What to wear at an Interview

Posted in: Advice, Interviews

The email inviting you to interview has landed in your inbox, hurrah! You call your mum and tell her the good news and book a practice interview with the Careers team at Bath. Then it hits you... OMG! WHAT AM I GOING TO WEAR?

Fear not, here are some top tips to make you look slick on the big day!

  1.  Over dressed is better than under-dressed: First impressions count. So if you wear a jacket and if one isn't needed it won’t be a disaster;  you’ll just look keen to impress and can always take it off! However nothing worse than you rocking up in your shorts and t-shirt while the other candidates are dressed smart.
  2. Do a bit of research: look for clues from the employer as to what to wear. Sometimes they’ll be very obvious and tell you but other times you'll have to make an educated guess. Think of the type of organisation you've applied to: are they formal or casual? Have a look at their website - what sorts of clues are there about the company culture? Check out Bath Connection, see if there is a Bath alumnus working at that particular company, get in touch with them for a bit of friendly advice.
  3. Remember the basics: All interview outfits should be clean, free of cat hairs, deodorant marks, fraying hems or straining zips and buttons. The interviewer is going to be sitting staring at you for an hour and they will notice every sartorial flaw.
  4. Don't do anything drastic: it is tempting splash out on a new outfit, however remember to stick to what you are comfortable in. For example, if you've never worn heels don't invest in 6-inch stilettos for the big day. You'll be far more concerned with not falling over then impressing your interviewer. Same goes for new hairstyles, make-up and accessories.
  5. Good grooming is important: Men need to be clean-shaven or have their beards closely trimmed rather than straggly. Clean fingernails, fresh breath, shiny shoes, deodorant are all essential rather than afterthoughts. Use aftershave or perfume sparingly as it can be quite intense in a small interview room.

You may want to check out this video by Monster.

Style Ideas for Fellas

Everyone assumes that it’s easy for men to dress for an interview; a shirt, suit and tie and then you’re ready to go. If only it were that simple... Firstly,  do invest in a suit, shirt and tie – just be aware of the different ways you can wear them in order to suit different situations. They don’t have to be particularly expensive – supermarkets and budget clothing stores now have office wear, it just might take a bit more searching to find the right outfit for you. Making sure your suits fits well is an absolute must, so definitely try before you buy. One way you can be versatile is to wear your suit and shirt, without a tie. This  nods to the smart casual look.



Style Ideas for Ladies

The staggering amount of choice makes it really hard for women to work out what to wear. As a starting point, invest in a good blouse and smart trousers / pencil skirt.  Neutral colors such as beiges, nudes and pale greys are  a great option and not drab and boring as black.  Show your personality with a nice scarf or broach - but don't go mad on jewelry as it can be quite distracting. Be careful with the choice of footwear. If you are comfortable with heels that's great, aim for mid length heel. Flat shoes are definitely a great option, especially if the thought of wearing heels fills you with dread. Finally, keep makeup simple and natural.


Good luck and remember you can pop in and see us for helpful and objective advice on what to wear at interview. Simply book a quick query with one of our careers advisers.

Posted in: Advice, Interviews


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