What to Wear to your Interview

12 July 2018 Laura Barratt

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What to wear to your job interview is a crucial question that may leave you feeling confused and a little stressed. Whilst we are not suggesting that a person will be assessed purely on the clothes they wear, self-presentation is an important part of the assessment process during interview and during my career as a recruiter I have seen individuals get it wrong on many occasions. Law firms are typically conservative and “corporate” environments. When preparing to attend an interview, it’s important to ensure your self-presentation is consistent with the firms’ corporate image.

Stick to the classics

The best advice to give when it comes to attire for a job interview is to stick to something classic. Once you have commenced employment at the firm you’ll have a birds eye view of what everyone else wears day to day and you’ll be able to assess the status quo. But for the interview, it’s best to play it safe, corporate and professional. This applies to the type of jewelry you wear as well. Save the chunky style costume jewelry for after you’ve commenced.

Be season appropriate, yet professional

The days of women absolutely having to wear stockings and enclosed shoes are probably behind us (although given my advice to stick to the classics I will point out that I personally still would choose both of these items if I were interviewing). But. if you find yourself interviewing in the middle of summer and want to avoid arriving in a hot sweaty mess, it’s fine for you to skip certain items. But be mindful of what you are choosing instead. Open toed shoes still need to be professional. Choosing flats over heels is fine, as long as they fit within the corporate image. Boots during winter can be a risky choice, I’m sure many of you won’t like hearing that! I too love keeping my feet warm and dry in winter. However I have had feedback from clients that a candidate wearing a suit and boots in winter wasn’t in line with their corporate look and a gentle suggestion for that candidate to choose something else before meeting the Partners.

Dazzle with your personality and skills

An interview is a time for an employer to get to know about you - your personality, your skills and how you could potentially fit into their team. You need to make an impression and stand out, in a positive way that makes them want to continue the interview process with you right through to offer stage. Hair and makeup should be appropriate to the environment you will be working in. The hairstyle you choose for the day should be in a manner that makes you comfortable and feel like yourself. Makeup particular should be kept simple and elegant. The old saying less is more really does apply here – especially when it comes to the use of products such as eye liner!

First impressions count enormously, and everyone wants to leave a great impression in a job interview. Don’t underestimate the part your presentation plays in being asked back for a second interview, or in fact, in getting the job! To anyone who is interviewing soon, good luck!