What To Wear To a Job Interview

{the dos and dont’s of dressing for a summer job interview as a law student}

how to dress like a lawyer

‘Tis the season in law schools: job searching for summer internships. Law firms across the country are wading through piles of resumes and hopeful law students are donning their best business suits.

As you prepare to take on the legal world, here are our best tips on what to wear for your next job interview:

1. Dress conservatively.

The legal profession is one of the most conservative fields out there – we like our traditions and formalities, especially when it comes to dress code. Although you may only be a law student, it’s a sign of respect to the employers, and to the profession as a whole, if you go into an interview knowing the unspoken dress code rules.

So, what exactly does conservative wear mean? Modest apparel. For example, if you’re wearing a skirt, make sure it’s no shorter than one inch above your knee (preferably, a few fingers below the knee!) and wear nude panty hose underneath. It’s important that your clothes fit your figure well, but nothing about your outfit should be too tight or too revealing. Finally, go for kitten heels or at most, a two inch heel.

2. Simplicity is key.

Keep everything about your outfit and overall appearance as simple and tidy as possible. Stick to neutral colors, especially when it comes to your blouse – think white, grey, shades of brown or very light pastels. As far as the blouse style, although a button-down is the go-to option, you can also go for something with a crew-neck. Just please make sure there is no cleavage (tip: lean over in the mirror, can you see down your shirt? If yes, it’s probably too low-cut!).

Nonetheless, make sure the colors in your outfit flatter your skin tone and hair color. Although a black suit is recommended, it doesn’t always work for everyone. So, if you think black isn’t quite your color, go for brown, dark grey or navy blue.

3. Makeup matters, too.

Like the rest of your outfit, keep your makeup minimal: foundation, a little blush, neutral eyeshadow and a dash of mascara. Although we love a red lip at the office, it’s a bit too distracting in a job interview.

As for hair styles, go with what feels most comfortable. For example, if you tend to twirl your hair when you’re nervous, then it might be good to wear your hair pulled back or in a ponytail.

4. Boring is good.

So far, all of this sounds totally boring and borderline granny style, but in this case boring is good. Although you want to be yourself, this is one of those times when you want your accomplishments to stand out.

Have you ever talked with someone who had a smudge on their face? Especially if it’s a stranger or a new acquaintance, the whole conversation becomes an awkward dance in your head – do you tell them about the smudge or just ignore it? Before you know it, the conversation is over and you have no idea what you talked about.

That’s what can happen in an interview if your interviewer is distracted by your cleavage, neon blouse,  too-short skirt or lint on your blazer.

Don’t let this happen. In this instance, let your passion for the job shine, not your clothes.

5. Confidence is ALWAYS the best accessory.

You might don pearls or a simple necklace, but the most important accessories in a job interview are confidence and a smile. Interviews are nerve-wracking for everyone, but remember you’re there because your resume has already impressed someone at the company. You are smart and you deserve this job, so go into that room with a smile and a strong handshake.

You got this!

-Team HOM

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3 Responses to What To Wear To a Job Interview

  1. Kody January 31, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    HOM ladies,

    I’m hoping you can answer this question for me in regards to suit color code. I’ve always been told that in the business world men’s suits should be blue, brown, tan, or gray but NEVER black. That black is for funerals.

    Does the same rule hold true for females? It always seems to me that the number of black suits in the womens’ section heavily outweigh the suits in any other color.

    Thanks!

    • marhouse February 1, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Great question, Kody. I, too, was shocked to learn that rule considering how many black suits are marketed to women. So, no, we don’t think that same principle applies to us, whatever the reason may be. A black suit is perfectly appropriate for daily professional wear for women. If it feels a little too stringent or formal to you, you can always switch it up with a patterned or more colorful blouse underneath. Hope that helps!

    • House of Marbury May 30, 2014 at 4:25 am #

      We have heard similar rules in terms of men’s suits, but for women we think a sharp black suit is a staple for any professional wardrobe. With that said, consider a white silk blouse or a coral or teal scarf to accent or compliment the otherwise dark look of a black suit. Great question. Thank you!

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