FASHION INSPIRATION, TRENDS & ADVICE
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What to wear to a job interview
20 February 2019
Maybe you’re a seasoned pro who religiously changes jobs every 12 months, perhaps you’re a recent graduate looking to get his foot in the door for the first time or it could be that you’ve finally decided to take the plunge and switch up your career after being in the same role for decades. Whatever stage you’re at in life, you’d be wrong to think that the only prep worth doing is to figure out the type of grilling that you’re going to get from the person opposite you in that boardroom.
The old adage ‘proper planning prevents poor performance’ has never been more true when it comes to interviewing for your dream role – and this includes the outfit you’re going to wear. An article like this wouldn’t be complete without letting you know, for the millionth time, that first impressions count. And interviewing for a job is the perfect opportunity to use what you’re wearing to put yourself in a position of power.
Dress for the job you want
Making an effort with what you wear in your interview is undeniably one of the best ways to prove how serious you are about the role – because if you’re not going to demonstrate willingness and ability to dress well from the outset, what’s to say that you’re going to put your all into the role, should you be offered it? Putting in the work from top to toe is the perfect way to prove that you’re serious about what’s been put in front of you.
Don’t take it to the extreme...
Don’t be the type of guy that shows up in flashy, garish clothing with the hope of getting so much attention that your interviewer will forget to ask you the questions that actually matter. A job interview is the perfect time to come across as real and relatable, so it’s important to let your clothes say that for you. So, put down the bow tie, leave the velvet jacket at home and think about grabbing an easy shirt, a sharp blazer and a pair of tailored trousers to keep the entire look muted.
Do your research
Make sure you’ve looked into the business’s ethos and, if you can, studied the type of people that work there. Some companies have a strict no-suit policy, while for others, a suit is all you’re allowed to wear. It’s important, then, to enter the interview armed with this information. An act as simple as getting the uniform right will let the interviewer see that you fully understand and appreciate the type of company it is.
But never take that too far
Even if you’ve read that the entire company turns up to work in loungewear every Friday, that doesn’t actually mean you can do the same – it just means that you know not to show up in a three-piece suit. Trainers at a job interview will forever be a no go, no matter how on-trend they are, so make sure that you’ve invested in a formal leather or suede pair of brogues, Derbies or classic Chelsea boots.
If in doubt, reach for your basics
While we would, obviously, recommend that you follow our rulebook as closely as can be, we also appreciate the importance of comfort. Wearing clothes that you’re used to – and that you know you look good in – is a great way to instantly feel strong and confident. If you’re at a loss as to what to wear, go for the basics: a fresh shirt, your favourite knitwear, a staple pair of tailored trousers or chinos and a sturdy pair of leather shoes.
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Whether you’re new to the game or are just looking for a change, there’s no denying that the prospect of a job interview is daunting – but the hard work doesn’t stop there.
You may have heard it a million times before, but first impressions really do count. Use what you’re wearing to put yourself in a position of power: what you wear has the ability to totally change a person’s perception of you. India Gladstone reveals the golden rules of dressing for an interview – good luck out there...
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If you don't make an effort with your interview outfit, how can you expect a potential employer to take you seriously? Dress for what you want, not what you have – especially if you’re used to dressing as a student. Making an effort from top to toe proves that you’re serious about what’s been put in front of you.
But don’t go overboard
There’s nothing more that’s off-putting to an interviewer than having a candidate wearing flashy, over-the-top clothing. Put down the bow tie, stop shining your cufflinks and leave the velvet jacket at home. You want to come across as real and relatable, so let your clothes say that for you.
Do your research
Make sure you’ve looked into the office ethos and, if you can, studied the type of people that work there. Some companies have a strict no suit policy, while for others, a suit is all you’re allowed to wear. If you go into the office wearing something that goes against their rulebook, you may as well wave goodbye to that potential job.
But never be too casual
Having said that, if you’ve read that the entire company turns up to work in loungewear, that doesn’t actually mean you can do the same – it just means that you know not to show up in a three-piece suit. Trainers at a job interview will forever be a no-go, no matter how on-trend they are, so make sure that you’ve invested in a formal leather or suede pair. And always remember to keep them in good condition.
Leave bold patterns alone
There’s definitely a time and a place for bright tones and patterns, but for an interview it’s always safer to stick to subtle stripes and basic neutrals in colours that aren’t going to say more about you than you’ll have to say about yourself.
If in doubt, go for old favourites
The key with every interview – beyond the obvious – is to appear that you’ve made an effort on all fronts. If you’re unsure about what to wear, choose old favourites such as a neutral shirt and slick, tapered trousers paired with sharp brogues.
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Header image: Joe Peters (@jcpeters)
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