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Job interview - professional, project manager?

(16 Posts)
AhAgain Tue 30-May-17 22:29:33

Looks like I have a job interview next week - for a technical/engineering/IT type firm- I am being considered for a project manager role. Company is mostly male dominated.

Have just had a looooong career break and, looking through my wardrobe, I realise that all of my old work clothes look badly out of date and fit badly (may have lost a little weight and certainly clothes don't tend to be that "loose fitting" anymore...).

I kind of want to look professional, smart and attractive (but in a professional manner). I am early 40s, slim (size 8/10) and well toned/fit.

Am wondering if I can get away with a nice Ralph Lauren knee length jersey type material dress under a tailored jacket. Dress is short sleeved, but would keep the jacket on. Have the same style in either an abstract (yet very tasteful) monotone print or a plain conservative colour.

Or should I look for a more tailored dress (LK Bennett/Hobbs... open to suggestions) or should I really go down the trouser suit line?

In normal everyday life, I am a slim jeans or slim cropped trousers person, but always dresses for smart wear.

Am keen for suggestions for the interview abc for a working wardrobe (brands etc).

Judydreamsofhorses Tue 30-May-17 22:46:10

I'm not in that field, but the dress/jacket combo sounds perfect. I don't think suits are now a requirement in interviews. I worked in an engineering company in a PR role for a few years, and my outfits were much the same as they are now - dress/opaques/brogues, blouse/black skinny jeans/ankle boots type stuff. I used to organise quite a lot of fancy black-tie events for the company, but other than that it was fairly relaxed - the majority of the blokes were in jeans, managers trousers/shirt/tie, but seldom proper suits.

mustiwearabra Tue 30-May-17 22:51:36

When you say engineering, do you mean that the company is quite heavy on the construction side of things? OH works in engineering/construction which is why I ask.

travailtotravel Tue 30-May-17 22:53:47

I have a bright pink jacket, pencil skirt and white top. A bit safe. I like your dress idea.

HundredMilesAnHour Tue 30-May-17 22:53:53

Dress & jacket sounds fine, although I'd probably go with the conservative dress colour rather than the print. I work as a Programme Manager (in financial services so very male dominated) and usually wear jersey type dresses (they don't need ironing!) with a smart jacket and scarf/statement jewellery. Must admit that I tend to wear all black to interviews. Partly because it errs on the side of super conservative and partly because if I get nervous/careless and pour coffee on myself, it doesn't show!

Good luck for your interview.

AhAgain Tue 30-May-17 23:21:18

Thank you very much.

Process/paper engineering (not heavy engineering) - no biolersuits required 😄.

I am pretty sure that the company culture is fairly relaxed (techy/geeky), dress-wise: quite a lot of jeans etc. So, if I get in, I might be able to relax a bit. Would play by ear.

Will stick a plain dress for the interview. Do have black too, but will see how it looks on the day. It's a thought. HundredMilesAnHour, do you have any favourite ships for jersey type dresses?

HundredMilesAnHour Wed 31-May-17 00:03:04

AhAgain I get most of my jersey work dresses from Jaeger, either an outlet store or online when they're having a sale (which seems to be almost all the time these days). I find that often they look quite dull/frumpy on the hanger but when you put them on, they're cut very well and are very flattering.

AhAgain Wed 31-May-17 08:30:39

Thanks HundredMilesAnHour - I will try them on and them and won't be put off by what they may look like on the hanger 😊

bojorojo Wed 31-May-17 10:16:51

Massimo Dutti may have something suitable too. LK Bennett do superbly cut trousers and jackets and you could look at Whistles or Jigsaw. I like cigarette trousers for interview with a good quality shirt. If it is a hot day you may wish you didn't have to keep the jacket on. I would look for a dress that you can wear on its own and ditch a jacket that is an afterthought and isn't matching. A dress, good shoes and bag and decent jewellery say more about your personality than a jacket.

AhAgain Wed 31-May-17 21:42:32

Managed a shopping trip today and must admit that I was rather disappointed with a lot of what I tried on - quite frumpy and shapeless mainly. I also wonder if the shops where I live arw generally favouring "wedding"/"holiday" dresses as opposed to work ones,

Tried LK Bennett, Jigsaw, Whistles, Hobbs and House of Fraser. Ended up with a black and cream wrap dress and black jacket from Hobbs, Flattering, smart, conservative and works without the jacket. Saw some other things that would work for work clothes, but maybe not conservative enough for an interview (where I want to play safe with colours and patterns). If I get the job, will go back for the black trousers that go with the jacket.

AhAgain Wed 31-May-17 21:42:49

Got new shoes too.

HundredMilesAnHour Wed 31-May-17 22:09:51

Sounds good! Make sure you break your new shoes in before your interview (I'm only saying that as I went to an interview earlier this month wearing new shoes and was worried I'd go skidding across the company's very shiny lobby floor in my perfect new leather soles. Duh!)

Good luck for your interview. Please let us know how you get on.

AhAgain Wed 31-May-17 22:19:31

Thank you and very goodpoint about the shoes... Will check for labels on the bottom too smile. Fingers crossed it goes well.

bojorojo Wed 31-May-17 23:52:10

Sounds great to me! I hope you get the job.

AhAgain Sat 05-Aug-17 10:57:17

Just an update, I did get the job. Well that was what I wore for the first interview. Wore and ther nice dress and blazer for the second interview. Felt comfortable and cool and that did help smile

domesticslattern Sun 06-Aug-17 15:37:06


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