Dressing for an interview, whether it is within a Muslim organisation or in a corporate setting, can be difficult. In my experience, being a hijabi in the West comes with its blessings and challenges. Having worked two jobs at a time, I’ve learnt many lessons about life and myself through working and being interviewed.
There are various tips and tricks that can be universally applied to make sure you look your best and feel confident; leave the rest up to Allah (SWT). Here are five tips I use to prepare for an upcoming interview and I am a firm believer that if Allah (SWT) deems it best for you, then may He grant you the job. These are my go tos when preparing for D-day, because it’s inevitable and yet you have to embrace it with a hint of calm, excitement and nervousness!
1. Maintain modesty
It’s essential to keep it fashionable and keep it covered. Some sisters hesitate when it comes to their choice of dressing and hijab style. It’s important to remember to maintain one’s desired modest dress code.
2. Keep it simple
When meeting someone for the first time, first impressions count. Drastic hijab styles, or trying something new the day of an interview, aren’t recommended. We don’t want a hijab or wardrobe malfunction!
Keep it professional and stick to traditional pieces such as a blazer and matching dress pants or a skirt. You should wear sombre colors to appeal to a conservative and traditional interviewer (you can’t go wrong with sticking with a safe option!). If it’s a less formal interview, a blazer isn’t necessary, but formal wear with similar characteristics mentioned should be adopted.
3. The statement piece
Your hijab is a statement piece, as it sets you apart. Make sure you stick to plain solids that match your outfit, and not patterns as they can be loud and noisy. Your hijab should be neatly ironed, and worn in a simple and clean style to keep things neatly tucked away.
When wearing traditional formal wear, the emphasis isn’t usually on what is common between you and other candidates, but what sets you apart. You don’t want to wear multiple colours or prints, but you do want to stay in style.
A simple ring or bracelet can neaten and enhance your professional look. It gives one a sophisticated air, by keeping it simple, yet stylish. You don’t want statement rings or bold designs, rather something small to fiddle with when nervous jitters get the best of you.
5. Look and feel your best
It’s not just about the outfit one wears, it’s about feeling your best. Being fresh and dressing fresh are two different things. Be sure to drink plenty of water the days before the interview and get a good night’s rest. You want to avoid dark circles and replenish your skin to seem more awake and ready to work! Make sure to get mental and physical rest and prepare for the interview by offering some prayers in remembrance of Allah (SWT).
Dressing modestly and preparing for the big day can be difficult, but be comfortable and confident in your own skin. Always remember that no matter the outcome, it’s important to say Alhamdulilah at the end of the day and know that Allah (SWT) is the best of planners. Have tawwakul and tie your camel!
Anas (RA) reported that a person asked Rasul Allah (SAW), “Should I tie my camel and have tawakkul (trust in Allah for her protection) or should I leave her untied and have tawakkul.” Rasul Allah (SAW) replied, “Tie her and have Tawakkul.” (Hasan) (Jami At-Tirmidhi)
Alizeh Khan is an active member of her local community at the masjid and within her university as an executive member for the Muslim Students Association. Her focus remains to come closer to Allah and aid others on their journey to do the same.