What to Wear to An Interview, Post-Mortem


We all have interview horror stories, whether or not they involved a fashion disaster.

Personally, I remember sitting across from an HR woman at Grey Advertising, who looked down her nose at me and sneered, “So, what do you know about Grey Advertising, besides Mr. X?” ( Mr. X was the kind family friend, a longtime Grey executive, who had secured the interview for me).  Needless to say, it didn’t matter what I knew about Grey because she’d already decided I wasn’t getting the job.  I do remember I wore a brand new Ann Taylor suit to that interview, my first suit ever.  Hmmm, Ann Taylor must not have good interview karma for us.  Good to know.

My brother, Mike, interviewed at a big company, but was not hired.  Post-interview, he was able to see a copy of the form filled out by his interviewer about him, on which she wrote, “Candidate’s shoes were not shined.” 

He had bought a brand-new pair of shoes right before he walked into the interview.  Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what you wear…

But, when I went to my interview with Ralph Lauren Footwear in NY back in 1988, I knew that it did matter. Unlike you, my dear friend, I was dressed in head-to-toe Ralph.  If he had sold undergarments at that time, I would have had those on too.  I had worked for Ralph Lauren, on the retail side, since I was 16-years-old, so I knew the drill.  Quite frankly, those were the only clothes in my closet anyway. 

I think I was living in Italy when you went to your Ralph Lauren interview, otherwise, I’m sure you would have borrowed something from me, then, who knows what path your life might have taken?  But, you seem to have landed in a great place today.

I would love to hear our readers’ interview stories…


Images: Zappos, Ralph Lauren

1 Comment

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One response to “What to Wear to An Interview, Post-Mortem

  1. Katie

    I need to defend Ann Taylor! While working at my first job (that one where you just need a job and you know it’s not your calling) and had an opportunity come up for a job in healthcare technology (which turned out to be my calling I guess). I quickly left my office in the Sears Tower and ran to the Ann Taylor downtown and enlisted the help of a sales person for an interview suit. I found a lovely blue jacket and skirt and the sales person suggested a kicky scarf and showed me how to tie it and everything. I felt very chic and grown up. I got the job and have been in the industry for 17 years now. I still have the scarf in my drawer – it’s been in and out of style but I won’t ever get rid of it.

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