Monday, September 24, 2012

Interview Outfit + Tips

(post is sponsored by Nuffnang and Clearasil.)

As promised a few posts back, I got a graduate position through an interview recently and I was going to do a post on what I wore, hair and makeup, and some interview tips. I thought this would be a good time to dish some advice as we're approaching the end of the year and therefore approaching holidays or graduation. Not all of us are fortunate enough to be using our much-needed vacations to be jetting around the world, but are instead stuck looking for ways to earn some money haha.

Why is the interview so important?

Anyone can spend hours and hours writing a stellar resume, and make themselves seem like the most impressive candidate in the world on paper. But it is the interview, that really gives the panel a brief snapshot of how you fit into their worklace in real life.

Interview Outfit:

So because you only have a tiny timeframe to show yourself off to the interviewers, first impressions really count. Before you even open your mouth, the second you walk through the door the interviewers are ready to judge you. Apparently it only takes 30 seconds to make a lasting impression.

Here is what I wore for mine:

Skirt: Tokito
Kitten heels: Siren

more after the link below!

About the blouse:
The blouse should be conservative, so I chose one with long sleeves and without a huge dip in the neckline. It also needs to be simple and non-distracting, as you don't want the interviewer to be accidentally staring at a complicated and eye-catching top instead of focusing on what you have to say. Mine does have ruffles but combined with the neutral, salmon-pink colour I don't think the blouse was too distracting or messy.

Where to find one:
Blouses suitable for the corporate environment can be found everywhere. There was a time when blouses were all the rage so they have even crept into "fashionable" wear, so it should be pretty easy finding a decent one for the interview. I bought a bulk lot of blouses from Gmarket because they have such an amazing rage at low prices (20-40AUD). I'm planning to do another bulk order  soon for more conservative styles, for when I do work.

About the skirt:
The length of the skirt was perfect for me, as it rests just a little above the knees which makes it conservative enough as most of the thighs are covered. The material also isn't tight-fitting, which is also crucial. I made the mistake of wearing a tight, body-con black skirt to an interview once (luckily it was a pretty informal one for a retail store). It looked pretty work-appropriate when I was standing infront of the mirror but not so much when I was actually at the interview. When you walk, and everytime you twist your body, a tight skirt accentuates the movements in your butt and it can be pretty distracting and inappropriate for the work environment, and maybe it's best to save body-con skirts for a semi-formal cocktail event.

You can also wear pants for the interview if it's a cold day or you just feel more comfortable in pants. If so, they should not be figure-hugging nor should they be low-rise.

Where to find one:
Tokito is an Australian brand stocked by Myer that specialises in fashionable work wear. I highly recommend them as their stock is really affordable (I think this skirt was about $60?) and they actually have a lot of trendy, cute designs.

About the shoes:
I was planning on wearing plain, black flats for the interview but my boyfriend told me about something he read in the paper about the taller you are, the more chances you have of landing an interview? I can't find the article but apparently more height, the better. I wouldn't take it too seriously, but if you are lacking in height perhaps it's better to wear kitten heels rather than flats. 

These kitten heels from Siren are only about 4cm high, and are extremely comfortable due to their low height. Up to 5cm is ok in my opinion but I wouldn't go over this height, unless the interview is pretty informal.

Where to find a pair:
Most shoe stores should have some range of corporate footwear. You don't have to look for anything too fancy, just a really plain pair of black, low-heeled shoes will do. Personally when I was shopping around most of the shoes like this were wedge heels. I don't know if these are more popular in practice, but personally I prefer the thin heels rather than wedges as they just look more professional.

Also keep in mind that the most basic tip for any interview outfit is to look neat. If you wear a top with food stains on it not only will the interviewers will highly distracted (disgusted too!) it suggests you don't care about looking presentable for others, you can't clean up after yourself, and you're just plain lazy or at least really forgettable. If you are going to tuck in a top, make sure you do it neatly and not sloppily with areas sticking out. Don't neglect ironing either. Don't wear clothes with obvious lint, pet hair, fuzz balls, and the like!

Interview Hair & Makeup:

The key features of your interview look, should be clear and radiant skin, neutral colours and minimal makeup. This is the least makeup I ever put on and is similar to how I do my makeup for uni.

I used my most natural circle lenses (do not wear coloured circle lenses to an interview! Never!), neutral eye shadow shades that complemented the colour of my blouse, just one coat of eyeliner and mascara, and I also applied my usual highlighting + contouring with a lighter hand. I usually wear slightly heavier bronzer in real life but I really wanted to focus on creating a natural, fresh look for the interview.

I also wore my hair in a ponytail as it makes you look more polished and professional. Another thing is that with long hair, you might be tempted to play around with it when you're thinking or nervous. Keeping all of it tucked behind it prevents that from happening.

Some general interview tips:

Be exactly who they are looking for. You could have many different strengths and achievements, and be one of the most impressive people in the room. However, no matter how good you are the company is still looking for someone who suits the position they have the opening for. You have to make yourself seem perfectly tailored to what they are looking for. It's true that a lot of people are interested in applying for various different jobs in various different fields, and it can seem quite onerous to have to prepare a little bit extra for each company. However, it is totally worth it to do your homework. Go through all your interview questions and answers and think about how you can tailor everything to the particular organisation.

To do this, you can examine the details about the position and pick out their selection criteria. If they aren't explicitly listed, look for skills and qualities like "proven sales record", "sound communication skills", "ability to show initiative", "ability to work as a team" etc. You should also have addressed them indirectly or directly in your resume.

Speak clearly and slowly. (not down to snail speed of course) I know of some people who tend to speak really quickly when they are nervous. When you hear them talk, sometimes they seem incoherent because they have accidentally jumped from one point to another, or left a point unfinished and unexplained. They are trying so hard to rush through all their points in their head, that in doing so they have unintentionally left some parts hanging and listeners end up being confused.

Don't show nervousness. Do you have any habits when you're nervous? Pinpoint all these habits and think of ways you can prevent them from occurring. If you play with your hair a lot, tie it back in a ponytail so you won't be tempted. If you are one of those foot/leg shakers, cross your legs. For me, I pick the skin around my nails when I'm nervous or even when I'm just thinking. So during the interview, I put my hands under the table. I tried not to pick the skin but even if I did, it shouldn't have been as obvious as if I had laid my hands on top of the table infront of them.

Also try not to show nervousness or be too flabbergasted to talk, when you're thrown off guard. During my interview I was actually hit with a few unexpected questions. I was also given a sheet of paper with some graphs, scenarios and statistics I had to analyse and present an answer for, on the spot. Inside I was dying and panicking, but I tried not to show it and acted like I was pondering over the data calmly LOL. In the end I think I was able to summon the full extent of my common knowledge, and things I had learnt in high school almost 5-6 years ago, and present an answer I think was pretty impressive given the time (or lack of) I had to do so.

And don't forget that it's ok if you don't get the job. As my boyfriend kept having to reassure me after mine, the interview was at least a learning experience. It was actually my very first proper interview for an office job and I really didn't expect to get it, given its competitiveness and my lack of prior experience. Even if you don't get something the most important thing is to try, because it will always benefit you to have that learning experience :)

what else do you need to wear?

In addition to everything, one absolutely crucial thing that underlies the whole interview process, is confidence. If you’re putting yourself up in a pretty competitive position, you might be concerned about your lack of prior experience, academic results, extra-curricular activities, and appearance especially for certain industries. Yet there is a stark difference between the interviewee who acknowledges and shows all their limitations through their behavior in the interview; and the interviewee with the same lacking qualifications who instead demonstrates to the interviewers their best qualities. The difference? Confidence. One is held back by a negative belief in themselves- the other is presenting themselves as the perfect candidate the company would seriously regret missing out on.

Having confidence in your appearance is also absolutely essential so that you aren’t held back to show your best side. Currently I have combination skin and still get the occasional breakout or pimple. Back in high school when I had super acne prone skin, I remember all those pimple-targeted skin care products I tried were quite drying on my face. Yet the problem with a more moisturising product is that it could do absolutely nothing for my acne, or even aggravate it.

So I was really curious to see what Clearasil’s PerfectaWash had to offer, because it aims to provide “the perfect dose for visibly clearer skin”, focusing on this central notion of balance to deliver effective results. 

The PerfectaWash dispenser unit delivers balance in the product itself- as it contains active ingredients to fight breakouts, yet also containing anti-oxidants and Vitamin E which are known for their soothing properties. There are two different types of face wash you can put in the dispenser- Superfruit Extracts and Soothing Plant Extracts! 

It also delivers balance in the dosage- by an automatic dispenser that distributes exactly 1.5ml of product. 

This is what’s in the product kit: 
- 1 PerfectaWash dispenser 
- 1 Superfruit Extracts 
- 3 x AA batteries (so you can use it straight away) 
(you can also buy the Soothing Plant Extract as a separate refill) 

Here is how you use the PerfectaWash: 

- Insert either the Superfruit or Soothing Plant Extracts refill, into the dispenser 
- Remove the red tab to activate batteries 
- Switch dispenser on 
- As it’s an automatic dispenser, just put your hand underneath to receive the product 
- Massage the product onto your face! 

The product dispenses automatically on your hand.

Hang tight for future giveaways in my later posts! I know this was a pretty different post to my usual ones, but I really hope all the interview tips were helpful :) 


  1. This is such a great post - not only does it have cute outfits, you gave us some fantastic tips! :)

    Enter to win a $40 voucher to InDressMe!
    Trendy Teal

  2. Thanks for the tips! I'll be needing them soon and I'll be sure to bookmark this or save the link somewhere for then! /getting first job soon/ or at least applying for one soon hahaha

    also, I didn't expect for there to be a face wash dispenser. I've seen dish soap dispensers but not one for facial wash. Looks interesting and cool! and the soap's color is a nice pink and it looks pretty! ♥

  3. These are great interview tips. It's surprising how many young people don't know these kinds of things when they go into interviews. My dad made my sisters and I practice with him and everything. But 9 time out of 10, I always got the job I wanted! I think your outfit is perfect for an interview. It shows that you are conservative, but not a prude, and that you are fashion forward and thinking of the present times. I love it! <3


  4. Interesting tips! Will take everything into mind. Lovely post. :)

  5. Thank you so much for this! I'm actually preparing for some interviews and this is a great help ^__^ Gonna bookmark it for future references now~ <3 Wah. So many things to take into consideration that I never thought of! Congrats again on getting that job.

  6. You have so many great tips for interviews, this will come in really handy for a lot of people! :)

    I think even the tips about interview dressing can be good to remember for important meetings or presentations in the office. I always dress more formally if I have to present to higher-ups.

    Good luck and I do hope you get the job! :)

  7. Love the tips and the outfit post for interviews. I have a few interview dresses I just need to get an interview (i'm looking for a new job lol)>

  8. I love your blog!! that post is great! you love wonderful in that blouse:)!

  9. Nice post and tips, thx !
    love your blouse btw, so romantic :)

  10. Amazing post! You look fab in your amazing outfit! And thanks for the helpful tips :)


  11. I love this top, I'd wear it everyday, not only on interviews:)

  12. This outfit is GORGEOUS. It is perfect for interviewing -- and for everything else. I'm basically obsessed with it.
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  13. This is the perfect interview outfit. It's classy and professional, but not stuffy and boring. Love it. You look just beautiful!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  14. A very chic and sophisticated interview look, the pink of your blouse is so pretty.

  15. I love this look! The blouse is adorable and this is a perfect interview outfit. You look stunning as always. Plus I love the tips!

  16. Great tips, I think it's gonna be very useful for people who haven't had the opportunity to do at least an informal interview yet... I like that you let your hair down, in a ponytail. It seems that almost everyone tends to tie it up, which is a pity. And I love salmon/powdery pink hues, the blouse is gorgeous.

  17. such a stunning blouse! love love the color!

    do you want to follow each other on bloglovin' and gfc? let me know.
    see you around! xx

  18. I'm in love with this shit, so nice! :)

  19. Fantastic post!
    I'll keep these tips in mind next time I have an interview :)
    I remember I wore jeans to the two job interviews I've had, next time I'll wear a skirt

  20. congratulations on snagging a graduate job! That's some good advice you've given. (:

    I have that exact same tokito skirt has been a wardrobe staple of mine for awhile but I daresay it looks much better on you! ;)

  21. Just stumbled upon your blog through chictopia! love it! totally a follower now. :)

    congrats on your new job!

  22. LOVe your top! You look so pretty! And congrats on the job!
    A's Fashion Files
    Shop Kawaii Kitsch by A on Etsy!

  23. Love the colors. So cute.
    I love your blog. Do you mind to follow eacth other?

  24. you are so pretty~ Are you Korean?
    Also -- very helpful post about interviews.


  25. alos... i'm following you now~ Would be cool if you checked out my blog about Seoul~


  26. This was really helpful! After 4 years of managing my own project, I am about to have to start facing interviews! It's a bit weird and it doesn't help that I'm in a country where I haven't done that before! So, will have to practice and practice and practice, and wear the right outfit!!! ;) oh, also, the first impressions thing is quite right (not sure whether it would be 30s but it is very automatic and quick; can refer some research on the topic if anyone is interested! lol!!).

  27. aww thank you so much for your comment! <3 love your blog! lovely look! :) xx

  28. Interviews are kind of like an artwork /take it from me to use that as an analogy/, what you present at the end is ultimately judged and the concept (or resume in this case) is referred to back if necessary. I thought it was 6 seconds to make a first impression, but 30 sounds much more legiable haha. I like how your outfit is conservative but with a little personality from the pale pink choice to kitten heels, oh, and the pleats in the skirt. Demure and not outlandish haha. I went on an interview once for a retail position and there was a candidate dressed top and bottom in neon, it was like watching a walking highlighter. I really like how the ruffles on the blouse also compliment your hair so its a very 'put together' outfit. And I never actually thought of long sleeves as an option, I'm cladded in a blazer because it makes me feel more corporate haha. I've seen 'work-office' blouses in Tokito and such chains for such ridiculous prices, thanks for the Gmarket suggestion Izzy! The skirt is a perfect pick because it maintains the body-forming silhouette without being suggestive in the slightest. But I do agree with you an Tokito, they have really nice skirts! Oh wow, height matters huh? I think if you're at the point to where you're craning over the receptionist or just look awkward with platforms, its inappropriate haha. Your heels are just right. Your interview tips are so spot on and sensible, I think if we all landed a job in the first interview, our intergrity would drop and determination for much of the competitive environment would be far lessened, your boyfriend has taught you well haha. They say if you wear blue, you're more likely to get employed and/or confidence peaks (not sure where I heard it but its pretty universal). I love how you've twisted lacking qualitifications to headstrong, willing candidate, how inspired ^__^ Wow, an automated dispenser... and it looks like a bionic tap or something too! Great post Izzy :)

  29. really nice entry! i think it's really helpful to read posts like this :)
    the tips are great and i also love your outfit ♥

  30. Congratulations on your graduate position, darling! How could anyone refuse you when you look as impeccable as you do? This outfit is perfect and an absolute inspiration for any future interviews I may have to attend!

    Thank you for your sweet comment too!

    <3 Mandy xx

  31. Nice shirt :)

    I invite you to

  32. Perfect interview outfit! I needed this

    xo, Courtney

  33. What a perfect outfit for an interview. I love the shirt abd I have a similar skirt but mine has studs on the top, looking like a belt. :-)

    xo, Melissa.

  34. nice look!

  35. This is a great classic look!

  36. Heartbreaking images honey!!! Totally loved this post!!!Your blog is just the coolest.....
    Best Regards
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark

  37. Awesome post! It's always tricky choosing what to wear to an interview! And you nailed it! :)

  38. Great post! You look nice and cute. there are some interview questions & answers tips here

    Following you now.. :)

    Kisses from VV!!

  39. Perfect outfit for an interview!

  40. What wonderful tips - I am so happy you focus on heightening quality of life with your posts, rather than simply outfit posts. It makes your blog hold much more substance, if that makes sense. Your interview outfit is perfect - sweet and sophisticated. Also, do you recommend that Clearasil's PerfectWash? It looks really cool!

    X i x i a ❥

  41. I'm in love with that top! It's sophisticated, flirty and fun :)


  42. I wore a Tokito blouse to my first ever office job interview haha! I have a major gripe about their buttons thought- they weren't sewn on securely at all, so I had to go back and hand sew them all down pat. I definitely agree about not showing nervousness. I had to put my hands under the table too because I have a habit of twirling pens. I can concentrate so much better when I'm pen twirling haha.

  43. you look great!
    cute hand sanitizer! >,<

  44. Wow this certainly is a very comprehensive interview post....from the very polished outfit down to confidence, you got it made!!


  45. Very feminine, chic and professioonal-looking - you nailed it!! Congrats on your job again :D

  46. Great post!! All of your tips are definitely very helpful and you explained everything in such a clear and concise manner.


  47. I really like your blog dear!
    Keep up with the good work! :)


  48. These are great tips and I love that you managed to still look fashionable while being business appropriate. I'm naturally a little on the shy and quiet side, but in interviews I definitely speak much more authoritatively than usual! haha.
    Thank you for your sweet comment on my outfit post :)


  49. Great tips! And the blouse is adorable :) hehe It's interesting, but if I wore that skirt here, it'll still be consider too short for a conservative firm or office -sigh- I need to work on my confidence!
    The cleanser look really cool, too. I've never tried clearasil before, so I would be nervous trying this out.


  50. Chanced upon your blog and enjoy reading it!

  51. Great look, I love it, beautiful top thou.

  52. I like your interview outfit. It's conservative but the detail on the blouse and skirt sends a message about your individuality. Very sound advice here. I used to recruit for a large telco and goodness me. I've had people who turned up with their fly undone, marks on their suits, petticoat clearly visible for the whole world to see and the list goes on. You'd think it's common sense but obviously not.

  53. I love your outfit for interview very much. Love Tokito skirt the most.
    Congrats once again.

  54. This is such a great post!
    I really want a casual job in retail but I know that those interviews are group interviews and I've never actually had one before. I think I get nervous about the fact that you are practically competing against EVERYONE in the room for the interviewer to see :S The only interview I've ever had was for Maccas and honestly, it didn't even feel like an interview! It was so quick and easy and I'm pretty sure Maccas just accepts almost anyone... so I'll definitely come back to this post when I hopefully get some interviews in the future!

  55. I like the look and beautiful color of workwear .It seems to be very comfortable for users.....workwear

  56. i love your blouse! and your makeup looks so pretty!

  57. Th blouse is so pretty! I always have a cute Office-like skirt on the side for interviews and a whole wardrobe full of blouses ! You look gorgeous with minimal makeup on i think it makes you appear youthful lol compared to makeup making you look more mature. Still either way you're pretty :DD

    Im studying Health Sciences lol such a wide variety of bio subjects to deal withGOODLUCK WITH YOUR FINAL ASSIGNMENT IZZY!!!



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