Personal Style, Fashion and Lifestyle Blog.

Style To Succeed...

In today's world, getting the outfit wrong for an interview could be the difference between landing 'that' job or not! So, when Poppy of WIWT fame dropped an email this afternoon about running a piece on interview styling, I was all over it!!

In reality I haven't had an interview in 14 years (I started at the bottom and have worked right up) however, everyday I'm face to face with clients from roles such as general admin to board level and in most cases, I'm meeting them for the first time. My job is account management and sales based so, like an interview in effect every time I step on to a clients premises! I dress to my audience but, always go cautiously, a slight nod to the trends but all in all, fairly classic. If you follow me on WIWT, you will see evidence of this (and also when I'm working from home and not facing humans!).

To add to this, this week I had a pretty amazing day in London - I had been nominated and made it through to the finals of the European Women In Sales Awards (gulp) and as such, spent Tuesday aboard The Elizabethan (only the blooming boat the Middleton's cruised on for the Jubilee) presenting to the highly acclaimed judging panel (double gulp) on why I should win!!! 
I had given a lot of thought to the outfit and decided to stick to what I know, understated, classic and neat! Now, I didn't actually get a good shot of the outfit, it's not like I could ask the judges to take a quick OOTD for me once I was done however, I did manage to cram in a cheeky shot with the Captain..;

Ignore the hair, I'd just had a tour of the open deck prior to this photo!

Back to interview styling...I've put together a look that I think is safe, clean, office friendly and will ooze sophistication (and be totally wearable after too!) ;

You don't have to spend a fortune on an interview outfit, just make sure you choose good fabrics that are wearable, comfortable and more importantly, fit you well!

Trousers - These ones are the high waisted ones I wore to the WISA judging day - easy to wear and don't crease! On that, choose the fabric well, a quick scrunch test before you buy will do the trick, you don't want to look like you've slept in your clothes. Buy here.

Blouse - This one is a simple Topshop box pleat blouse, classic! On a side note, make sure you have either a cami or simple undies, pornographic styling will win you the wrong kinda' work! Buy here.

Jacket - This Miss Selfridge box jacket is very similar to the one I wore too, you can't go wrong with this and once you've nailed the job, you can wear it for years to come, just re-style. Buy here.

Shoes - If you are lucky enough to have height on your side or, you just can't walk in heels then go with some flats, I'd say avoid 'dolly/ballet pumps' and work a brogue however, if you can do a heel then the Aldo ones above are perfect. I always wear a patent heels for work, they are my comfort blanket! Side note on shoes - CLEAN (this should go without saying) and if they are heeled, good tips, no frayed stillies! Buy here.

Bag - I love the colour of this Michael Kors bag, it's not in your face 'look at me' for a start, it's a structured shape and subtle colour. Keep the bag that way, don't overfill with your lunch, presentation, brolly, change of shoes... A bulging bag will make you look unorganised.

The Make Up - Understated and minimal - You don't need to be plain Jane but don't trowel it on either! It's good to wear a subtle lip colour as it draws the interviewer to your mouth (which means they are listening) however, dripping red chops like you've gone face down in a pot of paint will speak the wrong volumes! Apply, blot, apply, blot...DONE!

So that's the styling done, now to share how I work....Take what you want from this, it works for me but if you are going to give it a bash, be comfortable with it..;
  • Prepare as much as you can - Research the company, even the interviewer ( LinkedIn is good for this).
  • If you have to do a presentation make sure that you are unique, add your own personal touch to it and even, leave them with a bound copy (local printers can knock this up for you for under a tenner!!).
  • Greet your interviewer with a good handshake, not wrist breaking but also, not a tickle.
  • When shaking their hand, look into their eyes.
  • During the interview speak clearly, calmly and with confidence.
  • Keep eye contact (without staring them out).
  • There's no harm in answering a question with a question, just don't over do it.
  • Be clear to know why they should give you the job!!

Poppy has put some great looks together over on her blog and also, for more advice on what to wear for all types of interviews,  check out the Job Academy Page where there's style makeovers for all kinds of interview scenarios!



  1. Great post Karen. Some really good tips for not only interviews but business dress too. Congratulations on your nomination. Donna x

    1. Thanks Donna! I did go on a bit, I'm just so passionate about workwear!

      Thanks too for the nomination props ;-) x


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