Yeah! I got the job interview. Yikes! I have nothing to wear!

the-academic-job-interviewIt’s one of those chicken-egg scenarios.

When you are job seeking, cash may be tight-especially if you are unemployed, so spending on clothing is not always in the budget.

However, how can you make an impression at a job interview, unless you dress for success?


Don’t approach this as frivolous spending on fashion. This is about strategic dressing to make you feel and look confident, capable and able.

Set aside a sum and invest in a quality outfit or two that will serve as your interview ensemble, as well as give you something to wear when you get the job, until your first paycheque comes in.

Think Versatile

Pick a neutrally coloured suit or ensemble with pieces that you can mix and match (i.e. a basic dress, dress pants and blouse and jacket, and one good pair of shoes.

Avoid trendy items- while might be flashy now, will soon make you dated- and sap the power from your power suit.


You can change your entire look by swapping out different lower-cost accessories, like costume jewellery, belts and colourful scarves.

A small price to pay to give an outfit double duty (and then some).

Beg and Borrow

Who says you have to hit the mall to shop? Visit your family, friends and neighbours of similar size who might be willing to lend you some sweet threads during your job-hunting process.

The Finishing Touches

Don’t forget that your hair and makeup are an important part of your outfit, and require equal attention.

Stay subtle and neutral on both counts. You want to look like you’re ready to work- not go clubbing.

Dress for the Job you Want

When planning your outfit, envision yourself after you’ve got the job. What do you look like sitting behind your desk?

Not only will this visualization give you a boost to blow them away at the interview, it can help frame the outfits you should be wearing.