By Anna Walnoha | Staff Writer
Some say it’s what’s on the that inside truly matters, but when the time comes to find a job or internship, your appearance matters quite a bit. Afterall, a polished ensemble can say a thousand words for a person before they even introduce themselves.
Two women from Duquesne tell all from their personal experiences with interviews and meetings.
Transferred sophomore Val Steppel is a finance and accounting double-major. She wore a black skirt suit, a printed blouse and black heels when getting ready for one of her interviews. She was dressing for a more business professional environment. However, her attire wasn’t stiff. When professional attire comes to mind, many think that means solid and unrelaxed. Professional careers, such as lawyers, politicians, bank clerks etc. can still be seen as fashion forward even if it is in a more serious setting.
She has interviewed two different times for internships, both in her fields of study. Steppel recounted that she took numerous steps to better prepare herself.
“I had a ‘thank you’ card written out before the interview. Then, when I was done, I slipped it into their mailbox,” Steppel said.
Nowadays, there are many looks one can wear to make themselves look presentable while also showing their personality and creativity.
Sophomore Jordan Miller, for example, wore a patterned jacket (which, she commented, “rocks”), a white shirt, nice jeans and Dr. Martens. Despite studying psychology, Miller’s interview was for a photojournalist internship. Her outfit was more laid back and fun, but put-together nonetheless.
Miller remembered she had browsed other photographers’ websites before applying.
“I prepared some of my concert venue pictures, along with my landscape and still shots,” she said, basing her portfolio on what she observed.
Both of these students sported wildly-different styles from each other: one working business-professional and the other much more casual. However, neither option is necessarily the wrong one. What one chooses to wear to an interview is contingent on the interview. A cleaner look is appropriate for the business-inclined student, as is a relaxing, comfortable getup for the more creatively-minded.
Keeping up to date on the latest trends also doesn’t hurt. This spring, for example, jaunty stripes, bright saturated hues or soft pastels with dusty tones are all options to help make a candidate stand out. Interesting accents — such as geometric handbags or transparent shoes — can further separate you out from the crowd.
Being a fashionista isn’t required to take on an interview, however. Information on the latest trends is just a click away, so-to-speak, and that job-landing outfit can even be delivered right to your door (or the basement of Rockwell). Figuring out what’s en vogue shouldn’t be that difficult if you know where to look.
Combined with your expertise and skills, an outfit can help distinguish you from the competition. Pick the right look for the occasion, and you’ll be sure to leave an impression on potential employers.