Looking good for an interview is important and everybody knows it. However, what if you cannot fit into your previous ‘fancy’ work clothes or if you simply can’t afford them? Do not fret, for there are quite a few budget oriented tips for looking sharp and stylish during an interview.

  • Intelligent Accessorizing

A very simple way to wear the look of a sheer professional despite having a shoe string budget would be accessorize intelligently. An accessory which is the right accent piece shows that you know how to put together a dress in a tasteful manner and even if your interviewers figure out that it’s not an expensive accessory, they’ll be impressed with your resourcefulness. First of all, spend money on a very good pair of shoes.

Don’t needlessly spend money on expensive shoes which are new in fashion. Instead, go for a good pair of leather shoes colored in a neutral tone which primarily, suits the outfit that you have. While you may have to pay more money than you would normally pay, bear in mind that those shoes will probably last much longer than cheaper ones and thus, you get a return on your investment eventually.

Women should include scarves, earrings, necklaces and handbags or briefcases in their lists of accessories that would matter. Men should get a good tie and a belt and other things such as pocket squares and good briefcases.

  • The Closet Raid

Before you start spending money to and fro buying things to make you look good for your interview, go through your closet.

Of course, you may think that the clothes there are old and not really fashionable now but with a few alterations, such as changes to hems of skirts and jacket lengths, old suits can change dramatically and offer a completely different style.

  • Discount Shopping

While shopping for new clothes for your interview, it is important to shop smart. No reason to go to boutique stores, instead, head to discount designer stores. You will be able to purchase clothes of good quality as well as save money through the discounts. You could also head to outlet stores too. If you’ve just completed a 2 year MBA from Gurgaon or Mumbai or elsewhere, money is not going to be rolling in. It’s good to be smart and sharp with how you spend as well.

There are many people who are learned in the art of shopping and they visit high end stores during off seasons and sales in order to get items at knock off prices. There are also stores which sell ‘sparsely used’ clothes. These consignment shops and vintage boutiques are good places to find something to wear for your interview for cheap. If you’re living in big city, then see if you can find a suit rental service around you.

  • Choose Smart

While picking your suits, choose basic colours such as navy blue, black, grey or brown. You can mix and match with these colors for as long you want. You can wear a navy blue jacket with grey slacks and grey jackets with navy blue skirts. You get a new look with no additional expenses.

  • Fit is First

What matters most is the fit of what you wear. It does not matter of the wardrobe is new or old, the clothes should fit you properly. People have often said that tailors are like surgeons, one should always have one available.

A long sleeve can make a jacket look oversized and drown you in it. You could get the buttons changed to offer a new look and style. Pay special attention to the hems of pants and skirts and ask the good tailor where he thinks they should fall for you. You should take your dress shoes with you to fitting. These will be minor alterations which will improve your wardrobe and not cost you too much.

Interviews are a lot about how you prepare for them and how you set up mentally. You should be self assured and confident. Dressing well will make you confident and will give your self esteem a boost making sure that you are in the correct mind set for the interview. These are a few things that even 2 years in an MBA college in Gurgaon won’t teach you.


Angela Walker is a free lance writer who focuses on career development and other allied fields. She has worked with graduates and candidates appearing for interviews and has coached them on their interviewing skills. Regardless of whether you’ve completed a two year MBA from Gurgaon or a three year bachelors degree from somewhere else, contact Angela for advice on interviewing.