Qualifications – Tick
Corporate work experience – Tick
Job interview next week – Tick
Outfit ……No Idea
SECTION ONE: MEN
We’re starting with ‘what to wear if you’re a man’, and take heart – your rules are far less complicated, but there is still room for error.
We all know, and some of us even love, Dr Christian Jessen from Embarrassing Bodies and also Britain’s beloved newsreader, Jon Snow – but we don’t all need to follow in their fashion footsteps. I’m talking Shirts, Ties and Socks.
SHOES | Clean, tidy, well-kept black shoes. The Oxford style is a safe choice – unassuming, smart and corporate.
TIE | Men on the interview panel will be wearing ties – you can work out how casual the company is once you are in post. A red tie says ‘friendly politician’, navy blue says ‘serious corporate’ – what do you want your tie to say?
CLEAN SHAVE | Similar to the tie – wait until you’re in post to work out weather fashion-facial-hair is appropriate.
SHIRT | Blue or white, straight collar (no buttons), not too flashy or patterned.
SECOND INTERVIEW? | No need to splash out on a new suit – a fresh shirt and a new tie will do.
SECTION TWO: WOMEN
Women have a lot to think about when choosing their interview outfit; a pain and a blessing.
SHOES | If you have trouble with heels – have you tried a kitten heel shoe? A little extra height and business appropriate.
CLOTHING | This is the most contested area! Broadly speaking:
Ensure your cloths fit you very well – a fitted shirt is a great idea, but make sure that you can move in it without a button popping open or any stretching around your chest. A small/close neckline is recommended by Corporate Fashionista, however Susannah (as in Trinny &…) suggests a scoop neck shift dress (to elongate the neck) with a ruched tummy area for those carrying a little extra weight. So – body shape is another consideration. If you get a rash on your chest when under pressure – a button up might make you feel less conscious of that possibility.
ACCESSORIES | Not anything too ‘statement’ – simple, small items are absolutely fine. Plain studs for pierced ears, or small hoops, nothing to ‘busy’ or extravagant in appearance.
HAIR | A fresh cut and style isn’t always possible, and not always necessary. Of course clean, perhaps blow-dried – but don’t try anything new on the morning of your interview. It might not work, and this could make you feel really uncomfortable, draining your confidence.
MAKE-UP/PERFUME | Highlight your features, but don’t overpower them with smoky eyes and pink lip gloss. Some people love La vie est belle perfume, but it’s bound to make some people in the world feel physically sick. Non fragranced deodorant is a safe bet.
Definition of Visual Cue
A visual cue is a signal the audience can see. Examples of visual cues include slides, hand-outs, charts, and also the speaker’s body language.
The panel have seen the black and white text about you and your experience on your cover letter and CV. Now they need to evaluate whether you’d fit in to the company’s culture and with existing colleagues. You are their visual cue – make a good impression!