Employment Evergreen

You’ve Polished Up Your CV, Now Polish Up Yourself. The Dos And Don’ts Of Dressing To Impress

flipflops at interview: NO
Written by Grace Gardiner
flipflops at interview: NO

First rule: NO FLIPFLOPS. Photo Credit: Smarterer

Okay, so well done; you’ve bagged yourself an interview! You’ve impressed them through your CV, but now here comes the tough part – impressing them in person. And I don’t just mean your personality. As soon as you walk in that door, you are being judged on everything that the interviewer sees, down to every last detail, so it’s only right that you prep and pay attention to yourself so that you can’t possibly fail in getting the job, and if you do? Well, at least you know you can’t blame the outfit. Here’s how to dress up for an interview.

MEN. Listen up, here’s how to dress up for an interview

I’ve been on a few different interviews, or I have seen men when they are about to go in for one, and believe me,  I would certainly not hire some of the ones that I have seen, even if they fit the job role criteria perfectly.

  • How much effort is it to iron a shirt once in a while?
  • Or check it’s tucked in properly?
iron your shirt before interview

Iron your shirt before the interview. Don’t make the iron angry! Photo Credit: Gadgetsin.com

Here’s my advice for the men: head to Primark and buy yourself a new shirt; they are cheap and cheerful, and it’s a wonder what this simple purchase can do! Get one to fit you right, not too baggy and not too tight, one that can be tucked into your trousers without looking ridiculous and you are pretty much good to go.

My suggestion would be a light pink shirt (yes, you can pull it off) teamed with a light grey pair of pinstripe trousers; classic yet fashionable.

And to finalise the outfit? Loafers. They are everywhere this year, especially a good solid tan pair with a tassel fringing. And if you really want to push the boat out? Colourful socks. Don’t just be the average man in boring plain black socks. Why not mix it up and purchase a pair of cheeky polka dot socks which can be only so slightly seen when sat down. It shows off your personality, and it’s a guaranteed nod from any fashion guru.

My personal choice for a man to dress up for an interview

formal shirts

Lovely shirts, but only pick a colour and size that you are comfortable with

So there you have it, my personal choice for a man for an interview – fashionable, classic and smart. What more could you ask for? Now I’ve helped you with that section, please do me a favour and tidy up your face. Nobody wants a hairy unkempt man walking into the office that doesn’t seem to be able to look after himself. Because if you can’t even look after yourself, then how could they expect you to put any effort into this job? Trim the beard, style the hair, wack on a bit of moisturiser and a splash of aftershave and you’re good to go.

Okay; now for the women.

I could write thousands of words of what to wear, but yet, it obviously depends on the career that you’ve chosen to go down. You want to look:

  • smart,
  • sophisticated,
  • sexy (but not too much),
  • yet fashionable,

So how can we achieve this, ladies? Well, there is one main fashion item we could all buy, no matter what career we are in, and just simply dress it differently.

It’s the crisp white shirt. Effortless, timeless and completely stylable. So personally, in my line of work, where it’s always better to be creative, I would pair it with some patterned fashionable trousers, preferably high waisted and tartan (a little obsessed with that trend) and tucked in with a nice pair of embellished flat shoes – save me the embarrassment of tripping over, please.

But if you are comfortable enough to walk confidently in heels, then please wear them!

Nothing too flashy, nothing too high, a patent black court shoe is perfect but if you have the walk right and perfected that you just exude confidence. If heels aren’t your thing but you feel as though you need a little height to boost yourself, a simple black chunky heeled boot would work perfectly; sturdy and bang on trend.

Going for a top office job?

Now, let’s say you’re going for a top office job. You need to look extremely professional, right? Well, yet again, trust the white shirt. Teamed with a tweed two piece you’ll look like the absolute bomb, and who wouldn’t want to give you the job when you’re dressed so damn good?  The white shirt can be teamed with so many different looks: a pencil skirt and heels combo, a patterned tight jumper and smart trousers combo, a trendy two piece, or a relaxed skinny jean and boots look. Whichever your style, and whichever your dream job, a white shirt will never fail you.

As women, I feel like it’s mandatory that we know how to look good and what dressing smart really looks like, so I’ve put together a few tips for anybody that may need a little help!

Some pointers to remember

Don’t, I repeat, DON’T wear scruffy shoes! I don’t just mean ones with the heel coming away (although that does looks really bad), but I mean any shoes that even have the slightest scruff mark on the front. You may not be made of money, but you will no doubt have enough for a new pair of interview shoes (try supermarkets such as Asda or Tesco), or if you can’t afford any, why not simply invest in some shoe polish and tidy up what you’ve already got?

Do wear make up correctly! No one wants to hire someone who has a thick orange line down the jaw line of their face. You don’t need to be a make up artist to figure out what suits your face and what doesn’t. My advice is to tone down the make up, au naturel all the way!

Don’t have VPL! Not a good look whatsoever. It’s simple: wear a decent pair of knickers that no one can see the outline of.

Do your hair. Make an effort with it. No one is expecting you to look red carpet glam, but just make sure you run a brush through it and make it look acceptable.

Don’t forget the little things! Make sure everything is tucked into the right places, make sure you don’t have tags hanging out or stickers on shoes, and don’t forget to wear some perfume.

Do give yourself a manicure! Please do not go into an interview with chipped nail varnish! This is possibly one of the most important tips! I can pretty much guarantee that you talk with your hands quite often, and this draws the interviewer to look in that direction and can you imagine their reaction when you have week-old chipped black nail varnish on your untrimmed and unbuffed nails? No. Just NO!

So there you go; those are my tips for you and I really hope they help. I know they may seem simple to some people, but hopefully I may have reminded you of the little things that you have forgotten. I wish you all the luck in the world for future interviews, and I want you to all be confident in yourselves and your appearance when you walk into that room. Walk in like you own the place and as if the job is yours. Be happy, be strong, be passionate!

About the author

Grace Gardiner

I am an aspiring writer, and I've always thought that if I can't get famous myself, I may as well write about famous people instead. I have worked all over, from More magazine, to Heat, Closer and Grazia, with even a little bit of This Morning thrown in there!
Celebrities are a big passion of mine, and it is my dream to have a job which involves them in some way!