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Subtle Style Signals For Your Next Job Interview

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As a woman, dressing for an interview can be nerve-wracking. Your appearance is the first -- and one of the most important -- impressions you will give to potential new employers. How formal do you get? How casual? Do you want to be conservative or creative? How do you distinguish yourself from other candidates? While most of your competition will be wearing a business suit of similar type and color, you can create your own impression by paying attention to hair, makeup and jewelry. 

Here are ways to make each one say what you want them to say about you. 


Many female interviewees will opt for the same hairstyle they normally wear, but you should give it a little more thought. Don't go overboard with complexity in your style on the day of an interview. If things go wrong (and they often do), you will need a simple, low-maintenance hairstyle. If you want to convey seriousness and a willingness to stay focused on work, try a low ballerina bun. It's easy, simple and non-distracting. To jazz up your style a little, try a sleek low ponytail that combines business and a little casualness. A tousled look can go even farther to make you appear approachable and not uptight -- perfect for people-oriented jobs. Just be sure to have your hair under control if you decide to try a loose, wavy look.  


Makeup for interviews is basically about moderation. It might be tempting to try to dress up more than normal with extra makeup, but fight this urge. Interview makeup should complement, not distract. Take a look at women featured in the company's website or check out the employees heading in to work one morning, then mimic their makeup looks. Be sure to use foundation and concealer to hide blemishes, then use a standard day-time makeup look. If you need help, consult with a department store's style counter for assistance creating a look for your big day.  


Few things speak more of tradition and a conservative nature than pearls and single-strand necklaces. These convey the idea that you are quiet, calm and poised. This can be an excellent choice for management or positions representing the company. Another good way to promote yourself as poised and responsible is by choosing color-coordinated jewelry and other accessories. 

On the other hand, if you're trying to give off a more creative vibe (think sales, R&D or advertising), opt for big hoop earrings, dangling necklaces and rings. These types of jewelry portray a sparkling personality and a social person. Unique or vintage pieces signify a trendsetter -- someone who intentionally thinks outside the box and looks for ways to stand out from the crowd. Contact a professional business, like Mollie B Distinctively Different Fine Jewelry, for more suggestions on choosing the appropriate accessories.

Styling yourself for a job interview is about determining what you want to convey to your new employers and then altering your appearance subtly to project that. You can do so successfully by considering what type of job you are applying for and what your own personality strengths are. With a little attention to detail, you can truly set yourself apart from the crowd.