How To: Dress for an Interview

Hey Girlies!

Its been so long since i last posted! But i am glad to say that i am only a few weeks away from finishing university! So exciting, but a little scary at the same time.
For those of you who are graduating from university this year, this is the time that you would normally start looking for a job - if you are not planning to stay on in education and do a post-graduate degree. Either way, you are most likely going to be faced with an interview of some sort, whether its for a proper job, or an entrance interview for a post-grad course.
Its always difficult choosing what to wear for an interview. I always find myself wondering what "smart-casual" actually means, or how smart is smart! I always get nervous with dress codes. I don't want to be the only candidate sitting in a full interview suit when everyone else has dressed sort of casually! (Yes, this has happened to me before...).
I decided to write this post because a few months ago i went for an interview for a job in the NHS, and i was really struggling with deciding what to wear. I am pleased to tell you that the following week i was offered the job, so what ever i wore must have been right and i didn't look like a complete plonker!
Even though it is always down to what you actually say in the interview, it is important to give a good impression when you enter the interview room. After all, your face and what you wear is the first thing they see and sort of judge you on before they get to know you. And first impressions ALWAYS count.

What To Wear:

When you get called for an interview, it is usually a good idea to find out how you will be interviewed to determine what is the most appropriate thing to wear. Sometimes a dress code is given on the actual interview invitation. The 3 types of dress codes are Smart, Smart-casual and Casual. Casual wear isn't usually appropriate unless they actually specify that you can dress in what ever you want. This is usually more for retail jobs, however if you are unsure it is always best to check.


If you are required to dress smartly, it usually means a full interview suit. I recommend that you stick to black, as it is the least offensive colour (and by offensive i mean it wont make you stick out like a sore thumb, and you are less likely to clash your clothing pieces!). It is a good idea to invest in a smart blazer, a black vest and either a midi skirt or a pair of black skinny trousers. 


If you are going to wear heels, I recommend that you choose a relatively low pair of heels. You need to be able to walk in them at the end of the day! If you are going for a job that requires a lot of manual work, i do however recommend that you wear flats. These show that you are ready for a hands on job and are sensible. I have heard that the same can be said for wearing trousers over a skirt, but to be honest, as long as you look smart, it shouldn't matter. 

Smart Casual

This dress code confuses me the most, and i have come to the conclusion that it depends on the type of job you are going for. If you are going for a job that requires you to do a lot of manual work or will require you to wear a uniform everyday (such as a job in health care etc), i recommend you keep it at the smart end of the spectrum. Keep your black skirt or trousers and swap the top half for a blouse. For the interview i attended i chose a navy blue sheer shirt tucked into my black mini skirt and wore them with black flats. If you want to wear heels, again keep them low, as you can see from this picture!


If you are interviewing for a job in fashion or retail, it is a good idea to dress up your smart look with some chunky jewelry or a cool blouse. As you can see in the example below i teamed a smart pair of trousers with a polka-dot shirt and a chunky gold necklace. I kept my hair slicked back so the look is still quite smart but still a little more fun than the other examples. Working in fashion or retail would require you show you are outgoing, and what better way to give that impression than through your clothes! If you still want to dress smart, simply add a blazer on top!


Hair and Makeup

Always, always ALWAYS try and keep your makeup as natural as possible. the interviews need to see what you look like and there is nothing worse than trying to interview someone with a cake of makeup and ridiculous eyelashes on. They need to know that you are sensible and, and turning up with way too much makeup on can give the wrong idea. Of course, it is essential to look like you've made a effort, but whatever you do, don't over do it! Try and limit it to:

Foundation - light-medium coverage


Translucent powder
Blush - a natural colour
Bronzer - if any, very lightly to give a little colour.
Mascara - one or two coats will do!
Lipstick - if any keep it a natural nude colour. you will be talking quite a lot, so you don't want it to wear off and look untidy!

Try and avoid wearing eyelashes - they can fall off, and what a nightmare it would be if your interviewer was put off by the strip of eyelashes hanging off your face... awkward!

If you are going to wear perfume, limit it to a light spritz. Nothing like an overpowering perfume to really tick off the interviewer... and the whole room!

Try and keep your hair nice and tidy - no back combing! nobody wants to look at a birds nest... very distracting!


Overall, try and keep calm! Do plenty of research about the company before the interview so you know a bit about what they do, and practise lots of questions they could ask you with friends and family! Just make sure you know your stuff! 

If you walk into the building and can imagine yourself working there, and you are confident that you are the right person for the job, your face and attitude will follow. Then there is no reason why you shouldn't get it! Confidence is all it takes! In terms of dressing for the big day, i always say "dress for the job you want, not the job you have".

Hope this helps! If you enjoyed reading this, or would like anymore tips on interviews and what to wear, please comment below or tweet me @littlegem92 and i will most definitely get back to you!

Good Luck!

Love and Light,



Song of the day:

Hall of Fame - The script ft Will.I.Am


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