The Job Interview: What to Say, What to Wear


Hello, Everyone! The other day I was speaking with a close friend and in that conversation the topic of  “interviewing” for a new job came up. She asked me some advice on what I have done in the past to land my job and the obvious, “What should I wear?” question also arose. I figured why not blog about it, considering it is that time of the year (other than the holiday season) where people are more than likely to be on the hunt for a new job, or looking to branch off in more competitive positions where they already work.

So below are some tips that I have not only given in the past, but used as well, and what I wore to correctly answer the question and land the job!

#1: Know the Company/Interviewer

Make sure to do your research about the company and if you can, those that are interviewing you. You want to go in feeling confident and resourceful, and above all else, “knowing your stuff.”  Speaking authentically is a great way to show your desire to work for the company . Look up the company, use social media, and even Linkedin could help you on your quest to building a foundation, because more times than not, at the end of the interview, you will be asked if YOU have any questions for them, and this is a great time to share your knowledge and SHINE!

#2: Be Yourself

Let’s face it, we all get nervous knowing that we are going into a room and being judged first-hand off of what you say, and how you say it in front of what may be a room full of your future bosses or administrators. So taking a deep breath, and doing your best to relax beforehand could help you make the first impression a positive one. Selling yourself is important, but going overboard sharing too many unrelated personal stories, or discussing some of your flaws can leave your possible future employer with the wrong impression. Don’t be fake, just be sincere; you’ve clearly been chosen for the interview for a reason, and that alone should be enough to show your worth!

#3:  Be Prepared:

Although this is one of my strong suits, being prepared and organized are just some of the traits that I need with my hectic lifestyle and in moments like this it becomes a life saver. Make sure to not only do your homework about the company and interviewer, but I like to think of preparing for an interview as if you are preparing for a court case. You want to try to come up with the questions that you might be asked, that way, whether they are as difficult as, “How will you increase our sales?”, to, “Give us your strengths and weaknesses,” you’re confident in your thoughts, and don’t walk out of the interview thinking to yourself, “why did I say that? That’s not what I would do at all! I should have said this…” Also make sure to lay out your outfit the night before, set your GPS, make copies of your resume to pass around to everyone in the room, and get a good night’s rest so you are awake, energized, and alert for the big day!

#4: “Buzz Words”

It is important to speak confidently, clearly, and above all, in a manner that expresses why you should be the chosen expertise for the position. However, we all know that we may get stressed, nervous, anxious, fumble over words, or go blank. But if you can remember these important “Buzz Words” to help along the way, they may increase your chances of standing out amongst the other candidates:

  • “I know a great deal about your company”-This is where doing your homework comes in handy, because it shows your interest and drive to do what you can to make the company more successful by employing you
  • “I am a highly motivated individual”-Potential employers want an employee that is willing to go above and beyond their expectations for their company. If you talk about how often you were tardy for your last job, or share that you work according to the clock, or just states they do the tasks assigned to them, they may choose someone else more willing to give them their all
  • “I work well in groups”-Teamwork is extremely important, and showing that you can not only work well independently, but play well with others in the sandbox shows your versatility, and open-mindedness as a career person.
  • “I always have a positive attitude”-We all love seeing that one person at work that is always happy-show that you too are that person. Not only does it improve the morale where you work, but it shows that being positive proves you love what you do and you have the drive to make others love it as well
  • “I’m Flexible”-Having open availability, or be willing to transfer shows the employer that they can count on you to be there when and where they need you. Dedication is key, and although there may be times that you have to say “no,” for the most part, to be willing is always important
  • “I’m always willing to learn new things”-If you are new to the field, or don’t have as much experience as others in the field (or potential candidates), these words sum up your drive and willingness to do whatever it takes to be what the company needs. Even expressing that you’re a quick learner shows that they do not have to spend too much time training you for different roles in the company.
  • “That’s a great question”-There may be some questions where the interviewer leaves you stumped or one that you were not fully prepared for. So think of this as your opportunity to show how you work under pressure! Take a  deep breath, and think it through, so you can come up with a suitable answer. This also gives your interviewer a little ego boost for truly asking such “a great question.”

#5: The Thank You Note

When I was just graduating college and going for my first interviews as an educator, my mentor always told me to make sure to write a note to all of the administrators/schools that I interviewed with. It gives a personal touch to the process, and shows that whether or not you are given the position, that you appreciate the thought of them interviewing you. Besides, when you think about it, you could have been chosen for the interview over 100’s of other candidates, and it shows your character. Who knows, what if the person that was chosen turns down the position and it came down to you and someone else that did not choose to write a thank you note? Who would you then choose for the position, if you were in their shoes? Small thoughts go a long way.


Now that you have the foundation for the interview set, here are a few pointers on what to wear…


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This is where research comes in handy. If you’re going for a position at a retail store, wearing articles of clothing, or accessories from that company shows that you not only want to work for the company, because they have something that no other retail store does, but it also shows that you love it so much, you actually choose to spend your money on their products. Even if you wear similar styles to what the company is selling, demonstrates how well you would fit in with their brand.



Wearing black shows professionalism, sophistication, and above all, class. Whether it’s for a restaurant, cafe, or bar, you still want to show that you care enough for this position to do what it takes to earn it.If you don’t have an all-black outfit, pairing a great black skirt with a crisp white top can add some balance to the look. Just make sure to avoid patterns and bold prints. You want to keep it safe, and not look too busy.


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Although you don’t have to wear solid colors here, making sure that a nice suit, or dress is important. You can have fun with prints and patterns, because after all, you want to be able to show that your vibrant personality will work well with other colleagues, and of course the students. However, still keep it moderate, because you want to look presentable, while showcasing your personality and credibility all the same.

Corporate world/Business/Office:

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This would be the one position I would say is all psychological. In the corporate world, how you dress, exuberates how you think. Smart, simple, and sophisticated are how you want to be for the interviewing process. There is a higher sense of formality with this interviewing process, and by sticking with simple, clean colors and lines, shows that you are precise, confident, and strategic with not only your appearance, but your personality traits and work ethic.

…and to finish the look:

Keep the makeup natural. This is not the time to test out a new bold lip color, or a smokey eye. Keep it subtle with your hair pulled back in a neat bun, or curls.

I hope that these were some helpful pointers in clarifying what you should consider doing before you go face-to-face with your potential employer and potential dream job!

What are some of your go-to tips that you find to be tried and true?

Best of luck and have a gratifying and successful week!

X, Danielle


Photo Credits: All images borrowed from Google Image


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