Job interviews & impeccable dressing
My assistant, and dear friend Rosie with her amazing dress sense, is moving out of London. She has been with us for 3 years and god only knows how we are all going to cope without her. Apart from anything else, she is the only one, who really knows how to use powerpoint.
We are interviewing for her replacement and I have to say I am impressed with the calibre of the new applicants. On paper, at least they seem perfect. HR has done all possible ground work and we now have 4 or 5 really strong candidates. Appearance does matter, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise – when I look at someone, appearance is all I have to go on. I cannot see their inner soul, but I can see if they have impeccable dress sense, clean shoes, well looked after hands and nails…
The job market is so fiercely competitive at the moment, every little detail matters.
How to dress impeccably for that job interview.
Research the company in advance, a lot does depend on the job you are going for. Find out what the employees are wearing on a daily basis, and then put together a smarter version of the general feel of the place. Not everyone needs to wear suits, in fact I don’t wear suits at work so is a bit much if my assistant does. (though my friend Thomas works for an accountancy firm – and they all without exception have to wear suits. Including the photocopy assistants.)
It is a good idea to test drive the outfit in advance to avoid potential wardrobe malfunctions. Being able to sit in that skirt, walk (rather that hobble )in the shoes and stretch the arms out in that jacket. Sweat stains never look good, and worth remembering that synthetic shirts can aggravate the problem. Failing to master the art of ironing ( or not knowing someone who has mastered it) will destroy the illusion of that impeccable, super capable persona.
Unless you are going for a job in the fashion industry, keep the outfit on the conservative side. That doesn’t mean dressing like a 1950’s librarian, but avoid any excessively avant-garde looks and fiddly details. One of our applicants impressed me, as she was wearing beautiful quality skirt with a simple sweater, (no accessories to clutter the look) – but she had healthy shiny hair and well looked after nails. She just looked like she could undertake anything at a moments notice, without worrying about spoiling her manicure.
Quality clothes and good fit, will win the day. I would buy the very best quality things I could afford for just one simple outfit (which afterwards one can wear on the job too, the designs above are from CARVEN beautiful quality clothes for casual & work) Keep it simple and clean. Expensive clothes can do wonders to improve our looks, but do be discreet, obvious logos/brand patterns sort of look desperate. One girl turned up with an enormous CHANEL bag, which kind of jarred me anyway. It was so loud and inappropriate. On closer inspection the bag was also a counterfeit copy (quelle horreur!) which totally confused me. What sort of person, one may wonder takes a CHANEL bag for a first/ second job interview? (and a fake one at that) What exactly is the message there?
Think quite carefully what sort of image you’d like to project, to fit the company culture. Smart, efficient, well educated – are what I am looking for. Sexy and fashionable, not necessarily good for an interview – unless going for that pole dancer position. My company has a fairly casual dress code – so I often wear jeans. I like to look a little more mature than I really am, so my work jeans are the dark wash boot cut, (teamed with a perfect jacket), rather than my more fashionable skinnies and of course nothing ripped, no studs, no tassels. If you are going to wear a jacket, make sure the fit is perfect! (though Angela Merkel is living proof one can have a successful career in badly fitting jackets.)
Accessories – should in my view be kept to a minimum. You want people to remember you, rather than your bag, your earrings or your elaborate make up. Choose discreet quality handbags without too much hardware.
Looking at the average fashion retailer, one would think we are dressing for a perpetual night out on the town. It’s not easy to find smart, quality clothes for every day wear. Cos, Marks & Spencer and Carven (top choice!) are good starting points for putting together your own contemporary outfits, suitable for those job interviews. Best of success with your job hunting!
contemporary take on a suit.
So wish me luck in finding Rosie’s replacement. Someone hardworking, capable and fun. …and crucially, someone who understands the importance of a good cup of afternoon tea!