Ask The Pros
Ask The Pros: What Do I Wear to My Interview?
Got a question you want answered? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put it to our experts! Each time a panel of 5-8 professionals will give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work.
To start us off, we're tackling the seemingly-easy but oh-so-tricky question of how to dress for an interview. Click through for our panel's advice...
What Do I Wear to My Interview?
PRO: David Speranza - Design Director, Bicycling
Dress respectfully. This doesn't necessarily mean a business suit, that may depend on where the interview takes place. But definitely make it look like the meeting means something to you.
PRO: Ronda Thompson - freelance iPad designer
How I dress for an interview sometimes depends on the type of company I'm interviewing with. Typically, I like to go with a dress-casual type of feel, but let's say the interview is with Dow Jones or News Corp... because I know those companies are pretty conservative, I would step it up a bit more. But let's say the interview is with Details or HBO or even a design firm: because these companies are a lot more creative-based and less conservative, I would go with my trusty dressy-casual. It's important to present yourself in the most positive light as possible, and in addition to having a strong portfolio and being well spoken, taking care in how you dress for an interview speaks volumes.
PRO: Isabel Abdai - Art Director, Woman's Day
I think it really depends on where you're interviewing, and who you're interviewing with, but in general, I would say smart casual. Most art department work environments are quite casual, and while you don't want to be wearing jeans, you'd look out of place if you wore a suit.
PRO: Anthony Clarke - freelance tablet designer
Make sure you look put together. Slacks and khakis are so '90s. As a creative you should be stylish but not sloppy. Nice pair of jeans, some casual shoes, a button-up, and cool blazer will do the trick. Remember you're not going to the prom. Also grooming, a nice haircut will do the trick.
PRO: Michael Novak - Art Director, Portland Monthly
I always think you should dress up for interviews, but not to the point of losing your personality. A lot of people (particularly men) don't know how to dress up with a little style. You don't want to wear your standard off-the-rack boring outfit if you're interviewing for a creative position. Alternatively, you don't want to show up with a mohawk and day-glo pants (unless that's really appropriate to the company your applying to)!
PRO: Caitlin Choi - freelance art director
Wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable. I would do a little research about the company and understand the culture you'll be working in, i.e. if you're applying at a funky little startup doing web design, you probably can dress more creatively than going to a more traditional company.
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