Job interviews can be nerve-racking enough, don’t let sartorial decisions fuel the fire. To prevent that from happening we turned to Jane Lerman, the founder and CEO of LER Public Relations, a leading NYC-based full-service public relations firm catering to luxury brands within the fashion, beauty, travel, lifestyle, and entertainment industries, to get her take on how to dress for a job interview.
“Your interview attire really needs to be custom tailored to what job you’re going for. If you are going on an interview with a major investment bank vs. a fashion PR firm vs. a tech start-up, it’s only natural that you would opt for different looks,” Lerman explains. “The HR manager for one of my first jobs later told me that she only considers a person for a job if they show up in a blazer, which I found to be interesting insight but honestly I don’t think that rule of thumb applies at all times.”
Lerman goes on to explain that when she interviews candidates for PR jobs whether in fashion, travel or beauty, she definitely looks for the candidate to exude confidence, comfort, and style with their outfit. ‘The candidate has to look professional but not stuffy in my opinion – you never want to meet with someone that you think is putting on a show for you and isn’t being true to who they are.”
Here are Lerman’s DO’s and DON’Ts for dressing for an interview in a creative industry that puts an emphasis on style overall:
– Dress comfortable and in something that reflects who you are as an individual
– Wear a button down shirt of some sort – there are so many chic blouses and button downs you can wear, this doesn’t have to be the boring old button down your mom or dad used to wear to interviews
– Wear nice shoes – if you are a female, make the effort to wear heels. If you are a male – pull out your best loafers or shoes that are NOT sneakers.
– Wear nice trousers or a skirt
– Wear neutral colors – do not wear anything that screams “look at me” because no employer wants to hire someone that is always wearing loud and distracting clothes
– Look polished – sleek hair, fresh face and nice fingernails are a must.
– Smell good – this is the best memory one can leave behind, so when you shake the hand of your potential future employer, a good smell that isn’t overwhelming is key.
– For the ladies – dresses are okay but not ideal. A chic black dress with a blazer is fine, but nothing too short or revealing is ever appropriate
– Wear loud prints
– Wear jeans
– Wear sneakers
– Wear too much make-up
– Have messy hair
– Wear a t-shirt
– Wear shorts
– Wear dresses that are revealing, shimmery, or in any way distracting – the interview is about your skill set not anything else.