You’ve advanced from the teacher job fair to a small pool interview, most likely with a school principal or department chair in need of your credentials. Based on my experience, your overall aesthetic should read: traditional with something memorable. I achieved this look in all instances with a neutral suit, a hint of color, a unique ring, and complimentary-to-my-face earrings.
The two options below can be modified based on the contents of your closet. Sometimes the shoes act as a starting point, since it may be easier to find an appropriate blouse than the perfect shoe. Work one piece at a time and see what you can pull together before running out to the store. Though, sometimes it feels nice to wear something fresh (NOT HEAD TO TOE), as long as you’ve tried it and it doesn’t present any wardrobe malfunctions.
Notice the blouse in both option is a hint of color, nothing too distracting, nothing too overpowering. The blouse should be free of frills, loose threads, or a sheerness requiring a camisole. The suit is sleek, clean, and polished, but offers a bit of style. I prefer an ankle length pant with a fitted jacket that brushes the hip. I chose navy, but also have a black suit (actually made of separates that is neither severe nor masculine); I find brown suits appealing if the color fits, and also favor a grey combination as well. If I went with brown, I would complement with a coral blouse and brown shoe. If I went with grey I would opt for a blue or yellow blouse and grey pump. If I went with black I would choose a BASIC black and white print or solid yellow with black patent pump. All shoes should be a round toe, unless the suit is a straight leg to the floor, favoring the pointed toe. Notice the simple ring and simple drop earring which frames the face; sometimes a simple stud is more favorable. A necklace and bracelets are both unnecessary, though you could opt for a pendant necklace and remove the earrings.
1. Do keep your wrists clear of jewelry capable of making music. Jingly, clink-able charms are completely distracting, no matter how much you like ’em.
2. Choose one, not both: simple necklace or simple earrings. Do keep your neck free of statement necklaces. The neck area has too much going on between the jacket collar and whichever blouse you choose.
3. Hair should be pulled back off the shoulders; I opt for a half-up/half down style, or a low, pulled back ‘do. Keep shoulders clear; again, too much is resting in the neck zone with the collar and blouse.
4. Shoes should make a strong yet appropriate, rather than frumpy, statement. Please do not parade into the interview room wearing 4-inch heels. You’ll look ridiculous no matter how good you feel.
5. Scents are unnecessary. A shower and fresh press (cleaning) of the clothes goes a long way, giving off a natural scent that I find best.
6. Make-up should be based on confidence level. If you feel more confident hiding your blemishes, go for it. If you feel more comfortable au naturel, do it. Keep the dark liner and bright (or dark) lips for the post-interview celebration. I choose a titch of tinted moisturizer (in the winter), a coat of dark brown mascara, and a hint of gloss.
7. Nails should be clean, short, and polished with a light pink or natural shade. My nails rarely feel the stroke of a brush, but even I feel insecure showing up to an interview with bare nails. In fact, I’m more likely to coat my nails for a job interview than a night out. If anything, layer with a clear coat.
8. SMILE! So important and tops any outfit you put together.