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What to Wear to an Interview

Image result for dress for the job you wantThere sure are a lot of experts out there telling us what we shouldn't wear to interviews and/or the workplace. One author proposes a no bling rule (check out my response here). Someone else says no yoga pants (thanks for inspiring this blog!). And now we have NO ORANGE CLOTHING.

Yes, I understand that not all companies are the same. While I, in tech, can get away with pink hair and Star Wars t-shirts, I know that this would not fly in a bank in my Midwestern home town. I encourage you to employ some common sense and ask your recruiter / friends / colleagues who are in the know. Besides that, there is one simple rule that everyone - regardless of the position - should follow.

Wear what makes you feel great.

That's it! That's the rule. Here's why. An interview is your one big chance at making an epic impression. You've probably already made a positive one - after all, they're inviting you to meet a bunch of folks and are SERIOUSLY considering you for their open positions. That is a great sign! It means they like you enough to invest hours of employees' time to get to know you better.

What they are probably NOT doing, is judging you over the color of your sweater.

Hey if orange is your color, ROCK IT. I would look like a washed out pumpkin, but you'll pry my leopard print scarf out of my cold dead hands. There are certain outfits and accessories that just make me feel like I have my shit together. And when I feel like I have my shit together, I come across as WAY MORE CONFIDENT.

Who doesn't want to wear confidence to an interview?

Here's a fun fact about me. Red lipstick is my super power. I have no scientific proof to back this up. I cannot tell you that I've received amazing offers because I wore red lipstick. I can neither confirm nor deny that my most popular speaking engagements, webinars and trainings were the ones where I was rocking the red. I can tell you, without hesitation or reservation, that I feel better/smarter/more confident when I have my lippy war paint on.

It's going to be too much for some people. A company, hiring manager, or recruiter who looks at this shameless selfie and says "oh no she'd NEVER fit HERE" - well, they're right. And I wouldn't want to.

I am SO fortunate to be at a place in my career (at least right now ;) ) where I can carefully pick and choose who I want to work with and where. I know not everyone is this lucky. So recruiters, here's some unsolicited advice for YOU.

Don't allow your hiring partners to pull this shady stuff. Just don't. If you're unsure how to push back on bad feedback, call me. I'll walk you through it and give you some ideas on how to re-center the discussion on what matters.

Candidates - send me your super power selfies! Show me what you're rocking for those important interviews. I'll draw a name at random and send you a little something to thank you for being a faithful reader and supporter of my little blog. You can always find me at, put "SUPER POWER SELFIE" in the subject line so I don't miss it.

Now go conquer that interview!


  1. Great advice. Was considering what I should wear to my next interview. It's at a bank and I don't necessarily fit into that culture per se. I'm coming from the Cannabis industry, a start up environment, where I'm the HR Director but with tattoos. Like night and day almost. Was thinking ok get all stiffed up in a tie and slacks, tucked in and some dress shoes. But thought, that's not me and not what I want to wear every day. So they can either assess my skillset or they can assess my dress code. That's on them. I will know exactly what their culture demands at that point. I think a lot of the times, companies forget that they're are being interviewed too!

    1. ABSOLUTELY!! :) It can be a calculated risk for sure. Some would probably advise you to go conservative and hide the tats. BUT - as you said, that's not you. And the company, ultimately, is hiring YOU - tattoos and all ;) If they love you enough as a candidate they should be willing to discuss dress code w/ you and make sure you're good with whatever rules they have around stuff like that. Go get 'em! :)

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  3. If you’ve been invited to interview in person as a result of a successful phone interview, you may have taken advantage of the opportunity to ask about the company culture, the dress code, how formal or informal the atmosphere, etc. When in doubt, business professional attire is always a safe choice, but here are some other guidelines to follow if you’re unsure:


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