One of the most important things I learned in college was what not to wear to a creative job interview. As someone pursuing a career in the creative advertising field, I was told not to show up in a suit, no matter what your parents say. Arriving for a creative interview in a suit would mean that you aren’t well versed in your industry, and could give off the impression that you are stuffy or unwilling to roll up your sleeves and get dirty.
So if that's the case, what should you wear to a job interview in the creative industry? When the everyday uniform in the office is jeans and a relaxed top (sometimes even leggings and sneakers), how dressed up are you supposed to be for your interview? And how do you show your creative side while still looking professional? Don't worry — I’ve perfected a formula to follow when assembling your job interview look. Here's how to build a go-to job interview outfit for the creative industry.
Start with a simple base layer
It sounds obvious, but a basic shirt and pants are the perfect base to build on. I’m a big fan of cropped pants or skinny trouser because they look more professional than jeans but still hold a much more sophisticated look than something as casual as leggins (whatever you do, do not show up in your Lulus). I also like wearing a simple long-sleeve to layer, such as a black turtleneck or a soft, neutral sweater.
Add a fun jacket or blazer
To show off your creative side, wear a blazer or light jacket in an interesting pattern, fabric, or color. Keep in mind that you'll still want to keep the jacket professional looking in some sense. While you want to come across as a creative person, the interviewer should still be focused on you and not your clothing.
Grab a medium tote
Take a sleek and chic bag to the interview that's big enough to bring along a few copies of your resume or your portfolio. This will help keep your materials intact on your drive or commute over.
This formula is honestly so foolproof for any interview in the industry. To keep it fresh, I like to switch out different blazers and boots every now and then. If you’re interviewing during the summer, you can switch the base layer out for a plain, professional dress. Now that you're dressed for total success, time to nail that next job interview!
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