Show Some Style on Your Next Marketing Interview

A very good friend of mine has been in the marketing industry for nearly 15 years. Recently, she’s been looking around for new opportunities, and is hoping that 2014 is the year that she’ll land a challenging new gig. As she prepares for interviews, she reached out to me with this question:

How should I dress for a Marketing interview? I want to be professional and show some style or little edge. Is that OK?

So, friend of mine … this post is for you.


First, do a little market research and gain some insight. The type of company may factor into what you decide to wear. For example, an ad agency in New York City could equal one outfit, whereas a corporate marketing position could mean a different choice.

“I’m not looking at an interviewee’s clothes all that closely,” says Ryan Smedstad, Director of Creative Services at Penske Truck Leasing. “It’s more about the person’s work and what they bring creatively. Though I would say to dress appropriate to the culture of the organization.”

Does the company have a recruiting video posted on YouTube? Do they have employee photos posted on their career site? Try to get a sense for, and then factor in, the industry and culture.


In my professional opinion, I think it’s perfectly OK for creative professionals (marketing, PR, designers, etc.) to show a little personality within their interview wardrobe. Just don’t over do it.

For women, this might mean a more colorful shirt under her suit jacket or a large (though still tasteful) necklace. For men, this could mean a power tie or even some power socks. I’m a pretty visual person, so I put two boards together on Pinterest for you to check out:


When it comes to interviews, there are few don’ts that transcend industries. You’ll want to avoid wearing too much cologne, jewelry that makes too much noise or your bluetooth. And, when in doubt, err on the conservative side … or try on your outfit, take a selfie and ask your Facebook friends for their opinions.

 Have any other interview attire advice? What do you think about the pins on the boards?

Shannon Smedstad

Shannon Smedstad has nearly 20 years of recruitment, employer branding, and communications experience. Currently, she serves as the Principal Employer Brand Strategist at exaqueo. Previously, she held employer branding and recruiting leadership roles at CEB and GEICO. She’s a work at home mom raising two awesome girls who also enjoys reading, running, leading a Girl Scout troop, and her morning coffee. You can connect with Shannon on LinkedIn and Twitter.


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