Dress for success: interview style tips

Emily Higgins tells us how to style ourselves for an interview in the competitive world of grad jobs

16th November 2015

We all know that the substance of a job interview is meant to be the most important factor for potential employers. However, much as some may loathe the thought; your fashion choices will be the first thing a potential employer considers when you enter an interview room.

As much as we hate to imagine it, your sartorial picks will have a big influence on your potential new boss’ opinion of you. Making yourself memorable is critical, especially if you are being interviewed against hundreds of others. This does not, however, mean that you should use the opportunity to try out a completely new look you’re not comfortable with. Today is perhaps not the day to opt for wild prints, unusual silhouettes or anything PVC, as any fashion faux-pas could leave you memorable for all of the wrong reasons.

“Today is perhaps not the day to opt for wild prints, unusual silhouettes or anything PVC”

Your interview outfit should complement your personality and not distract from it, so keep it simple, well-fitting and classic. A tailored pair of cigarette trousers is a great start and sets a good foundation to build an outfit perfect for your interview - keep them formal in colour and style and you can add personal touches later!

The top you choose should depend upon the formality of the interview and a blouse and blazer may be necessary. If you want to spice it up a bit, a darker patterned blazer is a perfect option. Pastels and ivories are an ideal alternative to a standard white blouse while still maintaining a smart and professional look, and a statement necklace from the likes of Topshop or H&M can add a snippet of style and personality.

Thankfully, not all interviews will require a seemingly unavoidably boring look. In creative positions, often employers love to see candidates personalities come to life in the garments they’re wearing. In this case, you still want to be viewed as professional, so building on a couple of solid foundation pieces still works - you have more creative freedom than in a more formal situation, so make sure you make use of it! You could opt for a more fashion forward style of trouser such as a flare or culottes. Paired with a cropped jumper, boyfriend coat and some ankle boots; you’ll be polished while still current and individual.

My top tip is ALWAYS to plan your outfit in advance. Interview situations are nerve-wracking enough without having to worry that your trousers give you a VPL and you’ve accidentally bought children’s shoes. Play around with your outfit beforehand, make sure you feel comfortable and fingers crossed you’ll fly through the dreaded interview into employment.

trewsH&M £24.99

blouseTopshop £40.00


Zara £25.99

necklaceTopshop £22.50

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