What do you wear for an interview?
Even the most style-savvy among us can struggle when it comes to picking your interview outfit. So to help answer the age old question of what to wear, we’ve asked some of the UK’s top fashion bloggers what makes the perfect job interview outfit:
Perfect interview outfit:
Question: What’s your perfect interview outfit?
Jessica Psaila is a Journalism graduate, who has worked for Vogue and Grazia.
J: A crisp, white, tailored shirt, buttoned up to the top, with a simple, statement necklace. I would team this with a matching suit jacket and skinny- tailored trousers in a classic navy. Shoes are always noticed and never forgotten, so I would choose (depending on the company) a pair of Maryjane strapped block heels in patent navy or navy court shoes to tastefully finish off the look. Chic, sophisticated, on-trend and stylish.
Sarah was voted one of Look Magazines Best Fashion Bloggers in 2013.
Sar: I try to balance smart with stylish, but also play it safe. Safe doesn’t equal boring, and it doesn’t always have to be white shirt, black trousers and a blazer. Inject a bit of personality in to your outfit, even if it’s a subtle brooch or maybe a coloured bag. Small details like that might not seem like a big deal at the time, but it might just be what sets you aside from everyone else.
Sally O’Shea is an HR professional and an official blogger for Manchester Fashion Week.
Sal: My perfect interview outfit would be a nice dress or skirt and top. Do a bit of research ahead of the big appointment and get a feel for the office, and tailor your outfit accordingly. For example, a corporate office will probably mean you need to whip out your finest suit, whereas other organisations have more relaxed dress codes and you might not always need a jacket. That said, I’d rather be over dressed than under dressed.
Kal blogs for a wide range of beauty brands about their latest products.
K: When it comes to interviews, my go-to outfit is usually a pair of black tapered trousers, a monochrome blouse and a black jacket. Wear a small pair of heels, no more than three inches, and try to ensure that your outfit reflects your day-to-day style but is just that little bit smarter. A monochrome outfit, complemented with simple make up and nails, is always a fail-safe.
Laurent François founded his own digital agency in London and is a fashion blogger and photographer.
L: Wear a nice suit but with a twist of originality. Always try to keep a few elements of your own individual style: a pair of premium sneakers can fit well with certain outfits, for example, or a scarf to give balance to your more formal style. Don’t just think about your outfit: the accessories you bring, the pen you pick, the notebook you put on the table, they are all part of your overall style. They are as important as your shirt or your shoes.
Ronan Summers is a 22-year-old style advisor, studying journalism.
R: Considering my line of work (creative), my perfect interview outfit would be a navy double breasted blazer, a pair of light chinos to match the top and a pair of monk shoes, which are very fashionable right now. I’d avoid carrying a folder bag, instead, use a classy leather portedocument to express your attention to detail.
Things to remember when dressing for an interview:
Question: What are the most important things to remember when planning your interview outfit?
J: Always keep it simple but classic with elements of your own style peeping through. Never try and dress to be someone you’re not, as this will just result in an uncomfortable look. Just be you. It never fails.
Sal: This is your opportunity to present yourself as an overall package to your interviewers. Check your nails, teeth, makeup, and other essentials. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready and, most of all, relax.
L: What the interviewer really wants is to discover who you are, what makes you wake up in the morning. The perfect outfit can be an eye-catcher and an ice-breaker. It’s an opportunity to tell a story about yourself.
Sar: Make an effort and dress according to the company that’s interviewing you. First impressions count and you want them to know that you’re going to fit right in.
Question: What things should you avoid wearing?
J: Bright nail varnish – keep it neutral with well-manicured nails.
Sal: Aside from wearing anything too tight (sweat patches are never a good look), false eyelashes are generally a no-no. Whilst I’m all for them on a night out, they can be way OTT for this kind of situation.
K: Wearing high heels if you cannot walk in them. You’ll be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Also, steer clear of wearing too much make up or jewellery. Keep it clean cut and elegant.
L: Being insincere. Picking the dress or the suit you don’t particularly like “because you have to” is probably the wrong choice. The other bad idea is to figure out what the future employers are going to like or not. Pick your own favourite pieces – that’s the best way to feel confident.
Question: What is your top tip for wearing a winning interview outfit?
J: Never wear a mini-skirt and always wear shoes you can walk in. Never forget: you are how you dress.
S: Do a sense check of your handbag: is there anything in it you would rather not be seen? If so, then take it out. I’ve heard horror stories of interviewers asking for ID and, upon presenting it, the candidate ended up revealing something they would really rather the interviewing panel hadn’t seen…
R: Always remember to cover up your tattoos and piercings, as well as everything else that is superficial and might distract your future employers.
S: Ultimately, an outfit represents how you want the other person to see you. If you feel good in what you’re wearing, you’ll not only look more confident, you’ll feel it too.
L: Accessorise. Spending some time on all the little details can tell the recruiter a lot about you.
Here are some of our own top tips on how to hit your style potential:
- Keep it crisp and classic, but don’t be afraid to let some of your own personality and style shine through
- Research the company and align your outfit with the image they represent
- Wear something comfortable and that you feel confident in
- Use accessories to add some character
- Finally, never wear shoes you can’t walk in. Just in case…
Sally O’Shea (@sweetiesal) is an HR professional who has conducted hundreds of interviews herself. She’s been an official blogger for Manchester Fashion Week, and is also a qualified manicurist and pedicurist. Find her blog at www.sweetiesal.com