After all those years of hard work, it's finally time to put your education to good use and score your dream job. Before you begin living the dream, first you'll have to nail your interview, so you'll need to contemplate what to wear to an interview after graduation. In terms of job hunting, it could be tempting to take a break after graduation to celebrate, however my advice would be to strike while the iron is hot. Remember how many people were in your graduating class that wanted to get into the same industry as you? They're your competition and they'll likely be applying for the same positions as you.
Once you have some interviews lined up, you'll need to set yourself apart from all the other candidates. This may sound vain, but there's an easy way to get a head start at an interview: By looking the part. If a potential employer can see that you take pride in your appearance, they may presume that you take pride in your work. In addition to this, they'll probably be looking for candidates who dress appropriately, take care of themselves, and are a great ambassador for their company. You might have the confidence of a lion and the perfect résumé, but chances are, these things might be missed if your interviewer can't take their eyes off of your disheveled bed head, scuffed shoes, and stained shirt. So here's what to wear to slay on your first interview after graduation.
1. A White Blouse
Asos Curve 3/4 Sleeve White Shirt, $23, asos.com
There's little room to go wrong with a white shirt, so when you have no idea what the dress code of the office is, a white shirt is a stylish, safe option. It's an especially good choice for corporate interviews.
Short Sleeve Ruffle Shirt, $68, topshop.com
If you're interviewing for a role in the fashion industry or hoping to bag a creative position, a white blouse with an interesting detail is ideal to make yourself memorable.
2. A Pencil Skirt
I’ll Have The Usual Skirt In Black, $39.99, modcloth.com
A black, knee-length pencil skirt is a great way to show that you mean business. This smart style is available in sizes XS to 3X.
3. Tailored Trousers
Chayat Skinny Neoprene Pants, $185, tedbaker.com
If there was ever a time to splurge on a pair of designer pants, it's now. If you're looking for something on trend, pick a slightly cropped pair – plus if you're interviewing for a role in the fashion industry, this confident choice won't go unnoticed.
Kady Fit SRL Pant In "Spring Light Grey," $79.90, eloquii.com
For trousers that are a little less trendy and a little more formal, go for a tailored pair in a light grey shade to help you stand out from the crowd.
4. A Blazer
Hartwood Blazer In "Black," $99.90, eloquii.com
A black blazer is an investment piece that will live on in your wardrobe long after your interview.
Crepe Blazer, $99.90, zara.com
A cool crepe blazer will help keep you from becoming hot and bothered.
5. A Structured Dress
Vila Structured Skater Dress, $68, asos.com
Gals who love dresses can wear a structured dress to exude smart casual vibes.
Asos Curve Structured Occasion Midi Dress, $73, asos.com
When you know a white shirt would be a little OTT for the role you're applying for, a dress with a white top and a black skirt is a great option.
6. Something Blue
1 Inch Wide Funny Girl Designs Satin Headband In "Turquoise Blue," $7.49, amazon.com
According to research that fellow Bustler Erin Mayer reported upon, "Blue and black where the two colors most frequently recommended by employers..." In addition to this, Mayer discovered that, "...those who wear blue are seen as 'team players'..." which is often a desirable trait amongst employers. Add a hint of blue to your outfit to subconsciously communicate that you work well in a team.
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7. Smart Shoes You Can Walk Comfortably In
Oasis Court Shoe, $59, asos.com
Instead of wearing a pair of killer heels that you'd normally reserve for a night out, go down the sensible route and choose shoes that have a smaller heel and consequently, may feel more comfortable.
Joe Browns Pleated Ballerinas E Fit, $36.49, simplybe.com
If you haven't quite cracked wearing heels yet, now's not the time to be experimenting, so pop on some formal flats instead.
Opaque Tights, $11.25, torrid.com
Unless it's scorching outside, you might want to wear a pair of tights to finish off your ensemble.
Gipsy Luxury Denier Opaque Tights, $11, asos.com
For a slightly edgier look, pick navy tights to match navy garments.
9. A Thin Colorful Belt
Cinch Is It! Belt In Red – Extended Size, $14.99, modcloth.com
A thin, red belt will inject a much needed splash of color into your outfit.
Johnny Loves Rosie Occasion Belt In Blush With Jewels, $26, asos.com
When you've got a really amazing interview lined up, be sure to shine in a bejewelled belt. But don't overboard with the embellishment, you are attending a job interview after all.
10. A Formal Handbag
Avery – Black, $160, mattandnat.com
Don't forget to take a professional handbag to your interview; preferably one that can fit any important papers and possibly your tablet inside, if you need to show your interviewer your digital portfolio.
11. Nail Polish
Amongst all of the preparing for your interview, you may forget an important aesthetic detail: Your nails. Your hands come into play during an interview when shaking hands with your interviewer and using them to help you communicate a point or relevant story. Don't spend the whole interview sat on your hands because you're ashamed of your nibbled nails, get a manicure before your interview to make sure you look polished from head to toe.
Remember, this interview is going to be in a whole other league to the ones you've had in the past for part-time jobs while you were studying. So wear something that epitomizes your professionalism, your knowledge of the industry and the role, and your personality. Help the interviewer to concentrate on what you have to say, rather than your chipped nails or patterned shirt.