The Just Recruitment guide to interview dressing

If you’ve been called to an interview for your dream job, you’ll be eager to make a good impression. Here’s how to dress for success.

Picture the scene. You’ve walked into the interview room for a job you’re really keen to land, and everyone is wearing a smart suit. Trouble is, you’ve just got a pair of scruffy trousers on, married to a creased shirt with a sweater casually slung over your shoulders.

    So while you want to look your best, remember that you’re dressing for business, not for a night out on the town.  

You probably feel slightly underdressed. And in those precious few moments when you should be gathering your thoughts and taking a deep breath, you’ll be busy analysing the stares of the interview panel, trying to work out if they’re judging you for your sloppy attire.

Now play that same scene over again in your mind, but flip the sartorial balance in your favour. You’re the one dressed up in your best suit, while everyone else looks scruffy and unprepared.

Bet you feel completely in control of the situation, don’t you? And in the worst case, you’ll think that your decision to wear your smartest clothes demonstrates how keen you are on the job. No one’s going to judge you negatively for that, are they?

The point, as Just Recruitment Business Manager Bridie James explains, is that there’s no such thing as overdressing for an interview. Go in your best bib and tucker and you’ll never feel anything less than a decent candidate who’s keen to impress.

“Dressing smartly isn’t the same as dressing up,” Bridie states. “If you’re going for an interview, you need to wear appropriate clothing for a professional environment, to show that you know how to behave in that world. So while you want to look your best, remember that you’re dressing for business, not for a night out on the town.”

That’s good advice, because it speaks of the need to be relatively conservative in your sartorial decisions before interview.

“If you’re a bloke,” says Bridie, “resist the temptation to wear your loudest shirt and tie combination. You may feel it’s a great reflection of your personality, but it could prove a distraction to the panel. Or they may simply think you’re an attention seeker, which could mean they form a negative perception of you.”

Bridie suggests that a sober suit and plain shirt are the safest option for an interview, with a tie if you’re going for a job with high professional standing, such as a lawyer or medic. “Look at male politicians and you’ll see what it means to play things safe with your shirt and tie,” she says. “It’s rare to see a politician in anything other than a white or pale coloured shirt, with a fairly modest tie. They don’t want their clothes to be a distraction, but they do recognise the need to dress with style.”

The same advice applies to women, for whom there are more options when it comes to a smarter wardrobe. “You can’t go wrong with a business suit, either with trousers or a skirt,” reflects Ms. James. “But a plain-coloured dress worn with a jacket can also look very elegant and professional.”

    “You can’t go wrong with a business suit, either with trousers or a skirt,”...  

As with men, the crucial thing is to keep things simple. Resist the urge to wear ostentatious accessories, such as large rings or earrings, or jangly bracelets. “While you may want to express your individuality with your outfit, you want to make sure nothing detracts from the quality of your answers, and the interviewers’ assessment of your suitability for the role,” Bridie advises.

The comparison with politicians is helpful for women as well as men. Bridie also says that newsreaders are worth scrutinising if you want inspiration. “A lot of female newsreaders wear very elegant clothing that oozes style, without in any way distracting from their obvious intelligence, or their command of the viewer’s attention.”

That’s pretty much the philosopher’s stone of interview techniques, of course: finding a way to make the panel hang on your every word. And getting the basics like clothing right is a very good place to start.

So the next time you’re preparing for an interview, channel your inner Huw Edwards or Fiona Bruce. That way, you’ll make a great impression right from the word go. 

Published: 1 October 2019

© Copyright Just Recruitment 2019

If you are actively seeking a new job, see what we have: Find a job

If you liked this article you may like to read: Banish interview nerves: a four-step plan

Jobs currently available

Driver
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £18,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Chelmsford
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909015
About the role

Just Recruitment is looking for a driver to join a large and well-established business, with multiple branches across the UK.

This position will be based at their Chelmsford branch.

The role involves delivering various items to locations in and around the Chelmsford area.

You must have a full clean driving licence and have experience of driving either transit or LWB vans.

Working Hours:

  • 45 per week Mon-Fri 7:30 - 5 plus 2 Saturday mornings (8am-12pm) per month - paid at overtime rates!

Bonuses:

  • Salary Negotiable.
  • Attendance bonus scheme.
  • Company pension scheme.
  • Shared profit scheme.
  • Uniform and PPE provided.

Duties will include:

  • Deliveries in and around Chelmsford
  • Assisting with various warehouse duties
  • Proving a friendly service to customers and other staff whilst out on the road and within the branch as and when required.
  • Working with the team to ensure the branch runs smoothly and customers are delighted with the service.

In order to be considered for this role you must have worked in a similar role, have excellent IT skills and a good telephone manner.

This is a great opportunity to join an organisation that promotes from within, provides extra training and development and further company benefits.

Read more
Workshop Technician/Mechanic
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £17,500 - £27,000 per annum
Location: Hadleigh
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909014
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Workshop Technician/Mechanic on behalf of a leading independent parts specialists based on the outskirts of Sudbury, Suffolk.

Salary;

  • £17,500 - £27,000 depending on experience.

Great working environment in a high-spec workshop with heating and insulated flooring, to ensure employees are comfortable all year round.

Duties include:

  • Repair and refurbish motors and gearboxes.
  • Stripping down engines.
  • Disassemble and fix parts.
  • Complete root-cause analysis.

Benefits;

  • 23 days annual leave, plus bank holidays.
  • Free parking.
  • Profit share scheme, available after probation.
  • Medical scheme, available after probation.
  • PPE provided including boots and company branded tshirts / fleeces.
  • Training courses.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a great company offering lots of progression and excellent benefits.

Candidates must drive due to the location of the company, and will occasionally be required to drive company vehicles.

 

 

Read more
Business Development & Account Manager
Sector: Sales
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Witham
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909013
About the role

Are you looking to work for an exciting new start-up business offering a great opportunity for you to grow?

Have you worked to targets, and enjoy selling?

Just Recruitment  is delighted to be recruiting for an Account Manager for our client based in Witham.

The role of the Account Manager is to build and develop relationships with new members, working with them throughout their one month free trial and ultimately upgrading them to a paying member.

There will be no cold calling in this role, all leads have come to express their interest!

If you love working in a team, talking to new people, have worked in sales before and have good verbal and written skills then this could be the role for you!

This is a full-time, permanent role working Monday – Friday.

 

 

 

Read more
Legal Secretary
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Clacton on Sea
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909000
About the role

Just Recruitment is excited to be recruiting for one of the East of England’s longest established Legal Firms.

Operating for over 250 years, they are a full-service law firm, which has doubled in sized over the past four years, and they are looking to expand further by hiring a new Legal Secretary for their Clacton branch.

They are looking for someone with experience of;

  • Electronic diary management.
  • Telephone liaison.
  • Front of house/reception duties.
  • Digital transcription systems.
  • Using accounts software.
  • Various other clerical and administrative duties.

The ideal candidate will have experience working as a Legal Secretary, with a genuine passion for building a career within the law.

They must also have fast typing speeds and the ability to multi-task effectively.

In return you will receive;

  • A competitive salary.
  • 20 days holiday + bank holidays.
  • Contributory pension scheme.
  • As well as a whole host of other benefits.
Read more