Dress to impress for your interview

Dress to impress for your interview

Gone are the days where a black pant suit and sensible shoes are the one-type-fits-all solution to interview dressing. Modern interviews call for a more personalised approach – one which is dependent on the company, the industry and what makes you feel comfortable.

Annaliese Watkins is the resident style writer at www.simplybe.co.uk, the size inclusive fashion retailer offering an on-trend blend of hot new looks and everyday staples. She takes a fresh look at how we dress for job interviews and bring you the unofficial new rules around interview style.

Don’t listen to mum and dad

Your parents will no doubt be thrilled to hear that you’ve landed yourself a job interview. Take heed of their advice on how to give a firm handshake or what to say to impress your recruiter, but ignore their guidance on attire. For most organisations, the interview dress code has evolved considerably since their day.

To avoid a fashion faux pas, take some time to research the standards of the industry you’re entering. Each sector has different expectations and working environments can vary from laidback and casual, to corporate and conservative. For example:

Fashion: Interviews in the fashion industry allow for a little more self-expression. Add flair with print trousers and a shirt, or an oversized blazer layered over a coloured shift, but don’t go too wild! You should still appear polished and professional.

Design/Marketing: Creative industries often adopt a casual office dress code, so turning up in a trouser suit may leave you looking a little too corporate. Strike a balance with smart brogues, a striped top and black cigarette pants.

Finance/Law/Recruitment: Interviews in these sectors call for your smartest, sharpest suit, something it’s certainly worth investing in if you haven’t already. Add just a touch of personality with subtle touches, such as a chic handbag or pretty necklace.

Convey character through colour

Black, grey and navy (for adventurists) were once the only colour options you would dream of for an interview. Today however, there’s a world of colour you can smartly incorporate into your look, offering the perfect way to set you apart from other candidates.

While neon tones and Hawaiian prints are best avoided, a splash of strategic green, red or purple can bring an outfit to life. Try pairing a tangerine blazer with tailored black trousers and a smart cream top, or a grey midi skirt with a white blouse and pink courts.

Add interest with accessories

It used to be that anything other than simple studs or a small necklace was considered overkill when it came to jewellery. But accessories have taken on a life of their own over recent decades, becoming a way to effortlessly express oneself with the careful addition of a statement necklace or designer watch.

If you’re keen to show off your creative/stylish side for a role, make accessories the focal point of your outfit instead of going super-edgy with your clothes. A chunky jade necklace and coordinating bag worn with a smart grey top and slim black trousers can make a real style statement without being a distraction.

The sweet spot

Ultimately, it’s a balancing act between fitting in and standing out. You want to look like you could easily blend into their office environment whilst differentiating yourself from other candidates - a dress code that will differ from industry to industry, company to company. The style sweet spot is that hallowed middle ground, where your clothes that leave you looking the consummate professional, but feeling completely comfortable and confident.

Good luck!

Annaliese Watkins is the resident style writer at www.simplybe.co.uk, the size inclusive fashion retailer offering an on-trend blend of hot new looks and everyday staples.

Annaliese has been creating inspirational, style-led content since 2011 and, when she’s not writing about Simply Be’s catwalk-inspired collections, contributes to regional lifestyle publications, with a focus on North-West fashion events. She is also currently writing her first novel.

by for www.femalefirst.co.uk
find me on and follow me on

Tagged in