First law firm interview

I know I've been missing in action, but since my assignment ended last week I have been ridiculously popular with employers (not that I'm complaining!).  So preparing for interviews and getting my elevator pitch together has been my complete focus for the past week.

I realized belatedly that I've rarely had formal interviews in depths of sloppy winter. It's not just cold here (it was bitterly cold last week). It's messy with salt and slush.

So before I get into what I wore I am curious about the forum's take on what to wear to a professional conservative interview when temps are subzero with even colder wind chills. Do you favor warmth over style or do you have a strategy for getting the best of both worlds? I'd love to get your thoughts on combining the best of both worlds.

So I am wearing layers today and they were warm (no long johns needed) . I did not need to worry too much today because it was in the tolerable 20's today which was a major improvement. However it was slushy and sloppy -- so there were tall boots to protect my pant hems that were worn to my destination and promptly left in the car. I'm wearing:

  • Le Suit jacket in black
  • Talbot's button down shirt in white
  • Old Navy cardigan in cerulean
  • Apt. 9 long length trousers in black
  • Nickel's patent heels in black
This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • Deborah replied 9 years ago

    DV you look stunning! Very professional and capable in this outfit. The colour cerulean always reminds me the scene in Devil Wears Prada:).

    I wouldn't say I favour warmth over style in an interview situation but then our cold is not like your cold. Comfort is a major factor as I think when we are not comfortable it shows and we don't look professional;).

  • K. Period. replied 9 years ago

    Lovely! You look great.  I favor a very professional, layered outfit like this for the interview, but a heavy coat, gloves and good boots that you leave with the receptionist when you arrive for getting to the interview.  Interview shoes are carried in a tote.  It shows you have sense and know how to take charge of a situation and the resources at hand.  ;)  

  • Aubergine replied 9 years ago

    A job interview somewhere conservative in subzero weather sounds like one of my top five nightmares. I have no idea what I'd wear, but I think your outfit does a really good job of working in lots of layers and coverage while looking sleek and professional.

    Hope it went well!

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Aubergine -- the interview was amazing. I was actually able to wear a nice dress wool coat because there was no subzero wind-chill. I share your nightmare fear because I spent far too much time this week end rehearsing what I would wear and what I would do if the temperatures and wind chill turned bitter. 

    Deborah - Yes! Devil Wears Prada -- the cerulean scene is my one of my favorites in the entire movie! Meryl Streep was captivating as well as chilly and fabulously stylish.

    K - you are exactly right. I was wondering about what kind of tote should I carry if the weather turned bitter. Thank goodness it was only sloppy but not bitterly cold. It all worked out because I sucked it up and paid an outrageous sum for parking next door to the building where my interview was. I didn't want to deal with confidence killing thoughts about whether salt spatter was magically appearing on my black trousers during the interview.

  • K. Period. replied 9 years ago

    I've got my fingers crossed for you for your interviews! Someone is going to snap you up and be really happy that they hired such a fab lawyer!

  • deb replied 9 years ago

    You look Sharp!!!

  • Parsley replied 9 years ago

    You look fabulous and very professional in that outfit, Day Vies!
    It is a challenge to have to deal with extreme weather when the pressure's on, isn't it? I think you handled it admirably. Boots en route and changing into pumps seems like the way to go, too.

    Good luck with your other interviews! I have no doubt you'll knock 'em dead!

  • Firecracker (Sharan) replied 9 years ago

    Beautiful outfit! I'm glad the interview went so well. I don't have any advice, but I like what you've gotten from K.Period. Good luck on the others coming up!

  • Joy replied 9 years ago

    No ideas about interviewing in mid- winter conditions but you look so impressive and professional.

  • Marley replied 9 years ago

    You walk into my office looking like that and I wouldn't need to interview you - I would hire you on the spot just based on what you look like (well, maybe not without an interview, but I would certainly be leaning towards hiring you before you even opened your mouth to respond to any of the interview questions!)
    I am absolutely no help when it comes to how to deal with inclement weather while still maintaining a professional demeanor.  I think that I would just burst into tears because I would be soooo cold and then walk into the interview with mascara running down my cheeks!

  • Beth Ann replied 9 years ago

    Wonderful outfit.  The sharp black says top-level business, and the blue cardi gives vibrant warmth. 

    Urban winters are difficult when it comes to dressing professionally.  Tomorrow I'm bringing DD into the city for a Holiday date.  We're going to Eataly and American Girl for sure.  At least I can dress life a fabulous tourist in snow boots  and skinnies!

    Best wishes on the job hunt!

  • Scarlet replied 9 years ago

    Sounds and looks like you did it exactly right. You sound so focused, energetic, and positive, too. Now I wouldn't know you could leave a coat and shoes with a receptionist.

  • replied 9 years ago

    You look ready to take on the world in that outfit - well done!

  • Jacky replied 9 years ago

    Your outfit looks great - stylish and professional. Congrats on the interview going well!

    I don't know what it's like to dress an interview in subzero temperatures (and fingers crossed, I never will), but echoing what Deborah said about comfort. I find that a large part of how interviews go for me is how I'm feeling. If I'm confident and comfortable, I'm going to do a lot better than if I'm distracted by being physically off in some way - whether that's cold because I didn't wear enough layers, or sloppy and out of place because I under-dressed. So I'd take that into account when trying to determine the tradeoff between warm and stylish. Fortunately, it sounds like you didn't have to worry about that this time!

  • Jeanie replied 9 years ago

    I think you have a good look going on here.  The black suit is conservative and the bright sweater gives it a pop of personality.  I would want to be comfortable inside during the interview.  Offices are often overheated so I wouldn't want to be uncomfortably hot.  I would probably splurge and take a cab so I wouldn't have to wear too many layers.  Best of luck to you!  

  • CocoLion replied 9 years ago

    You look so good here!  You look moderately conservative.  If you want to look very conservative I would say skip a cardigan and do a pullover instead in a neutral color.  As for slush, can you change from snow boots/rain boots into heels in the lobby?  Maybe put them in a tote bag and leave them with a friendly receptionist while being interviewed.

  • kkards replied 9 years ago

    great interview outfit! glad the interview went well.
    leaving your boots in the car was a great way to handle the winter necessaries vs the interview needs. i would also consider changing in the lobby of the building or office where  the interview is. i'd look for a nice basic tote that you can put shoes/boots into (marshall's/tj maxx is usually a good source).

  • replied 9 years ago

    Well, it looks like you have it all figured out! You could not have done any better with your outfit, and parking next door was a wise investment. K had some great ideas about leaving outerwear with the receptionist. I'm happy to hear your out there knocking 'em dead! Way to go!

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    I like the idea of a large conservative colored tote for boots. Also even if the receptionist doesn't actually "take" your cold weather gear they can point you in the direction of the closet where they can be stored prior to your interview.

    I remember one of my first jobs in HR was sitting at the front desk and administering the employment application and test. This woman came in wearing a velor jumpsuit and asked for the key to the bathroom which I gave her. I couldn't help but smile when I noticed she had a light blue chiffon confection draped over her shoulder. I was guessing this was her interview attire.  10 minutes later she appeared with her light blue chiffon cocktail dress ready for her application and employment test. Needless to say I did not recommend that she move forward in the process. 

  • Jaime replied 9 years ago

    No advice and it doesn't look like you need any! But good luck anyway!

  • Sarah A replied 9 years ago

    You look fab in your interview attire! Well done on dressing for the elements. I hope the weather improves slightly before your next interviews :)

  • gryffin replied 9 years ago

    Day Vies - you have got professional style nailed!!  Gorgeous suit and I love how the collar of your white shirt just pops your lovely smile!!  Such a great call by Deborah (TDWP!!) but no polyblend frump here!!  Only elegant, polished, professional with a little sassy I can kick booty if I need too look!!  Love the cardigan as a layering piece with the belt adds subtle interest and enhances the long vertical line.  Gosh, who wouldn't want to hire you!!  Best of luck but you totally look the part!!

  • Emily replied 9 years ago

    DV, you look perfect!  I would do exactly what you did - take practical footwear and swap in the car.  For an interview I think I would favour style/professionalism over warmth.

  • Eliza replied 9 years ago

    Professional with a capital P! But also interesting and weather-worthy. Bravo!

  • minimalist replied 9 years ago

    Day Vies, so glad this interview went well. Hurray for next-door parking, too!

    Glad you get the whole picture around leaving things with a receptionist. Once saw a guy arrive for an interview, lean over the facade and nonchalantly drop his keys and wallet on receptionist's desk with a breezy "you just hold on to those for me OK kid?" Maybe some firms have concierge services for applicants, but I haven't been in any.

    When are your next interviews? Hope weather continues to cooperate!

  • Angie replied 9 years ago

    I love that you are in high demand. Wooohoooo. 

    You look very professional and capable in this outfit. Stylish. 

  • Lisa replied 9 years ago

    A great interview outfit here.  For myself, I prefer a lined pant suit in the winter months for warmth.  And I'll add fleece lined hose or thermals underneath.  Plus a shirt with a knit layered as you did here.  For footwear, I will wear a gear boot if the weather calls for it and swap into proper footwear on site. 

  • Day Vies replied 9 years ago

    Amy K - How condescending is that? I have another interview tomorrow morning. It's going to be a little warmer tomorrow (just above freezing). The primary drawback is the dirty salty slush that will line all the streets.

  • rachylou replied 9 years ago

    Superior outfit :)

  • Debbie replied 9 years ago

    Stunning! I would give you the go ahead based on your stunning appearance

    Good Luck!

  • TraceyLiz65 replied 9 years ago

    I love this! It looks aprropriate,but the vibrant blue says i have personality!  Wishing you the best of luck in the job search!

  • Windchime replied 9 years ago

    Day-- the blue is beautiful on you. You made a wise call to spring for parking. You want to totally focus during interviews, not worry about having salt on your slacks.

    I'm inspired by your outfit because I have the similar pieces to recreate the look! I wrote it down and will try it one of these days.

    Your smile is another asset as you go through the interview process. Best of luck!

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