Job Inerviews - What to wear

(28 Posts)

I am currently trying to find a new job. I have worked with children for the past 10 years as it has been convenient while my own children were young, but I am now applying for office type work.

Obviously, as I have been working with children, I have had little need for smart work clothes. I used to own several suits, but I have lost 6 stone over the past 18 months and am now smaller than before I had children, so none of them would have fit me now anyway.

So, if I actually get an interview for an office job, what sort of thing is appropriate to wear? I own a wool black skirt (which is possibly a bit short for interview), black smart trousers and grey wide legged smart trousers. I have lots of fitted jersey tops, but I'm not sure whether they are too casual. I also have a couple of fitted jumpers, but the same goes for them. Do I have to wear a shirt/blouse? What about wearing a dress?

Please help, I don't want to look like a clueless frumpy mum!

*Interviews, obviously. I have a sticky 't' on my keyboard blush

Dilidali Sat 02-Nov-13 07:56:15

Have a look here
I personally prefere dresses, but see what you think.

KnockMeDown Sat 02-Nov-13 10:05:33

Goodness, I wouldn't wear any of those outfits to an interview shock

Is it just me, or am I out of touch?

drawsofdrawers Sat 02-Nov-13 10:11:53

Depends on your seniority and sector/industry.

Knee length skirt and jacket with a shirt/blouse is fine. Plain shoes, small heel. Make up. Minimal accessories. Smart bag.

I couldn't imagine wearing those outfits either.

The jobs I am applying for are basic admin in a small town. So no city slicker management positions. Employers include the local university, county council etc.

I don't own any shirts or blouses or a suit jacket. Which is why I was hoping to get away with a jersey top or a fitted jumper. Shirts and blouses don't tend to fit me very well (broad shoulders and slim waist, so if they are big enough across the shoulders they are too big at the waist). I don't think I can afford a tidy jacket at the moment.

I do have smart shoes and a smart handbag. They at least still fit me from before losing weight grin

I have a plain black shift dress, could I wear that without a jacket? Or would bare arms be wrong?

YDdraigGoch Sat 02-Nov-13 12:00:21

The outfits in the pictures in the link above are all more suited to a nightclub than an office or interview.

Can you buy a nice smart blouse to wear with your skirt or trousers?

I think what's suitable very much depends on what kind if job you're going for.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:04:52

Yikes, those ASOS suggestions are just wrong!!

No to bare arms. A decent jumper would be fine paired with either the skirt or wide legged trousers.

What's your budget?

AHardDaysWrite Sat 02-Nov-13 12:05:09

I have a long-sleeved wrap style dress from Monsoon which I recently wore to interview. The other candidates were all in suits but I never feel comfortable in tailored clothes. I felt just as smart as them and I got the job.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:05:53

Would your shift dress work with a long sleeved top underneath?

Budget is pretty much nothing, I would like to avoid having to buy anything new altogether.

I have a wrap dress, but it has very short sleeves and I think if I put a jersey top underneath it would dress it down a bit much.

I don't think a top underneath the shift dress would look right. The only other option would be a cardi over the top, but I'm not sure whether that would look frumpy.

I know that the people working in similar offices wear fitted jumpers with trousers or wrap type dresses to work, but should I be a bit smarter for interview?

Tanfastic Sat 02-Nov-13 12:25:23

I work in an office (lawyers) and if it were me I'd wear a smart dress and cardi combo, opaque tights and a nice scarf or something. Court shoes or smart shoe boots. If you've got smart trousers then I think a fitted jersey top would be okay if you made it more interesting with a scarf. I personally don't think a suit is necessary unless its an extremely formal environment.

Good luck.

Tanfastic Sat 02-Nov-13 12:27:51

Or have you got a smart jacket? I hate matching trousers and jackets but I think a nice pair of trousers with a fitted jacket in a contrasting colour can look great.

No, no smart jacket at all. I used to wear a suit to work every day so had loads, but that was 10 years ago and I have lost a lot of weight since then so I gave them all to the charity shop.

I think I'll try the shift dress with a cardi. The shift dress is black, what about a bright coloured cardigan (eg red or cobalt blue) to brighten it up? With opaque tights and black heeled shoe boots.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:36:28
FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:38:47

Thanks Families, but it isn't in my size online and the nearest store is over an hour and a half away.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:44:41
FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 12:45:50

What size are you and what are the best stores near by?

Sorry, I'd only seen the first link. I love the second cardigan.

I'm a size 10 in most shops. I live in a small town with a very poor range of shops - Dorothy Perkins, M&Co, Matalan, Next, Monsoon and that is about it. Nearest big town with better shops is 1.5hrs away.

I have this jumper in both red and blue, which looks fairly fitted on me. I was thinking that maybe that would be OK with black smart trousers, black heeled shoe boots and a smart black handbag.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 13:13:49

What would you wear under the Matalan jumper? (I think it looks too scooped to wear without anything)

Cardigan from D Perkins?

I usually wear the jumpers with a cami underneath. The scoop isn't actually that low, you can't see the cami.

I actually have that cardigan already, but I was wondering if it looked a little wishy washy with a black shift. I was veering towards something brighter.

KnockMeDown Sat 02-Nov-13 15:58:28

I'm so glad everyone else agrees with me re those links grin

Am watching this thread with interest, as am hoping to get some interviews myself soon.

I see you have a Matalan close - they are good for cardigans. I have this in black, but without the pockets (from last year), and it is very smart on.

TondelayoSchwarzkopf Sat 02-Nov-13 16:05:00

In defence of YDraig those Asos suggestions would be perfectly fine interview outfits in the sector I work in but maybe not the OPs.

I am pretty sure that there is no need to buy anything new if you've got smart accessories - a jersey top and smart trousers or shift dress with cardigan - maybe just a necklace or scarf to brighten it up - and also think about an option if you get a second interview.

polyhymnia Sat 02-Nov-13 16:36:06

I think you're right OP - shift dress with cardi fine, but that pale one is too washed out with black. Something brighter would be better.

I bought this top today (I had M&Co vouchers plus they had a 20% off event this weekend so it cost me barely anything in real money). The grey in the pattern goes with my grey wide legged trousers, and the fact that the top is fitted and the trousers are quite loose seems to work. I'm thinking that with smart black shoes, a smart black handbag and a black wool coat to wear over it on the way there it would be OK.

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Nov-13 19:46:23

That sounds like a very nice outfit Jemima. Good luck with the interview!

Dilidali Sat 02-Nov-13 23:06:52

I love the top!
Good luck with the interviewsmile

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