Surely, part of your interview will be a critique of your look, even if unspoken. If you’ve ever watched The Devil Wears Prada, your impression of a fashion job interview may inspire fear. Luckily, you’re probably more fashion savvy than Andy on her first day at Vogue.
For up and coming designers, your appearance may be judged as a statement of your ability and talent. In order to make a good first impression and gain a positive platform for your vision, it’s essential to look the part and showcase your unique sense of style. Here are some ideas on how:
1. Do Your Research Before You Dress
Learn more about the company you’re interviewing for before you decide on your attire. Are you interviewing with a high street retailer? You may want to wear a neutral or more understated look. Or are you interviewing with a posh brand on Bond Street? It might be good to accessorize with a designer handbag or borrow that Hermes scarf your mum keeps in the back of her wardrobe.
Depending on how badly you want the job, it wouldn’t hurt to sit at a cafe across from the location to watch the team enter and exit. Take note of how they dress and accessorize. You don’t have to hide your personal style, but adapting your look to the prospective new brand by playing up or toning down certain elements will give you an edge.
2. Dress Professionally
Although you’re interviewing for a creative role, professionalism is essential. You may want to showcase your style, but remember to do so in a way that communicates that you’re serious about your work.
Expressing your sense of style through colour or pattern is acceptable. But ensure that your look is appropriate in a work setting. When deciding on what to wear to a job interview, ask yourself if the outfit you’ve chosen is better for a work setting or a cocktail party at a friend’s house. You may have more leeway to push the boundaries for a fashion interview. But some things are universal — avoid overly revealing outfits and save the bold sparkles for an evening out.
3. Add a Single Statement Accessory
When you’re interviewing for a fashion industry position, you’re likely one of many candidates. Besides your portfolio and confident personality, how do you stand apart from the competition? After all, a recruiter may interview dozens of prospects in a day and may have trouble telling the difference between the interviewees.
Something as simple as a statement accessory piece can make all the difference. A sublime pair of shoes or a fab and daringly bold necklace may be all you need to set yourself apart. Interviews are always awkward at first. A properly chosen accessory may be more than memorable — it could intrigue the interviewer enough to you to ask about it, leading to a relaxed and more natural conversation that leads to other topics.
Women are not the only fashionable souls who can accessorize up a storm. A man can also make a bold statement and stand apart with a perfectly tailored jacket, the right watch, or a bag.
4. Dress for the Season (and the Weather)
This tip may be more than obvious, but for anyone new to Great Britain, the weather is unpredictable. The skies may be clear when you leave home, only to find it’s raining buckets when you arrive at your interview. It may be hot one minute and drizzly and overcast the next.
The key to good style, even for an interview, is to show off your layers. Besides layering, knowing what to wear according to the season is also essential. A stylish, well-tailored raincoat maybe your best friend on rainy days. You’ll seem like you’re always prepared for anything, which can only be a good thing when you’re interviewing for a job. And even if it’s unusually hot on an October day, wearing a sundress or white are best saved for summer.
Dress seasonally appropriate — after all, you’re interviewing for a job in the fashion industry that relies on customers buying clothes for all four seasons.
5. A Little Effort Now May Pay Off in the Long Run
Most fashion brands have a definitive style that is reflected in how the company culture dresses. If you hope to work for the brand, it’s best to understand the company’s signature look and interpret it in your unique way.
Showing to its followers that you understand why the company is successful while still expressing what makes you unique may be the secret to your success. The time you put into a proper understanding of the brand may land you the job — you’ll be chuffed that your effort paid off.