Palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. There’s vomit on his sweater already, mom’s spaghetti.
Did Eminem essentially write his 2002 smash hit about you finally getting that call back for an interview concerning your next internship or first adult job? Immediately, questions begin to flash through your mind.
“What am I going to say to all of their questions?”
“What am I going to wear?”
“Oh no, I just forgot my name. What do I say when they ask me my name?”
If you find yourself slowly pushing your mental state into a downward spiral of insanity while preparing for this interview, you’ve come to the right place, my friend. What you’re wearing is the last thing you need to be worrying about when you get thrown into a room of people trying to pry your greatest strength and weakness out of you.
As your Talisman style writer and most importantly your friend, I have brought it upon myself to calm your nerves and keep your palms from perspiring, knees from buckling and yourself from up-chucking your mother’s delicious homemade pasta.
Here’s your go-to guide for prim, proper (or appropriately casual) interview attire.
Business Professional — intern at a law office or accounting firm, Senate page, weatherman, etc. (the area your parents prefer you enter)
Take a cue from our favorite anchorman, Ron Burgundy, and stay classy. Throw on a skirt (gals) or suit (guys or gals [cue Hillary]) that is tailored to your body in a black, navy or gray hue.
You want to make sure that you’re wearing an ensemble that doesn’t distract your interviewer from your stellar personality. Professionalism is key. Limit your bling, ice, etc. to a few key pieces and rely on those pearly whites as your main accessory.
If you want to get super technical, avoid harsh manicure colors, exposed tattoos and improper manners.
Get suited up to knock this interview out of the park!
Business Casual — most business internships, a happy medium of sorts
Cut yourself some slack and wear a pair of slacks and a nice blouse or button-down. Throw on a pair of pumps or loafers, and head out the door with your head held high. Don’t let them smell your fear.
If you aren’t sure what your interviewers will be looking for style-wise, business casual is always a safe bet.
Casual — employee at innovative #shoplocal business, roaster of organic coffee beans, seller of clothes made from recycled materials
Are you looking to be the next world-renowned barista at a cool coffee shop or a retail associate at a trendy new boutique in East Nashville? You should throw on your most stylish get-up.
Woah, but hold up a second. I’m not talking your ultimate weekend-out apparel. Remember, modest is hottest when it comes to an interview, ladies and gentlemen.
Feel free to let your creativity and ingenuity shine through in both your outfit and answers, though.
Granola — camp counselor, ENO entrepreneur, Patagonia purveyor
While the last two positions may be somewhat fictitious, there is a factual trend of businesses becoming more open-minded in all senses of the term. PROCEED WITH CAUTION, though. These hipster hubs are few and far between.
The only time you should strap on your Chacos and hike out the door is when the company clearly allows you to do so. If you have a concern, contact the employee you’ve been in contact to nail down the dress code.
Extra pieces of advice:
Shower, brush your hair and teeth before the big interview. Ladies, don’t forget to enhance that already stunning face of yours by putting some “paint on the barn” (i.e. makeup).
Practice makes perfect, so have your bestie quiz you, research the company and their values, and take a few quick glances in the mirror before heading out the door.
As Eminem would advise, “You own it. You better never let it go. You only get one shot. Do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime. YOU BETTER.“
Slim Shady believes in you, and so do I. Go get ‘em tiger.