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I've got an interview...... HELP!

34 replies

PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 14:23

What on earth do I wear? I've got shoes - black heels - t-bars. I've got a black linen jacket (simple one from Next a couple of years ago). And I've got a grey jacket which would also do (not highly structured but very formal for me).
Do I buy a new suit? And if so what? (not got a huge budget)
Or do I just get trousers or a skirt to go with one of the jackets?

And how do I stop the whole thing looking deadly dull? (I'm really not an interview suit kind of person, and it's a PR / communications type of job)

Hate interviews, hate them.... AND I've got a presentation to do. Grrrr.....

OP posts:
powder28 · 17/03/2007 14:35

M&S have got some nice stuff. HOw about a belted dress with a jacket. There are some lovely elegant dresses around at the mo suitable for interviews.

RubyRioja · 17/03/2007 14:46

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

powder28 · 17/03/2007 15:00

I think you have to buy a new outfit really so that it is in with the current fashion, especially for a pr job, and also its fantastic to have a reason to go shopping! I love Miss Selfridge clothes at the mo. Topshop have got some lovely things too. Shopping online is a good idea.

PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 17:18

Ha ha no I don't have pink hair, or not since I was 14 at any rate...

I hadn't thought of a dress and jacket though. And it is easier to buy one item rather than two. Got any links???

Colour I'm wary of, and would probably plump for a black dress with my existing black jacket. Unless anyone can convince me otherwise! Please?

OP posts:
WideWebWitch · 17/03/2007 17:22

You need to look smart and pulled together so I think a suit is the safest bet. Can you easily get a skirt to go with the existing jacket? You need clean, neat hair, neutral make up and decent shoes you can walk in.

WideWebWitch · 17/03/2007 17:23

And someone on here once suggested to me that I could go to M&S, buy a suit and if it wasn't ok, erm, return it.

Obviously, not that I did

willywonka · 17/03/2007 17:25

For PR/communications job, would consider a dress & trouser combo or wide-leg trousers with one of your jackets and nice knitwear/twin set (they don't have to be dated!). Looks smart, with an edge.

willywonka · 17/03/2007 17:26

PS forgot to wish you good luck!

powder28 · 17/03/2007 17:31

Monchrome is huge at the moment so its quite good for finding interview outfits. You can turn up in a power suit like romy and michelle and tell them you invented post-its. You will definitely get the job then

PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 17:50

Who are romy and michelle?

is this very dull?

or this?

The latter is a bit more than I can afford, but that kind of thing???

OP posts:
willywonka · 17/03/2007 17:51

Both are lovely but adore the Hobbs frock!

powder28 · 17/03/2007 18:00

That back ponte dress is lovely. Its very flattering and very classy. The other one is nice but not as sophisticated.
Romy and MIchelle's High School Reunion is a film with lisa kudrow.
That dress is really nice, a good find

RubyRioja · 17/03/2007 18:09

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

powder28 · 17/03/2007 18:21

if you wear some white with it, either with jewellery and/or in your shoes, you will get the very fashionable monochrome effect. I wouold suggest big sunglasses and a cigarette holder too but that might be a bit ott!

DominiConnor · 17/03/2007 18:41

With all due respect Peaches, I don't see how we can answer the question sensibly...
What type of job and firm is this for ?
What sort of people are interviewing you ?
What are you trying to say about yourself ?

As it happens I'm a bloke who pimps people into city jobs, so have a different perspective.

danceswithaSPRINGinherstep · 17/03/2007 18:42


PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 19:03

Well with respect, Dominiconnor I've been getting some very sensible answers!

I would however be very interested to hear your perspective. It's a management job in communications for a well known welfare charity. I'll be working with senior business people and high net worth individuals in the region who will expect me to be professional and knowledgeable about the cause, but also creative. I don't yet know who's on the panel as I was offered the interview only this morning (Saturday) and will be asking that question when I phone on Monday to confirm. I would guess though that it would be the regional director.

So where does that leave me? And I'll be expecting links please, to back up what you say.

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DominiConnor · 17/03/2007 20:30

My worry waa that it was women discussing other women's clothes, which may not be 100% if you're being interviewed by men.

I have no links to back up my views, if you don't trust my advice, don't take it.
The only links I know of are when people have put my book on the subject up on the web, and we haven't had it taken down yet.

We don't do charities, and I have no idea there at all. (But have no links to prove my ignorance).

I do know a decent number of high net worth blokes, and if your role is to meet them, then the simpler the better.
The rough rule is that the more jazzy the piece, the more it shows up any cost cutting. So on a low/mid budget go simple.

One thing I offer is that women's shoes are often really uncomfortable. One high flying lawyer we talked to spoke of the way she'd managed to leave bloodstains on the carpet at an early interview.
The issue I have with Linen is not the look but the way that it can look "uncontrolled", A message I encourage throughout people's presentation of themselves to banks is to look like you are in charge of yourself. Linen can look great or sloppy. If you were sitting in front of me (not an invitation), I could quickly tell which way that would go.
(I'm a slob, in linen I look like a scarecrow clothed in a bin liner.)

I dislike jewellery beyond a ring and one brooch. Maybe two rings in extreme case, but not if you're black. (my book puts this more politically correctly).
Personally on black/grey I'd avoid gold in your brooch. Ideally between 2-3 inches.
I wouldn't spend much if any money replacing what you have. Except on a nice shirt. White, Thomas Pink, egyptian cotton. Feels great, looks expensive and controlled.
Pink's build shirts for men, thus they aren't the badly stitched colection of dishrags normally foisted upon women.
Not cheap, but worth t.
The framework I'm playing to is if you're going to say "creative" things you dress puritan, and the opposite for when you're presenting dull stuff.

powder28 · 17/03/2007 20:37

There you go Peaches, a very short skirt and a see through blouse and no bra if a mans interviewing you. And absolutely no knickers, but i would still go for the cigarette holder for a bit of class.

PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 21:07

Well Dominiconnor that's very interesting, thank you, and as a result, I'll let you off for the lack of links. As you've guessed, I don't think I can quite stretch to Jermyn St prices though. I realise I should scrap the linen as I'm not one of those people who looks good in a bin bag - my natural instinct tends towards scarecrow too. However, that leaves me back at square one with buying a whole new outfit. Anyone got any suggestions?

OP posts:
PeachesMcLean · 17/03/2007 21:15


OP posts:
powder28 · 17/03/2007 21:21

I still think that dress is lovely. Nice to have even if you dont wear it to the interview. God, I LOVE fashion!

PinkyRed · 17/03/2007 21:38

My dh used to work for a charity in fundraising, including corporate sponsorship. Based on his experience, forget the fact it's a charity, and go for something corporate - he was expected to be suited and booted to fit in with the business people/ high profile people he was selling the charity to, not to fit in with the more relaxed charity staff (which is why he doesn't work there any more, and he now works for a small charity that lets him be a scruffy bastard ).

DominiConnor · 17/03/2007 23:46

In the finance sector where I mostly hang out, nearly everyone dresses down. The only people wearing suits are selling something, either to the bank or the banks own sales.

As a pimp, I've oscillated between suits and dress down, and the norm is now for a first meeting to be suited and booted, thereafter down.

Tortington · 17/03/2007 23:56

if your a bit skint george at asda do amazingly cheap suits. ( sewn by babies in a 3rd world country no doubt) still BARGAIN!

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