Job Hunting

What to Wear to an Interview

Nik Macmillan

Nik Macmillan

You have come this far, and now you have an interview - what do you wear?

With a suit being given a run for it’s money by jeans and a T-shirt, it’s fair to say choosing an outfit has become a little more complicated. An interview is meant for you to be queried, and dare I say it the judged, so it’s important you do your research.

Below are some pointers as to what to consider when it comes to choosing your outfit.

Research the Company

It’s likely you have already done your due diligence, but take a look at the company again, is it a really relaxed company that frames itself in the same class as google or Red Bull? Or does it look a little more suit orientated e.g. it’s a law firm or an energy company? If their website doesn’t make it obvious you can always check out their social media accounts. If it’s still not obvious it’s likely best to be cautious.

Research the Role

So you find out you are interviewing with a fairly relaxed tech company, but what role are you interviewing for? If you are interviewing for a data scientist role maybe it’s okay to be a little more relaxed, but if you are interviewing for an investor-facing or client-facing role it might be worth considering that. You might be working around people in jeans and a t-shirt, but you might be working with companies and/or individuals who have a more formal attire.

Accessories and Colours

Unless you are interviewing for a fashion based role, it’s usually best to keep the bright colours and bulky jewellery to a minimum. An overload of both can be pretty distracting and ultimately might detract from what you are saying. It might seem over the top, but as humans we undoubtedly make connections between what colours we see and what this might predict, for example the age old wear blue or red to seem powerful. It’s true and according to this paper might be because we see them as dominant.

Do You

Having just given you some suggestions I now want to say - do you. If you have an interview with a law firm and you want to wear a bold pink suit because that makes you feel confident and feel like you, then go for it. Likewise if you want to wear a three piece suit to an interview for a jeans and t-shirt company because you know you can do your job in it, then go for it. And if you don’t get the job because of what you like to wear, then that company probably wasn’t for you.


Job Hunting Skills That Give You An Edge

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Applying for jobs is a tedious, mostly fruitless task at the best of times, and knowing how to get your application to stand out can feel bewildering, luckily, however, there are now a variety of tips and tricks that candidates can search for and use to make their job hunt more effective.

From tailoring your CV to using Linkedin groups to reach out to people of interest, here are six tips which will help give your job hunt an edge.

Tailor your CV
You might be applying to a variety of roles, or you might be applying to almost identical roles, either way that nifty job description that you are provided with will tell you what skills a company are looking for, and what skills you should subsequently highlight throughout your CV.
Some desired skills will be easy to showcase e.g. “We are looking for someone who has demonstrable skills in Windows, particularly 2019 and 2016.”, knock these ones off first by including them in your Skills/IT Skills section and in your job descriptions where you can. Other desired skills however, might be harder to spot. Some companies can be fairly ambiguous when describing a job role, so this is usually where they want to hear what you think the role is. If you are unsure do a bit of research around the role and highlight any of your skills that you think are relevant. It is worth noting here that if you are unsure, try to avoid the temptation to write every single skill you have on your CV. It’s good that you did your bronze DofE, and if it is relevant it is relevant, but if not, it’s not a distinguishing factor, save space for more unique skills that will help you to stand out.

Find yourself a recruiter
Many jobs, especially the more senior and/or unique jobs, usually aren’t posted online, instead a company will reach out to a recruiter/headhunter to fill the spot.
Recruiters can have a broad focus or a narrow focus. If you are looking for a general job a broader recruiter could be useful, however, if you are looking for a more specific job it is worth investigating some of the more niche recruiters. You can find these by scanning through recruiter directories, Linkedin or even by asking people in your own network to start with.
It is worth noting that companies pay the recruiters and or headhunters for their time as such they will put the companies interests first.

Use Linkedin Groups
Do you know who you want to work for? Do you also know what interest’s they have on Linkedin? Usually you can’t Linkedin Message just anyone on Linkedin, however, a small loophole does exist in some cases. If you know what Linkedin groups the person you are trying to contact belongs in, join the group, if you are accepted into the group you can now Linkedin Message any other members. Go forth and slide into Richard Bransons Linkedin messages.

Get Yourself Out There
Maybe you have tried your network and nobody has any job or company ideas to offer you, and your online search is proving fruitless, or maybe you just want to add some extra oomph to your search, either way getting yourself out there and networking can be incredibly useful. Maybe you won’t find the job of your dreams straight away but you might find your next client who you can bring to your new job, you never know!
See below for some useful links.

Follow Up
If you haven’t heard back from a job application that doesn’t mean it’s a no. Sometimes a company has hundreds or even thousands of applications to go through so don’t be disheartened, instead reach out to them. It might seem bold, but just sending a polite email following up with your application can draw attention to your application and potentially impress the company.

Look After Yourself
Job hunting is hard, especially if you are unsure of where you want to go and what you want to do, so look after yourself. Stay on top of the job hunt, but remember you are human, if you want to give up let yourself take a break. It is possible that by applying to too many jobs you burn yourself out and you don’t even remember which job was what, so make sure you have a balance.

A Few Useful Links
CV templates