A few months back, I was called for an interview. It was at the Indian embassy.
As usual I was in panic mode, because they called me the day before the interview. In my mind, all kind of questions were swirling. But obviously the most important one was :"what was I to wear?"
For interviews I always want to go the classic route aka black suit with a white shirt. But I had to mix it up a little in the past. One time in Summer, I wore a bright orange sleeveless blouse with a dark blazer because wearing anything with sleeves with that heat would have been suicide. Another time I wore a grey two buttoned vest with a black and white blouse. I always go for dark slacks as well.
For this interview I was going to go for the same dark slacks, a dark blazer, a white shirt and pumps when my husband who was watching me pulling clothes out of my closet suggested I wore Senegalese ethnic wear. I was puzzled a first . "What the hell are you talking about?" I asked him. He went on to tell me that since the day of the interview was Friday aka Masjid day (prayer at the mosque) everyone in town would be wearing Senegalese ethnic wear and I should do the same. For some reason, I rejected the idea. Senegalese ethnic wear was not formal for interviews I thought. But the more I looked at it, the more plausible it seemed to me. My jacket was outdated, my blouses all had to be ironed which I did not have the time to do now anyway. And my pants were too big for me after I lost some weight. Instead of going for that, I could easily slip in some Senegalese style dress that was not too fancy and already ironed ready for the interview. I wanted to go for the pink tunic featured on the blog before, but upon trying it it was a tad too sexy. When I was ready to give up, I noticed a vibrant Kurta (tunic) I had bought on sale in India two years ago and never got to wear. Plus it did not need ironing. I added a black pencil skirt, black scarf, black pumps and I was set.
Printed Kurta in Liva - Global Desi
Pants - HM
Glittered loafers - M.G. road
Sunglasses - M.G. road
Bag - gift
Watch - gift
This is what I wore after the interview to go run errands around town with my sons
The day of the interview I arrived to find three other candidates: two women and one man. The ladies were dressed in short pencil skirts and blouses but the gentleman had on Senegalese ethnic wear.
The interview went well and they offered me a job. However when I started asking questions, they rudely turned me down. I still do not know what happened.
Yet I was happy about my outfit choice because it stood out, and more importantly I was comfortable. I did not have to fidget with it therefore I was able to concentrate on the interview.
I am not sure what I did is something you call pull off somewhere else. I know that in Sénégal and even India it would be OK depending on where you are applying. I doubt banks, or other formal businesses would approve of it. I am pretty sure I would not have done that if I was in Japan for they are all into dark formal suits, the more formal the better. I may have future interviews but this time I will be ready. I already purchased a more fitted pair of pants. I just need a nice dark blazer that is trendy and I will be all set. Wish me luck!
If you would like to know what is appropriate to wear for interviews particularly in my home country of Senegal, go check my other blog here.
My best friend took these pictures while we were at CityDia supermarket sitting in the make up chair. It made me feel like I was a movie star, getting ready for her close up.