Interview Tips: How to Plan Your Outfit

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Even though I am a stay-at-home parent / freelancer these days, I have some experience interviewing for various different roles in previous years, from Saturday jobs and part-time work in retail and hospitality to full time roles in digital marketing. Going to interviews was something that made me so nervous but I always left them feeling fairly positive and I think that's because I always prepared for them. No matter what role you are going up for, researching the company, the job itself and the industry is essential. It not only shows your knowledge but also that you care.

Your Interview Outfit Says A Lot About You

As well as preparing for your interview and the questions you might be asked, I think it's equally as important to choose something appropriate to wear. Even though people shouldn't necessarily judge on appearance - when it comes to interviews, we all know there are unwritten rules to follow that can help you make a good impression! Your outfit can say a lot about who you are, before you've even spoken a single word. In collaboration with TMI Resourcing https://tmiresourcing.co.uk/, I have put together a few interview outfit tips to help you dress for success and feel confident in doing so...

Plan your outfit in advance

Planning is one of my top interview tips and whilst I've already touched on how important it is to do your research and plan potential answers to questions you may be asked, it's equally as important to plan what you're going to wear too. The last thing you want is to feel stressed about your outfit on the day of your interview; finding you don't have a pair of tights without a ladder in them or a tie that goes with your suit. Remember if you're ordering something new to wear to an interview, you need to consider delivery times. Don't leave it until the day before your interview!

Check for stains and get the iron out

If you're planning on digging out your go-to interview outfit from your wardrobe, rather than buying new, be sure to look for any stains and marks before the big day. I'm the first to admit I'm lazy when it comes to ironing but interviews are an exception to my 'no ironing' rule. A creased blouse or shirt isn't going to make the best impression and you won't feel good about yourself either. Choose materials that won't crease easily (no linen!)

Choose sensible footwear

Earlier on in this post, I said I've usually had fairly positive interview experiences but I've just remembered a rather cringeworthy interview experience I had with a top fashion retailer when I was a lot younger. To be honest, looking back I was never going to get the job as I just wasn't the right fit for the brand but boy, did I try and make a good impression. I even wore high heels. High heels, which I can't and never have been able to walk in. And I had to get the bus in. So you can imagine how much I was struggling to walk by the time I got there. I looked a little wobbly and looking back, a little bit of a 'try hard.' My motto from this experience? Choose sensible footwear. If you can walk in heels, then fine, they look great with a pencil skirt or trouser suit but do yourself a favour and make sure they're comfortable. The last thing you want to be worrying about is your poor feet on interview day! And men, you can't really go wrong with black or brown smart shoes. Just make sure they go with your suit. 

If in doubt, opt for a suit

I think the rule with interviews is that formal attire is usually expected and you can't really go wrong with a suit. Black is always a safe bet, though lighter shades can work well too, particularly in the summer months. Patterns are often seen as a 'no no' but I personally think a patterned blouse can show a little personality, providing it's not too garish! There are so many fashionable suits available from high street retailers these days. You don't have to look boring and stuffy to look smart and professional - and you don't have to spend a fortune either.

Obviously some work places may be a little more relaxed when it comes to the dress code. A blazer, dress and flats can make a nice interview outfit choice for women, as it still has an element of professionalism about it. 

Put spare tights in your bag

Whenever I wear tights, I always carry a spare pair in my bag just in case. Again, I don't personally think a ladder in your tights should prevent you from getting a job, after all these things happen! But it's something that might make you worry or prevent you from feeling good about yourself - so it's always best to have a spare. 

Make sure you're comfortable

I think an important point I want to stress about planning your outfit for an interview is that you need to be comfortable. Smart but comfortable! The more comfortable you are with your appearance, the happier you'll be and the more confident you'll come across to the person interviewing you.

Be yourself

Finally, as an overall interview tip I think it's so important to be yourself in job interviews. After all, the company will not only be evaluating your knowledge and experience but whether you'll be a good fit for their workplace. Ensuring you'll be a good fit is as much of a benefit to you, as it is to them. You don't want to end up working in an environment that doesn't suit you or you're not comfortable in. So be true to yourself, show your personality and don't be afraid to inject a little of it into your outfit choices.

What are your top interview tips and how do you dress for success?

Megan x
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