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So you're excited about your upcoming interview, but your potential boss threw in a curveball -- it's a lunch interview. One of the first things you might wonder is what to wear, and rightly so; your presentation can not only make you feel more confident, it's also part of making a good impression. Since the setting for this interview is not traditional, it gives you the opportunity to have some fun with your wardrobe and avoid looking like an office stiff; just remember to keep it professional.
Keep it Professional
Although the interview may be non-traditional, affording you some flexibility, you should still aim to look professional. This is not the time to wear those 5-inch stilettos you would wear on a lunch date with your beau, or those hip-hugger jeans you would sport when meeting friends for drinks, nor is it the time to show off your flashiest pieces, as good as they may look on you on any other occasion. Your priority should be to look professional; aim for three pieces, even if you take the jacket off, along with dress shoes. Be as polished and groomed as you would in any other interview.
Think Comfort and Practicality
Being that it's a lunch interview means it will also be somewhat of a physical activity. Avoid any mishaps or awkward situations in front of that potential employer by choosing an outfit that's comfortable and functional. You don't want to wear the jacket with tight-fitting sleeves that could impair your arm movements, nor do you want to wear that frilly long sleeved blouse that could likely dip into your soup or the oversized purse that could knock over your glass. You want to make sure you have an outfit on that's not going to hold you back in the least, so you can be distraction-free during your interview.
A lunch interview can be a be a good time to personalize and spruce up your office garb with some accessories. Choose subtle accessories that accentuate your outfit, not overpower it. How about that patterned, silk scarf, your vintage pendant, pearl earrings, or leather and brass belt. This is where you get to have some fun, just remember that everything in moderation is best.
Stay Location Appropriate
Put your smarts to use and do some research about the particular restaurant beforehand. Where is it? What are the clientele wearing? What is its general ambience? These are all things to consider. If it's by the beach you don't want to look ridiculous wearing that beautiful, but thick, tweed blazer, if it's a casual sandwich shop you don't want to wear anything that'll look super glossy and pretentious. Try to stay appropriate to the overall region and tone of the given restaurant, yet, remembering that you're not just any customer, you're there on an interview, so it's OK to be a bit more formal than everyone else. If you don't know where your interview will be, aim for an outfit that could work in a variety of settings.