Tips on Finding the Perfect Interview Outfit

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Summer’s almost over and while some may be gearing up for back to school, for some of us, it’s time to start hunting for new jobs. Whether it’s your first job out of college or you’re back on the market after being laid off, the interview process can be grueling. First impressions mean everything and whether we like it or not, we’re evaluated sometimes on how we look, and since how we look effects how we feel, it’s important to work it—both in the interview and with your ensemble!

Here are some tips on how you can achieve a professional and put together interview chic outfit for a budget of $50.

Creative Industry
Most industries can be broken down into two categories for the purposes of fashion: corporate and creative. When you’re trying to get a job in an artistic field (whether it’s the entertainment, fashion or media industries), it’s great to add some accents to your outfit that bring out your personality. In this case, the subdued leopard print top shows there’s some awareness of style without being too “out there”. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or accessories that distract the look but watches like this one for $9 is a great choice to stress your punctuality! If you plan on interviewing at a bunch of different places, get a simple pair of black slacks to match with different tops depending on the culture of that particular work place. They shouldn’t cost too much. This pair is $18 from Walmart. Once you get the job (which you will!), the pants will become a rotating staple in your work wardrobe.

creative interview

Corporate Industry
Office cultures are different everywhere you go, but in the corporate workplace, there is one rule you must always follow in dressing for your interview. Always wear a tailored suit jacket — at least upon entrance. It shows your professionalism and highlights a sense of authority. In this photo, I’m wearing a conservative button down oxford shirt, which should be saved for the most “corporate” corporate interview. I found this shirt in Walmart’s Uniform section for $14 so remember to cross section lines when at your local department store. Sometimes you can even find Men’s button downs that will fit perfectly too. A pearl necklace like this one is a great way to soften your look. It’s classic and feminine at the same time. In terms of jewelry, keep it simple and classic. Never wear hoop earrings or bangles. If you’ve worn it to a pool party or a bar then it’s probably not appropriate garb for your interview.

corporate interview

Now you’ve got the perfect interview outfit that didn’t break the bank. That’s only cutting the surface though. Remember to smile, make eye contact, speak eloquently and thoughtfully, and believe in the skill set you have to offer, because if you don’t, they won’t!

For prices and details about where to buy the pieces seen in the photos, please visit www.pennychic.com.

About the Author

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LA-based Shauna Miller is the founder of the budget fashion blog PennyChic.com. Prior to waving her stylish wand over affordable fashion, Shauna studied at NYU and honed her skills at Time Out NY magazine and Emanuel Ungaro, one of Paris' leading fashion houses. Shauna's frank and frugal assessment in the fashion world can be found on her blog and media outlets such as Good Morning America, Time, CNN, Glamour, Huffington Post, and more.

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