Advanced search

Help for job interview

(34 Posts)
LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 12:15:47

I have a job interview next week. It's for a research administrator position (not sure what it means either... but it like a PR job but more scientific, dealing with scientists, but also money people, etc) and I'm not sure what to wear.... Don't have a suit. Have smart black trousers. Don't have any formal shoes to go with them, only boots. Have nice tops, but maybe more the sort I'd wear to go out.
Any suggestions? Didn't really want to go shopiing.... But will if I have to....

I'm 33 and a size 10.

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 12:16:18

Sorry, forgot to say thanks!

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 12:24:53

A white shirt and sensible, black shoes. They would expect you to be very smart and it always makes a good impression. Once you get the job you can let your own style shine through, but for a formal interview I would always say go for the classic black trousers, white shirt look. Hair tied back. You cannot be too smart.

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 12:58:06

But that's just not me.... Shouldn't I go as a me, even if a formally appropriately dressed me?

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 13:00:58

Well you said you've got smart black trousers right? What is wrong white a white shirt to go on top of that? Or if not white then a smart shirt of another colour so long as it's not bold.

Smart clothes aren't me either. But if it's a job interview I don't care about showing off my individual style, I care about getting the job. If wearing black trousers and white shirt means I'm in with a chance then that's what I'll wear.

I've not had an interview yet where I've been turned down.

hatwoman Thu 09-Aug-07 13:01:20

nto sure I agree about white shirt with black trousers. too waitressy. what kind of employer is it? company? academic? public sector? smart boots fine with trousers. what kind of tops do you mean?

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 13:23:10

Employer is academic.
So you don't think smart boots are too 'wintery' for August? (what a stupid month for an interview!)
I was thinking about a top like this one. Same colour, not too different in style.

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 13:26:06

Lovely top but I would say it's too casual. And on a lovely day like today your feet would sweat in boots, have you no others?

Gemy Thu 09-Aug-07 13:29:15

I work in a very corporate environment and for interviews, a skirt suit is always the best thing to go for. Just below the knee, teamed with crisp shirt or for warmer weather a non-sexy camisole. Or, a smart dress (nothing weddingy) with matching jacket.

Bag, corporate A4-size grab-bag in black always looks the part, and wear minumal jewellry (watch, small earrings)

Formal black shoes, polished, no platforms etc/sandals/wedges but pointy stilettos look sharp and stylish.

flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Aug-07 13:29:24

I think if you don't have a suit, it must be a shirt with trousers, not a top.
White with black can be a bit waitressy if you're not careful. Maybe black trousers, white shirt and black accessories, necklace, earrings etc, so it looks like you have gone deliberately for the monochrome look rather than the 'this is the only smart thing I've got' look? That would look smart.

hatwoman Thu 09-Aug-07 13:29:48

with smart black trousers I think that's ok. you need smart touches though - smart bag, tidy hair, possibly one item of discrete smart jewellery - earings or necklace but, imho, not both. will the boots be under your trousers? have they got heels? don't worry about them being wintery - flip flops would definitely be worse!

filthymindedvixen Thu 09-Aug-07 13:30:10

What about the Regards top from same website? - bit more different from white shirt but still smart.


WaynettaSlob Thu 09-Aug-07 13:31:44

tugamommy I wear (ankle) boots under trousers all year round - and I'm not alone.
That top looks nice- I would dress it up with a necklace (like this, but not like this or something to complete the look.
Agree with the others re being ultra smart - I am always ultra smart for interviews, and then relax things after that.

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 13:33:23

The description 'casual tops' puts me off. They like to think that you have made an effort for an interview, you wear things you wouldn't wear day to day, that's the point. You are competing against others and you need to make a good impression. First appearances here are crucial.

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 13:37:41

I think I'll buy something smart then.... Smart black trousers with a top is never going to be ver smart is it?....
Any alternatives to a boring suit? Or any suggestions of something to buy that would be ok with the black trousers?

If the trousers are long enough then you can't really tell if I'm wearing winter boots or shoes, right?

RubyRioja Thu 09-Aug-07 13:39:06

Isn't it funny how advice is contradictory. I think it is almost always better to go over smart rather than over casual.

If at all possible I would chose a tailored jacket (which would be OK with jeans later) and a simple top. I find tailoring boosts my confidence. I would also wear something distinctive eg red jacket or green top or unusual jewellery as I found even if interviewers were seeing a lot of people and could not remember names, they would remember the woman in a red jacket or similar.

hatwoman Thu 09-Aug-07 13:40:18

if the only reason for not getting something is your level of botheredness (rather than cost) then yes, you probably should...

flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Aug-07 13:40:26

I would go for a suit if you can afford it. They don't have to be boring, you can get a non-black one.
On the other hand, a really cheap suit can look horrendous if you are not careful.
If in doubt, well-cut, nice quality trousers or a skirt is better than a cheap, ill-fitting, suit.
How about a smart coloured shirt to go with trousers or a skirt if you can't find a decent quality suit?

flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Aug-07 13:42:00

And I agree with Rhubarb, if in doubt always go smarter for an interview, if the dress code is more relaxed, when you are working there you can tone it down, but better to feel smarter than everyone rather than the opposite. And it will give you confidence as well.

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 13:43:40

I think I'm with you Ruby! I want to look like me, ie distinctive! ! Not just like everyone else.

Although I think that overdressing is also not good. I now work in academia, as a scientist, and I've seen people coming for interview with a jacket! They looked absolutely ridiculous, jeans wuld be much more appropriate! (nnot that the scientist interviewer would notice or even be able to tell the difference!)

LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 13:45:19

So, where do I find an interesting suit that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 13:45:48


LaCerbiatta Thu 09-Aug-07 13:48:55

No, I would want to try it on and besides the interview is tuesday...

flowerybeanbag Thu 09-Aug-07 13:49:40

Have to disagree with you about the jeans I'm afraid. I would always be about someone turning up for an interview in jeans even if dress code was normally that casual, I would take that as a bit arrogant and over casual, and would think they were not taking it seriously.
However I have never worked in academia so what do I know?!

Not sure how interesting you want to go, but for price, I just had a look at the M&S website and they seem to have some v reasonably -priced suits. I would be inclined to add your personality and interesting-ness with a bright top or accessories, but again, that's just me!

Rhubarb Thu 09-Aug-07 13:50:31

Ok, go with the trousers and buy yourself a nice shirt. It doesn't have to be plain but go for a shirt rather than a top as tops are just too casual. Team this up with a smart belt and shoes.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now