You got the interview and that is an awesome first step to getting the internship and continuing on with your college education and career path.
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But if this is your first internship interview it is also probably your first professional job atmosphere interview (or maybe first job interview ever). And you are probably wondering realistically what you are supposed to wear.
For any job interview I always recommend dressing OVER what you think you should wear and absolutely never under. I have interviews over a hundred of candidates in my role and most of whom are students still in college and I have seen it all guys, but then I thought back to my first interviews and college and realized that I was never really taught what to wear.
So here I am with the advice you need!
I am going to start with some awesome professional outfit ideas for internship interviews and leave you with a couple tips about what not to wear (hint: never wear leggings to any interview).
Also sorry guys but this is just for ladies! I can’t give too much advice on finding the right fit for mens suits but I will say WEAR A SUIT.
Unless you are given a dress code of business casual (which is rare) then you need to be wearing some version of a suit.
If the recruiter/ email/ listing etc. does not state a dress code (in my experience only about half of them do) then it is safe to assume that business professional is the way to go.
Option #1: The Pant Suit
This is the classic option – an all black pant suit with one button on the blazer and slim fit or boot cut pants (I love skinny fit dress pants for work but not interviews!).
See below for shirts to wear under this or the skirt suit option.
Option #2: The Skirt Suit
I am all for pant suits at my job on any average day. A skirt and heels often get in the way!
However, for an interview it is an incredibly professional look and the part that I tend to like is that you don’t have to get pants hemmed. I am 5’4 (which is pretty average) and dress pants tend to be too long on me and you don’t always have time to get them hemmed before an interview so skirt suits work great if that’s the case!
It is important that the shirt under the suit is professional, appropriate, and fits you correctly.
Option 1: Tie Neck
This option is $27 but don’t worry I found a couple for that college budget too from SHEIN
Option 2: Simple Blouse
A simple blouse works too! I really recommend this if you career path is a very logistical one like engineering or finance.
Closed toe shoes ONLY! And make sure that they are comfortable and that you feel comfortable wearing them. When I was a freshman in college I was so not comfortable wearing heels and looked hilarious trying to walk in them. Which is not the impression I wanted to make at an interview. So simple black flats were perfect for me! There’s nothing wrong with heels just make sure you can walk in them.
Option 1: Flats
Option 2: Heels
The major what not to do’s:
- Do not wear a see-through shirt (check your shirt in harsh lighting to make sure it isn’t!)
- Do not wear sandals, flip flops, or any open toe shoe
- Do not wear stilettos (keep the heel reasonable)
- Do not wear crazy colors. I love people expressing themselves but unfortunately every employer doesn’t so play it safe until you get a feel for the company culture.
- Don’t be too “stylish”. Unless your interview is in fashion/retail world! Play it safe and stick to classic looks.
- Don’t wear crazy makeup. Sounds obvious but I have interviewed more than one girl with red lipstick and colorful eye shadow. Looks awesome but not right for a professional interview! (Here’s a list of some professional lip stick options)
- Don’t forget tights or pantyhose with the skirt suit.
- Don’t forget a watch (regular or smart) so you can check the time without looking at your phone.
- Don’t forget a purse or briefcase so you can bring things along. Don’t just use a wristlet or pad folio and risk not having things with that you need.
For the full list of college guides and my best tips and tricks then check out my college page!