Monday, 2 July 2018

The perfect interview outfit — a graduate guide

Are you graduating this year? Super stressful right? I remember it well, juggling late nights at the library for revision, spending hours meeting that 10,000-word target for your dissertation, and trying to find a job to walk into after graduation can get a bit too much. Not to mention that part-time job and trying to have some sort of a social life. 

When you eventually get invited to an interview, they are often with short notice and come around quickly — leaving you with little time to decide what to wear never mind prep beyond that! CT shirts, retailers of menswear and suits*, gives us some advice on how to nail that interview look




Casual
Dress for the job you want is very important, if you're interviewing for charity work or bar work etc. then dressing super formally won't be the best representation. For these interviews, it is likely that they won’t expect you to be dressed very formally, and will be more concerned with your personality, including your punctuality. Of course, that doesn't mean turning up in a onesie but dressing for the occasion. The age old smart jeans and a 'nice top' will take you a long way

Business casual
Some interviews may specify business-casual attire on the invitation. This is fun because NO ONE KNOWS WHAT THAT MEANS
This may be because they have this dress code in the office or it may be for an assessment day where you are expected to be there all day and recruiters want you to feel comfortable. 
If you are unsure what to wear, it’s best to dress too formally rather than too casually to avoid giving off the wrong impression. Chinos, a nice shirt and brogues is smart and professional without overdoing it

Professional

For formal interviews, you should adopt a professional look. These interviews could be in front of directors of the company for a graduate job or an internship. You want to look your best here; your appearance certainly counts, and with the high level of competition at this stage, you don’t want to fall at any hurdles. Suited and booted is the way forward here 

Women
While I completely believe that you should be allowed to dress however you like, unfortunately during interviews there's certain expectations. What's most important is you dress for your shape and what makes you feel comfortable, if it's a professional interview don't worry about dressing smart - suits don't have to be boring, shop around and try a few on to find the right cut and what suits your body shape.

If the interview is business casual then a trouser suit or even a skirt would be absolutely fine. I'd recommend tights with a smart dress and a smart ankle boot. 

When it comes to footwear, I can't stress how important it is to wear with confidence. If you're a heels girl then rock them but make sure you can walk in them, personally I have never and will never be a heels girl so I tend to opt for brogues or ballet flats, if you're comfortable your confidence will shine through


Men
Professional interviews for men are fairly simple a smart tailored suit that best represents your style and shape, a slim leg is always flattering too. A dark sock will blend into your outfit, however a little personality isn't a bad thing! One thing I do think always looks really smart is a stylish watch to really complete the formal look

For your feet any kind of smart shoes or brogues should be fine, I recommend you make sure they're really clean before your interview

Once an interview is business casual its trickier for men, it's hard to hit this one without looking too underdressed. A smart shirt and chinos would work, or even dark jeans and a blazer, something a little more casual a suit but still reads that you're hear to impress

What to avoid
As we can see, the main thing to do is to make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit — it will show in the interview! However, there are a few things that you should avoid:
* Too much perfume or aftershave.
* Too much jewellery or makeup.
* Polo shirts, t-shirts, leggings, ripped jeans - if you'd be comfortable lounging around your home in the clothes then they're probably too casual for an interview

How do you prepare your style for an interview?
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