From College to Career: Tips on Dressing Your Best for Your First Ever Interview

Stepping out into the working world as an adult is an exciting time, so congratulations on making it to this point in your life! Whether you’re coming straight out of high school and hitting the career path, or you’re a recent graduate who is ready to land your first big job, going through the job search and interview process can be long and intimidating, especially if you don’t know the ropes and aren’t familiar with territory in the interview room. Knowing how to carry yourself is important when making a great first impression on a potential employer and/or HR staff, and your wardrobe plays a HUGE part. If you’re like most young people though, you don’t exactly have a fully-stocked business casual, or even dressy, wardrobe waiting in your closet for interviews and meetings.

No need to worry. Try these tips to dress your best when you’re heading to your next interview (or job fair) without breaking the bank:

  • Shop your closet first. You might not own a full suit, but you do own several solid dress shirts and an assortment of neutral ties. That’s a big part of the outfit! Likewise, you have the option of pulling together blouses and skirts or dress pants to give off a professional air. Easily accessorize and dress up the ensemble with a new piece of jewelry or a pair of classic, simple heels and you don’t have to spend a fortune on a whole outfit.
  • There’s nothing wrong with secondhand. Secondhand or consignment shops are great places to land nice, tailored dress wear without spending your paycheck in advance. Look for suits in particular, as many people only wear these a few times and then are ready to pass them on for a different size or a different style. Keep in mind, if it doesn’t fit you perfectly but is of great quality, in excellent condition, and at a competitive price point, it might be worth shelling out the $25 dollars (give or take a few) to get alterations done and make it look customized to YOU.
  • Buy with the future in mind. Don’t pick trendy pieces in colors or styles that will go out of fashion and leave you unable to wear the pieces your purchase in the future. Classic colors (navy, black, gray, khaki) are always best, in conservative, minimal prints. Keep accessories muted and small-scale, and be sure clothing is modest and appropriate.

We hope these tips help you feel confident as you walk into your next interview and then continue on your journey as an employee. Need help tailoring your resume, finding local openings, and landing interviews for competitive positions? PHR Staffing is here and ready to help. Give us a call or apply for one of our current openings online!