I’ll get straight to the point……What do you wear to an interview today and does your choice of attire have to be relevant to the occupation? I am one of a rare breed, I love interviews. I also love going to the dentist, airline food and writing online dating profiles. The latter being a thing of the past now that I’m GeordiesGirl, but I am still called upon by the odd close friend to help ‘advertise their assets’ Wow that sounds totally seedy! I’m just good at viewing the profile as a self-advertisement where as when you write your own your maybe a little more conservative?
Back to interviews…..A good friend of mine went to an interview a couple of weeks ago, he was hoping to secure the role of Assistant Manager in a retail store and text me for advice on what to wear. It’s been over 18 months since I had an interview but I have attended meetings and open days in that time and so kept my hand in with professional etiquette. Back in the day you could spot an interviewee at 100 paces, proudly carrying their record of achievement in one arm and sweating profusely in an awkward fitting Burton suit. Fast forward ten years and the goal posts have most definitely moved. As office attire has grown more casual with men not being forced to wear ties, and women narrowly getting away with sandals/platforms in some work places it becomes a real nightmare to know what is acceptable and to whom?
Let’s say your going for an interview to be a swimming instructor, what would you wear? A tracksuit…too casual? Is a formal suit, shirt and tie a little over the top? Your best Speedo‘s and goggles? What about if you were the manager of the Leisure Centre, what would you expect an interviewee to wear for such a meeting? From my friend’s quandry I can appreciate that it is more difficult to judge the situation when the role you’re applying for does not conform to the traditional office dress code. The last resort is to call the prospective new employer (and show lack of initiative) and ask ‘What should I wear’.
After three or four text pictures of suitable smart shirts and trousers combo’s we finally settled on a light blue Paul Smith Oxford shirt, Ralph Lauren navy blue chino-type trousers and Lanvin shoes, exactly what I would consider to be a smart casual look to work in management at a high street fashion store. We agreed that the outfit suggested that he was familiar with high street designers and knew what was currently on-trend in menswear. His choice of footwear was carefully selected to reflect the stores product lines, in my humble opinion it ticked all the boxes.
On the day of interview I don’t know who was more nervous me or him, but when the text came through a long, agonising week later to say he had got the job, I was ecstatic. As I write this my friend is preparing to begin his new job on Monday and probably enjoying his last Saturday lie in for a long time, at least he would have been had I not text him at 7:30am to check he definitely did wear the Paul Smith shirt?