animal prints, or cartoon graphics or embellishments.

5. A trendy handbag makes all the difference:

hidesign blue bag

A great leather handbag in neutral colors is your biggest accessory. You can even carry it with an ethnic outfit. Totes rule.

6. Minimalist jewelry is the best:

white mango shirt

Avoid hoops, chandeliers and the like when it comes to office jewelery. Pearl-tops are the most preferred but you can always wear minimalist earrings in silver and gold with stones like turquoise, emerald etc. You can wear a thin bracelet in real or fake gold, silver and other metals. For ethnic wear, you can go for a thin bead necklace, but for corporate wear, you have to wear a pendant with a thin chain. Nothing else goes.

7. Invest in a good hair dryer, heat protectant and round brush:


Your hair is your biggest accessory. For a job interview, you don’t want to be stuck with a boring bun. You want to show off your trendy haircut, flip your head a little to show that you are confident. That is why, besides a good hair-care routine, it is so important to style your hair properly. The tools mentioned above will help you keep your hair in place.

8. Manicure:


You don’t have to pay a lot of money to a manicurist. Obtain the tools (or buy a kit like the one sold by Oriflame). Your hands reflect your personality. Your interviewer may get an impression of you based on your hands alone. They are that important.

9. For makeup, less is more:

office makeup

CTM before you apply your make up. Next, use a concealer to conceal any blemishes, dark-circles etc. Make sure you blend well and see that it is the same shade as your foundation. It is best to use a POWDER foundation. Colorbar Triple Act is a great product to give you superior coverage. Use the Maybelline Chai Latte Quad as your eye shadow. It works great for all complexions. Make a thick line with an eyeliner, but don’t wing it. Use ONLY black mascara and eyeliner. Use a NYX white jumbo pencil on your lower-lid to make your eyes pop. Use kajal for ethnic wear but if you have to make a thick line, don’t use eyeliner on your upper eyelid. For lips, strictly avoid lip gloss. Instead go for a deeply pigmented lipstick like Lakme 9 to 5. Avoid shades like red and maroon. Go for nudes and pink. Avoid brown as well, to make your look less boring. You can see Rati’s tutorial on how to do office makeup here.

You are all set! If you follow all these steps carefully, you won’t have to waste too much of your time or money for your big day. Your interviewers are bound to be impressed by your look, while your work skills will seal the deal. Good luck!

Image Sources: 2, 3.

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26 thoughts on “How To Dress Up For Interview

  1. I wore a formal shirt, black trousers and all of that for my interview for my current job. Then I discovered that our CEO and co-founder wear shorts and the co-founder interviewed me at Cuppa :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: :toothygrin: so now it’s all casual for me. But I did wear that formal look which I posted for the contest too, and I sometimes wear nice semi-formal dresses too. A few days ago I had a green smoky eye look. I love how much freedom our office allows us! Then again creative field mein mostly it gets like that ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. LOL ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ yup definitely!! It’s a startup so waise bhi there aren’t too many of us. And there’s free goodies in the kitchen and a foosball table ๐Ÿ˜€ also, our CEO and co-founder are really brilliant and pretty chill so we can discuss our ideas with them when we like. And most of all, NO CUBICLES!!! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Informative article.. covered all points.. :yes: I worked as HR few years back when I was in India.. I couldn’t get nice opinion about females who over make up esp. eye make up even if they have scored well in other Interviews.. why don’t they just restrict to eye liner alone?. sometimes their kohl gets smudged and gives really a bad look. :yuck:

  3. Me juss 19 yr old so quite yyoung fo this nw…btw i love dressing up like this for myy college.. :lol2: i dnt like so funky stuff jhola slippers and all tht colge gals usually sport around…i love being CHIC… :yahoo: :yahoo: rati mam..u look awsome in first gawdd…. Awsomest fantabulouss… :thumbsup: :drool:

    1. Aww I was like tht too when I was in college…wasn’t a fan of jholas and kolhapuris and like always fabindia etc. I bet you have a good sense of style ๐Ÿ™‚ :yes: :yes: :yes:

        1. :waiting: Me dnt like nails art too. .jus like french manicure n pastels according to weather..summer calls for brights n winteer fo darker hues….wht abt u nandini..?? Do share..

          1. Me too!! I don’t like acrylic nails or nail art, seems too fake/too much work, no offence to anyone who likes them ๐Ÿ™‚ I like trying out different shades and when I was in school I tried giving myself a french manicure so that the teachers can’t notice I’ve used nailpolish ๐Ÿ˜› these days I’ve starting trying bold nail colours like orange ๐Ÿ˜€

  4. Very comprehensive article, Amrita. You had me laughing at the Ally McBeal comment, and nodding about the lingerie, hair, and nails. Also, it is nice to have a hand mirror and do a last check, make sure the teeth are clean and your makeup is ok. :preen:

  5. ZOMG! :happydance: I have a fellowship interview coming up and even though it’s not a job, I am totally going to make use of all these tips. Brilliant article, Amrita! :yes: Thankee so much! :yahoo: We want more of these. :woot: :woot: :woot: And I love the fact that you’ve used Rati’s picture in the beginning. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ It does epitomise office chic, right? :woot:

  6. :woot: SUPERB article!! :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes: :yes:
    I’ve worked at 3 different places after my graduation, i.e. in the past 4 yrs, each with a different environment so u have covered most environments so well :)) lovely effort!

  7. You are right, dressing up also depends on the type of company you are applying for. My first PT job interview required me to be dressed in formals with very neatly ironed trousers etc. For my 2nd PT job interview at a very popular clothing store I was dressed up in high heeled shoes, full face of makeup and lots of jewellry because that’s how they want their assistants to look. Personally I prefered my 2nd job for obvious reasons :P.

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