Wearing orthopedic-like shoes, support hosiery and a calf-length skirt will make you look like a character in a stage play instead of a mature professional trying to look older for your job interview with a law firm. Get advice from an image consultant or sales associate in the business attire section of your local department store or follow some simple guidelines to look like a mature candidate, instead of a granny. Worry less about adding years to your appearance and focus more on just looking mature, confident and poised as you plan your interview ensemble.
One word describes the most suitable appearance and attire for an interview with a law firm: conservative. Although many workplaces transitioned to a business casual dress code, law firms are among the work environments that stick to more traditional attire for everyone, not just lawyers and high-level administrators. Whether you're interviewing for a legal intern job, an associate lawyer position, a paralegal or law firm receptionist, you should wear a suit. Strive for an ultra-professional mature look – don't attempt the impossible by trying to add chronological years to your appearance.
Stick to a traditional cut suit, and if you can afford it, get it professionally tailored. The better you feel about your appearance and attire, the more confidence you exude. Confident and self-assured applicants almost always come across to hiring managers as mature job candidates. Avoid trendy styles, such as double-breasted suit jackets, bolero-like jackets, mini-skirts and tight-fitting slacks. A single-breasted suit with a knee-length skirt or perfectly tailored slacks – without pleats – is a look befitting any job seeker. Dark blue and charcoal gray are ideal hues for an understated and professional look.
The idea is for the interviewer to be interested in what you have to say about your experience, expertise and accomplishments. Therefore, don't wear distracting accessories, such as brightly colored or print scarves, dangling earrings, headbands adorned with bling or handbags with repeating patterns containing the designer's name or logo. Consider carrying a portfolio that contains several copies of your resume and cover letter; a slightly wider portfolio can also hold your car keys and a small wallet. If you arrive with too many objects, you'll look uncoordinated and clumsy, which can come off as inexperienced and young. The more refined and comfortable you look, the more you look like a mature professional.
Save the unnatural hair color and ombre-style highlights for weekends with friends. Choose a simple hairstyle for your interview. You needn't look like Miss Marple, but don't choose a Nicki Minaj style either. A neat chignon or high bun is a classy look if you have long hair or if you wear an attachment that looks like it's your own hair. Speaking of your own hair, if you have extensions or weaves, make sure they're not long, curly flowing tresses more suitable for a party girl. A chin-length bob also is a good choice if you're shopping for a new hairstyle to go with your new profession.
Ruth Mayhew has been writing since the mid-1980s, and she has been an HR subject matter expert since 1995. Her work appears in "The Multi-Generational Workforce in the Health Care Industry," and she has been cited in numerous publications, including journals and textbooks that focus on human resources management practices. She holds a Master of Arts in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Ruth resides in the nation's capital, Washington, D.C.