The Hunt for Budget-Friendly Interview Suits

budget friendly interview suits for womenSure, we all know what work wardrobe essentials professional women are supposed to have in their closets, but if you’re buying one for the first time or replacing one you’ve worn into the ground, it can be a pain to find exactly the right incarnation in stores. In “The Hunt,” we search the stores for a basic item that every woman should have. Today: we’re hunting for budget-friendly interview suits for women!

Obviously, we cover a Suit of the Week every week, and we have our regularly updated Guide to Interview Suits as well as our recent overview of brands of suits for women for every budget— but we haven’t specifically looked for budget-friendly interview suits in a few years, so let’s round them up! (Here’s our last discussion on cheap interview suits, as well as our discussion of whether you can mix black separates to make a suit (noooooooo!).  In general, if you’re hunting for an interview suit, keep an eye out for options with a) suiting separates b) available in a solid, dark, neutral color, c) that fit your budget. By buying suiting separates you can get a better fit off the rack (such as by buying a size 10 pant and a size 12 blazer, and maybe even a petite skirt even if everything else is a regular size) — and you can make several outfits, particularly if there are two blazers, such as one that’s collarless and one that’s the traditional lapel+button. (If you have problems finding suits in your size range, check our Guide to Plus Size Suits, Tall Suits, Petite Suits, and Maternity Suits!) Readers, which are your favorite budget-friendly interview suits? 

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Open Thread: What is Your Best Interview Advice?

The Best Interview Advice | CorporetteHere’s a question for the readers today: what is the best piece of interview advice you’ve ever received?  (Or: What’s the best tip for interviewing you learned the hard way?)  As millions of job-seekers flood career fairs at business schools and law schools, this seems an apt time to talk about it. (Pictured: Will Work for Cheese, originally uploaded to Flickr by walknboston.)

For my $.02, the best interview advice that I got was to figure out what wasn’t on your resume, but is a great employee trait.  Are you a great team player?  Extremely creative?  Can you think outside the box but in a practical way?  Lovely — now try to remember stories from your past that illustrate those qualities.  Try to do this with two or three traits (and memories that illustrate those traits).  I wouldn’t advise you to rehearse these stories — you never want to sound rehearsed in an interview — but you may want to spend 5 minutes and bang out an email to yourself putting the memory to words.   Not only does this a) boost your confidence, but b) it gives you a go-to story if you get asked one of those odd questions that interviewers sometimes throw at you.

Ok, readers — what’s your best interview advice?

Check out all of our old interviewing posts here.

Guest Post: Advice from the VP/Hiring Manager Level

Advice from the VP / Hiring Manager | CorporetteWe got an interesting e-mail last week from LPC of Privilege: A High Wasp Stops to Consider, offering to write a post giving advice to newbies from her much higher position.  She’s got some great advice in here!

Your first big job. Congratulations. By big, I mean in an institution of substance, as a lawyer, a banker, a corporate new hire. We are talking the world of salaries, hierarchies, protocol. And expectations about dress.

Of course this is not the only path. Some people work in design, in small businesses, in retail, at home. But our world has very particular requirements for what to wear. Hence Corporette. Hence this wardrobe advice to women at the beginning of their careers, from one towards the end of hers. I started out in 1981, fresh out of business school, at a large chemical company, and left the corporate world in 2009 as a vice-president for a software services startup in Silicon Valley.

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