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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Some people may think college is just a holding tank of fun before entering the real world, but it's actually much more than that. It's a time to figure out what we want to do with our lives and see where we want to plant our feet. In order to figure that out, we all have to endure the dreaded interview process.

Since I'm a finance major, I've been to my fair share of interviews. With the all-important career showcase right around the corner ¾ Sept. 23 and 24 ¾ I thought I'd offer some advice on what to wear to get the job or how, as the cliché goes, to dress for success.

I've heard many opinions on what to wear to interviews, but what I've learned is that I make the best impression in my interviews when I feel comfortable and know I look my best. I think that's the best fashion advice anyone can give you in any situation. Interviews are as much about finding out who you are as they are about what you know, so wear something that's a little more you. Don't be afraid to stand out.

Of course, there are some basic guidelines you should follow, no matter what the interview, and I'll list them here for your convenience.

· Remember who you're interviewing for: If you're going in for a job with a Wall Street firm, you'll want to dress on the conservative sideâ€"knee-length hemlines, buttoned-up shirts and pantyhose. If you're interviewing to work at a trendy fashion PR firm or a hipster art gallery, you should add some stylish or creative touches to your outfits through interesting colors or accessories.

· Black is always your safest choice: Especially when we're talking business or law, when in doubt, go with black. Not that it's terrible to go in a color, i.e. my green wool suit, but if you're not fashion adventurous, play it safe and go with black. Toeing the adventure line? Try navy.

· High heels should not be that high: Even if you're tiny like me, high heels really shouldn't be higher than 2 inches at an interview. Don't look like you're walking on stilts.

· Keep your jewelry limited: Wear studs and maybe a necklace, but no more than that. You want to wow them. Not blind them.

· Get a manicure: I know it sounds silly, but there is something so classy about manicured nails. There are cheap places to get your nails done, so spend the money. Trust me, it's worth it.

· If you're wearing a skirt or dress, wear stockings: I know you hate them; everyone does. But buy a nice pair of neutral stockings and suck it up. They are incredibly important if you're interviewing for a high-powered firm.

· I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed: There's nothing worse than knowing you're the worst-dressed person in the room, so when in doubt, go a little nicer than you think. If they say business casual and you think your outfit may be business formal, don't worry: it's always better to be a little overdressed than not.

At the end of the day, my number one piece of advice when it comes to interviewing is wear something that flatters you and your body. Of course, if you look awesome in mini-skirts and midriffs, it's probably not best to walk into your Wall Street interview sporting the sexy secretary look, but a clean, tailored look can work wonders for a first impression.

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The best way to reduce stress about facing possible employers and job interviews is to look your best. You've got three weeks before Career Showcase, which is plenty of time to buy a nice dress or suit. Bring the best version of yourself to the interview and you should be fine. If the best version of yourself is absent, at least you'll be dressed the part.

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