Job interviews are never fun; it’s actually quite the opposite when you’re interviewing the first time. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with researching the company and practicing your interview questions. But now that the big day is, well, here - what do you wear to your creative job interview?
With the increased need for digital designers, there is a demand for creatives across multiple industries and sectors. Even businesses that don't typically need design work, like accounting offices and boutique shops, are now hiring creatives to help them develop their image. The wide range of employers means there is an even wider range of outfits you can wear - so how do you dress for your creative job interview?
1. Do your homework
Get to know the company you're interviewing for. A great place to start is by looking at their about us, employment, and LinkedIn pages. Together they should paint a picture of what employees regularly wear to work. Dressing comparable to current employees helps companies envision how you’d fit in with the team.
You’ll find that office attire generally falls within one of these categories:
- Business Professional (For corporate offices and multi-national companies. You want to stick with the traditional interview rules and wear a suit with neutral or subdued colors.)
- Business Casual (Upcoming and contemporary companies. Swap the button down shirt with something less formal, but keep the remaining pieces of your suit.)
- Casual (Start ups or mom and pop shops. These are small businesses or tech start ups that don’t follow traditional work attire rules. A nice polo paired with nice slacks will do. However, no matter how casual a company may appear, never show up to an interview with a T-Shirt. This leads me to my next tip.)
2. Dress as well as your interviewer or even better
If you’re ever unsure about how formal your outfit should be, always dress at least as well as what you expect your interviewer to dress. Dressing slightly better ensures that you’re not underdressed for your interview. This prevents you from looking apathetic and potentially showing your future employer that you’re not serious about the job. Also, dressing well means you’re less likely to worry about your outfit and focus on what matters most, the interview.
3. Show your personality
With all the guidelines for dressing, it can be easy to lose who you are. Don’t lose your personality in the clothes - after all, you are who the company want to get to know. When you show up to your interview in a plain suit, you may look like 2 or 3 other candidates dressed exactly the same way. Set yourself apart by adding a touch of personality to your outfit.
4. Keep Accessories to a Minimum
Sure, I just said to add some personality to your outfit, but don't overdo it. Pick accessories that not only show your personality but also your professionalism. Colors like highlighter yellow and lime green should generally be avoided. The same can be said for large statement pieces. You don’t want to draw attention away from yourself. The only exception to this rule is if you are working for a future accessories shop. In that case, feel free to get creative.
5. Be comfortable in your own threads
Let’s face it, no one likes wearing a suit or dress they don't feel comfortable in, no matter how good it looks. Your discomfort will show, possibly giving off mixed messages to your interviewer. Try to select clothes that are easy to wear in multiple scenarios (ie sitting, standing, walking). Once you have an outfit picked out, you can reuse it for multiple interviews.
6. Follow basic grooming practices
Regardless of how formal or casual your new potential workplace will be, make sure you show up at your interview well groomed. Shower, brush your hair and teeth, trim your nails, all of the basic. But don’t go overboard either. Don’t smother your interviewer with your cologne or perfume - they may be allergic! Keep your hairstyle simple and for females, use minimal makeup or pick a natural look.