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What's Alexandra Waring... to a job interview?

Friday, 26 April 2013

I've recently been to a lot of job interviews for marketing, PR and social media rolls in and around Sheffield and it amazes me how many people struggle with what to wear to a job interview. Now, obviously as being a  fashion blogger features quite heavily on my CV, it would be a travesty neigh (!) a fakery, for me to turn up to an interview in a shapeless John Lewis suit and white shirt from 3 years ago. Now this is not to say that John Lewis suits are bad, I am simply trying to express that it would be a misrepresentation for me to look uninterested in fashion. However...'being interested in fashion' is one thing- if I turned up in a feather headdress and clashing prints I wouldn't be getting across to the employer in the right way. This is the art of dressing for interview.

You want to be able to subtly show your prospective employer that you're fun, creative and someone they want to work with before you even open your mouth- but I stress 'subtly', therefore I've composed 5 outfits suitable for an internship in a creative industry (much like the one I'm trying to get into!!).

Jacket- Zara Basic from White Rose / Shirt from Primark / Leggings from River Island
I found this jacket at an absolutely fab retro vintage shop on my trip to Nottingham for the #NottsBBMeet- White Rose. It's smart enough to wear to interview, has a peplum feature to accentuate the waist and add shape. Paired with simplistic accompaniments in this cut-out feature shirt and plain black leggings, it shows a smart but organised approach to your appearance and thus, your work too!

Polo neck top- eBay/ Trousers- H&M
A high polo neck automatically means business! It covers all my 'features' but it's tight enough to show them off still! In terms of a job interview, it's sometimes good to utilise your skills in this area. Firstly- find out who is on the interview panel. Without trying to sound sexist, it will matter as to how you dress whether the panel is made up of men, women or both. As we know, women (whether intentionally or not) can and will judge other women on what they wear- especially in creative industries. This is where power dressing comes into play. You don't want to out-dress the woman on the panel, so choose something that makes you look professional but not intimidating. A reason why this outfit works so well here is because you're not flaunting anything too obviously and the floral trousers show character. This outfit also works well with a male panel- the tight top does enough for you without screaming 'I AM WOMAN HEAR ME ROAR' which can put any man off! The floral trousers look 'girly' and approachable in this sense. Sounds silly, but why shouldn't you use what your mother gave you?!

Shirt-River Island/ Leggings- River Island/ Earrings- My Mum's!This shirt has interesting features on the collar and is silky, so carries an air of elegance! A great one for events management or project management internships, for example, as this outfit mirrors the sort of look you'd wear to an event. Great product placement there! (I.e. YOU in your new internship role!)

Shirt- H&M, Necklace- Topshop, Skirt- Urban OutfittersA pencil skirt is always a winner and screams sophistication. However, you'll need to pair down the 'serious' factor or else you may get confused with being drab. Try an oversized shirt with a large print and a large statement necklace to reign in the feminine factor. As the pencil skirt is so fitted you need to combat it in this way to make it relaxed, confident and collected- hello internship!

Jacket- Vintage Urban Outfitters/ Shirt- H&M/ Leggings- River Island/ Necklace- VintageFinally, if all else is lost, a great blazer and/or jacket will always save you when it comes to dressing for interview. It automatically says that you are a smart, intelligent person with a mind for business. Mix it up a little with a feature blouse and necklace, teamed with plain leggings for a sharp look.
A final note would be to combine all these looks with 'sensible' height heels, whether they be boots or sandal heels. You will always look more professional in heels and will be forced to carry yourself better. Just remember- shoulders back, relax and smile. First impressions count, but let you're outfit do that for you and you'll be one step ahead of the game!



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