Dressing for a Job Interview

Wearing Sarah Lloyd blazer, Acne Studios tee, H&M skirt, Celine bag and Vince Camuto heels

Some of you may be in the process of graduate job hunting or just considering new job opportunities altogether. It’s exciting, but the recruitment process is often daunting.

That means interviews – at least one, typically two or three – to make an impression on your prospective employer.

I take you through the fundamental things that you should consider in approaching your outfit for a job interview. Looking confident will not only inspire your prospective employer’s confidence in you, but it goes a long way in helping you perform at these essential times.

Do your research

First thing’s first – do your research. What’s the company like? What’s the culture like? Who are the heavy hitters within the organisation? What have been their most recent achievements? Do they have a sustainability ethos?

One of the best ways of doing this is to look through any industry circulars or publications within the profession. This may give you insight as to how conservative/progressive the organisation is and give you an understanding of the expectations of dress around the office.

If you know who’s going to be in the interview room with you, you should find out as much as possible about them – professionally of course, I’m not encouraging creepiness. I like to use LinkedIn but I try to be as covert as possible (ie. making sure I’m logged out on my browser) so it’s not obvious to them that I’m having a good old stalk.

Don’t be too fussed if you have trouble finding any information.  You can almost always make assumptions based on the type of company you’re interviewing with. For example, a professional services firm will expect a conservative corporate look regardless of the industry.

Be conservative

Choose simple silhouettes and avoid too much embellishment. Lace, loud prints and studs can give you a sartorial edge but save these for when you’ve settled into your new role.

Take note from the classics

They’re classics for a reason – they always work. Some pieces that I consider to be classics include a crisp white shirt, a black/navy blazer, pencil skirt and pumps.

Work with what you’ve got

Work with the existing pieces in your wardrobe, ideally ones that you’ve road-tested and already give you a confidence boost which you’ll need in the interview.

If you’re buying anything new for the interview, do consider whether you can and will wear it again and how it might be styled. If you’re not going to wear it again, then it’s money wasted. Interview pieces can be versatile. Take a blazer, which will see you through many work days and is perfect thrown over jeans on the weekend.

Good luck!

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