Stylish Tips for Your Next Job Interview

Times have really changed since I first started getting job interviews. Throwback 15 years to when I was sitting waiting for my first interview as an Admin Assistant for a local MP and it was all about being prim and completely proper. Pencil skirt, smart shirt, kitten heel shoes and neutral make up. Oh, and don’t forget a blazer. It was like wearing an even more uncomfortable school uniform, but a lot more was riding on looking smart than just getting a detention for not having your shirt tucked in.
Fast forward to now and times and style has changed. It’s safe to say I’ve had many job interviews over the years and have picked up a few tips along the way. The jobs I’ve landed are the ones where I’ve dressed comfortably, which went hand in hand with being more confident at the interview. I’ve found certain colours and accessories have acted as talking points to ease in the introductions and wearing some slightly quirky shoes always seems to catch the interviewers eye.

If, like me, you do look a lot younger than your age (I’m 31 next month, but can easily be mistaken for under 25), then you may want to steer away from ironic prints and what I would describe as ‘dressing like a primary school teacher’. In 2016, you would like to assume that age doesn’t fall in to things, but I have found in recent years I do seem to come along with the assumption that being young = not authoritative enough for a role which I have experience to do. It can be disheartening, but as long as you showcase your skills and abilities as much as possible then companies should look past the youthful looks. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a massive hold back, as my experience does compensate for the initial ‘Oh, you’re younger than I thought from your CV’ introduction, but  it’s something to bear in mind. Just try not to wear your favourite unicorn print tea dress. 

Interview to interview you’re going to want to adapt your dress code slightly. For example: don’t got to an interview at a shoe website and wear a pair of shoes from a competitors website (whoops). Also take in to account the type of office you’re potentially walking in to. If you’re after a finance job at the council, don’t have all your tattoos on show in the first meeting and definitely do not swear. Going to a cool marketing job at a young and happening agency? Get those tatts out and relax. Research the company, take a look at the employees on linkedin and gauge the room before you walk in.

Through the years, I have found that a go-to look for me is one which is block, darker colours with a hint of a more exciting shade thrown in. With my red hair, this can often be the most overwhelming part of my outfit, but I find that greens and mustard yellows go really well with a black dress I can layer upon. 

The above dress I picked up from the Louche Range at Joy, and it’s perfect for adding a bit of colour underneath. With a flattering fit, you can feel fully confident that you’re going to look and feel completely comfortable and the material is a lovely thick, textured fabric. Investing in something like this will ensure that you have that perfect go-to outfit each time. I don’t know about you, but with other preparations to be made before an interview, you’re going to want to ensure that your outfit is prepared as much as possible!

As it’s simply, black and flattering you can go for a range of different tops underneath, which will add that all important dash of personality I keep harping on about.

Here are 3 other tips for nailing that job interview when it comes to the style stakes:

It’s not all about style though is it? You’ve got to also ace the questions in the interview. One of the biggest tips I can give when it comes to job hunting is to be absolutely 100% as honest as you possibly can. There is little point to lying about your skills if you end up getting the job and not knowing where to start on that excel spreadsheet you said you could add complex formulas to.

For example, I recently had to do a presentation as part of a second stage of an interview. I’d used a website to design the slides and to be honest, it looked pretty impressive. As soon as I loaded it up on the screen the first question I was asked was did I design it myself. I could have said yes, because you know – I kind of did ‘design’ it from a design. But I was honest and said no, it was a preloaded template. Which was an excellent move, as they mentioned they also had an opening in the design department I could have looked at! Imagine, walking in on your first day, opening photoshop then having that complete ‘wtf have I done’ moment….

Do you have any tips for job interviews? If so, please do let me know. over on Twitter @HelloTerriLowe. Being in the middle of a job search this could help me to make or break it!