Dress The Part
a checklist for your interview
- Most important thing is to feel 100% happy, confident, comfortable in what you are wearing. If you feel uncomfortable it will distract you. Dress as yourself, not as anybody else. Don’t suddenly wear something very out of character or inauthentic to who you are, or you will feel uncomfortable.
- Try on the outfit before the morning of the interview! People in the public eye will rehearse every outfit – even though they make it look effortless. It isn’t!
- If you don’t feel 100% happy, change and wear something else.
- Have a back up in case you have a last minute mishap, so that you aren’t then late or thrown off your guard / confidence.
- Is the interview online or in person? Who are you meeting? Have you downloaded the meeting app in advance?
- If the interview is on zoom, focus on the waist up, and check how your computer camera is looking: too dark, too light, too busy.
- If in person, no problem to change shoes etc, ask when you arrive and pop to the loo to change and smarten yourself up, take a breath, drink of water etc. Carry spare tights in your bag!
- Consider the environment / dress code to be appropriate / respectful of the role. You want them to picture you at the organization and in the role
- What is the dress code at the work environment where you are interviewing?
- If you aren’t sure – ask. Ask either your contact who has invited you to the interview, recruiter or someone else you know or can find at the organization. “I would like to be well prepared for the interview, can I just check …”
- If you can’t ask, do some online research e.g. via LinkedIn, make common sense decision on likely dress code expectation.
- If in doubt, dress SMARTER – it is always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed, it shows you made an effort.
- As long as it meets criteria above of appropriateness / respectfulness – don’t be afraid of personality or colour. You want to stand out for good reasons, and being well put together doesn’t mean being boring.
- If there is a problem, pause your camera online “Excuse me, please can you just give me a moment while I fix something at my desk” and sort it out, or ask to pop to the loo – always better to take a moment than to fluff up the rest of the interview. Shows you can handle a crisis!
About The Fold
The idea for The Fold really started when I was working in a male dominated and very smart corporate environment. I was surrounded by an army of immaculately tailored men, as if they had just marched off the cutting tables of Savile Row and straight into the boardroom. The power and confidence that beamed from them was both inspiring yet, admittedly, slightly enviable.
I always enjoyed dressing up for business, but more often than not I found my sartorial options all too disappointing – the offering for workwear felt like it was at the bottom of the agenda for many womenswear brands. I couldn’t believe the lack of variety or imagination in what was considered work-appropriate for me; high cost, cheap quality, overtly masculine tailoring and styles that conformed to outdated notions of who I, as a professional woman, should look like.
Polly McMaster, CEO / Founder The Fold, thefoldlondon.com