The daunting internship or job interview; it’s so intimidating in part because it requires that you communicate the essence of your personality to the interviewer in a very short amount of time. What’s an easy and effective way to make a lasting impression? Your interview wardrobe.

I have friends applying to internships and jobs across a variety of fields. The industry to which you’re applying has a large influence on your choice of outfit. No matter the internship or job, there is always an opportunity to put a unique spin and make a statement with your wardrobe.

For finance and similar positions, simple and professional is the industry standard. This style often manifests itself in a traditional black or gray suit, but there are still ways to set yourself apart even when conformity seems to be encouraged. Being unique is a simple way to be remembered amongst the swarms of other black and gray suits.

An easy way to stand out is to make sure that your suit fits correctly, for both men and women. It’s fairly obvious when a suit is too big in the shoulders or the pants are too long. For men, the tie can become a tool for creating personal style. The color and length of the tie are both things that contribute to a sharp look. Women can choose texturally interesting blouses to break up the simplicity of the rest of the suit while standing out in an appropriate way.

For other types of interviews, especially those in creative industries, having an outfit more representative of your personal style is especially important. Although some interviews won’t require suits, it’s still important to dress professionally. This might mean wearing a fitted blazer and trendy blouse. However, feel free to get creatve with your outfit, by wearing a statement piece of jewelry or playing with more daring colors.

Yet, not all industries or companies are equal. Many dress codes offer a glimpse into the company’s culture. At Google, for example, the relaxed work atmosphere favors more casual dress. While you should research the company before the interview, use what you find to help determine what type of outfit would work best during an interview. Make sure that your outfit represents the culture of the company you’re interviewing with and yourself as an individual.

Last, don’t forget about the shoes — often-neglected articles of clothing that have the potential to make or break an outfit. In finance interviews, shoes are another subtle way to stand out. Instead of going for a plain black shoe, opt for patent leather. Men can use their shoes, and especially their socks, to make an impression. Males should always be sure to wear dress, never athletic, socks and should wear colors appropriate to the rest of their outfit. Women should make sure they can walk normally in their shoes. It’s uncomfortable for both the interviewer and the interviewee when it becomes painfully obvious that shoes don’t fit correctly or are painful to walk in for long distances.

Above all, comfort is key; if you don’t feel comfortable in your interview dress, then how can you expect to be happy working somewhere that requires you to wear that type of outfit every day?

Even though what you wear to an interview is an important and easy way to make a successful first impression, how you act in your interview outfit is more important. Both your outfit and your demeanor should communicate excitement. Your interview outfit should not only represent the company’s brand but also the individual brand you’ve spent your life developing. Make sure your interviewer knows how you, as an individual, not just a suit-wearing, job-seeking person, will benefit the company if hired.

Brooke Berger is a junior in the College. THE 20-SOMETHING TRANSITION appears every other Friday in the guide.

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