You found an internship opportunity at a great company. Your resume has been reviewed, you’ve had an initial conversation or two and you’re gearing up for the next stage: The Interview. You have one singular focus when you walk through that door – convincing your potential boss that you are the intern for the job.
You’ve done your homework, mastered your speech on why you’re the top intern on the block, and you’re ready to go. But wait, before you walk out the door – perhaps the biggest question of all – what are you going to wear? Do you need to wear a suit? Can you even find your suit? And perhaps more importantly, where exactly is the line between showing that you’re interested and excited about the internship but that you also understand the culture of the business?
Let us start by saying that if you’re interviewing at a bank, a law firm, an accounting firm, that suit better be pressed and ready to go. But do the same rules apply for that great social media internship at the hot new Internet company? Not necessarily.
How do you dress to impress for your internship interview?
We asked career expert Lindsey Pollak ( www.lindseypollak.com ) and Jodi Glickman, President of Great on the Job (www.greatonthejob.com) for their two cents on the topic. Here are some tips from these two masters:
- Neatness counts: Regardless of what you wear, being neat and put together is a must. Even if you decide to go business casual, or even just plain casual, make sure that your presentation is still put together and professional. And steer clear of anything too tight or revealing!
- Just ask: Don’t be afraid to ask about the dress code for the organization. Truth be told, we don’t know many startups and small-mid size businesses where suits are the norm, but if you have any questions about the dress code, why not ask up front.
- Be versatile: if you don’t feel comfortable asking or are still left confused by the answer you receive, try something versatile that will allow for a last minute adjustment. For example, a suit where you can quickly take off the jacket or a dress that you can under-accessorize in a minute.
And no matter what you decide, walk through the door with your head held high. Above all, you want to convey with confidence that when you’re hired as an intern, your boss can count on you for a job well done.