Professional Practice

3 Easy Tips to Get Dressed for Your Next Interview

See if you can guess where the following items were spotted: flip-flops, cargo pants, bedazzled t-shirt, shorts. Did you guess the beach? How about the pool? Perhaps out running errands? What if I told you I saw all of these items during a day of interviewing potential candidates for a teaching position?

Surely, I must be lying! Certainly, nobody is wearing shorts to an interview! That is outrageous! But, oh, it happened.

Being visual people, many art teachers understand the importance of appearances, especially when making a first impression. Whenever I am meeting someone important for the first time, like a potential employer, I always want to look my best. Some of you may still be interviewing for new positions yet this summer.  Here are three easy tips to help you get dressed for your next interview.

3 Easy Tips to Get Dressed for Your Next Interview

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1. Keep it simple.

Earrings and bracelets and scarves, oh my! Art teachers know how to pile on the accessories. I know, because I do it on a daily basis! The most important thing during an interview, however, is to let your potential employer get to know you, not all the cool stuff in your closet. Choose one artsy piece to make a statement, and leave the rest of your collection at home for the day.

2. Don’t be afraid of color.

Just because you have to keep it simple doesn’t mean that your personality must be totally squashed. No one wants to hire an art teacher that comes in wearing grey head-to-toe. Where’s the creativity in that? I suggest choosing classic shapes in bold colors. My favorite interview shirt is a modern button down in a deep, rich cobalt. Color theory tells us that blue conjures up feelings of trust, intelligence and dependability, a fact that I’m happy to use to my advantage!

3. Wear what makes you comfortable.

The most important thing you can do to set the stage for a successful interview is to be comfortable and confident when entering the room. If teetering on high-heels freaks you out, wear classy, shiny flats. If you hate suit jackets, wear a pretty cardigan. If collared shirts make you cringe, wear a structured, silk top. It’s important that you look professional, but it’s also important that you can sit comfortably for an hour.

Applying these three rules should keep you looking like a creative, confident professional whom everyone will want to hire. Top it all off with a genuine smile, and the job is yours!

Do you have a go-to outfit when you need to make an important first impression?

Male readers? What do you wear to an art ed interview? We’re curious!

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Amanda Heyn

Amanda Heyn is AOEU’s Director of K–12 PD & Media and a former AOEU Writer and elementary art educator. She enjoys creating relevant and engaging professional development just for art teachers.

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