This post originally appeared on the blog, MakingManhattan.com.
By Caroline Vazzana
At this point, you’ve sent out what feels like about 1,000 killer job applications. You’ve perfected your cover letters, edited your resume, sent follow-ups, asked for recommendations and, finally, after what feels like an eternity of begging everyone to give you a chance, you’ve nailed it. Your daily ritual of refreshing your emails every 20 minutes has worked and you have a real-life job interview. Congratulations! (Hundreds of applicants don’t even make it to the interview round, so give yourself a quick pat on the back.) Now all you have to do is decide what to wear.
Dress for the job you want. In an interview first impressions are super important, which is why your outfit plays such a big role here. You want your look to stand out from the crowd without making your interviewer do an “I can’t believe she really wore that” double-take. The look you choose should be a reflection of the publication and position you’re interviewing for. For example, if you’re going to an interview for an editorial assistant role at Harper’s Bazaar, your vibe should be polished, chic and fashion-forward. On the other hand, an interview for a social media assistant role at Seventeen calls for something more colorful and playful.
Know your audience. Look up your interviewer or another editor from the same brand on Instagram to see if you can get a feel for what they wear to work and what the vibe of the office might be like. The whole point of the interview is to simultaneously stand out from the crowd while proving to your interviewer that you could seamlessly fall into the brand’s day-to-day. Knowing the company and dressing to their aesthetic is key to showing them that you will fit in. That said, you never want to sacrifice who you are or what makes you unique in the process. If you’re the girl who loves bright pink tutus on a Wednesday, find a company that will embrace that.
Still feeling stumped? If all else fails, these two items are a no-brainer interview outfit: a little black dress and a pair of great shoes. An LBD never goes out of style and with the right accessories can look extremely sophisticated and elegant. And an industry professional once told me that she feels you can instantly know someone by the shoes they are wearing — so get creative here!
Don’t forget the other stuff. Now that you look the part, make sure you’ve done your research. Know the company mission and a bit about the people you’re interviewing with. For example, if you’re interviewing for a fashion assistant job, you should know the names of everyone in the fashion department and the pages they work on. Check out some back issues of the magazine on Texture to get an idea of what they’ve worked on recently.
And, finally, make sure you budget plenty of time for getting to the office and signing in. Oh, and, don’t forget your resume. Good luck!
Caroline Vazzana is a fashion writer, editor, and stylist living and working in her hometown of New York. She’s worked for Anna Sui, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, and InStyle. She has collaborated with designers including Betsey Johnson and Diane Von Furstenberg, and has styled celebrities for various red carpets like the MTV Video Music Awards and Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards. Caroline is currently the Founder & Creative Director of MakingManhattan.com where she hopes to shed light on the industry to the future fashion generation. Make sure to follow her everywhere @cvazzana for an inside look into her day to day in NYC.