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5 tips – How to Dress for an Interview

You’ve impressed them with your CV and now it’s time for that all-important interview. But, what to wear? In an industry where suited and booted isn’t always the answer, how do you know what to wear to ensure you make the right first impression when you arrive for your interview?

At LIVE Recruitment, our recruitment experts have worked across the marketing and events industry for a combined 35 years. We’ve seen all manner of interview outfits that have lead to getting the job, we’ve also seen (and heard about!) the kind of outfit most wouldn’t turn up to the supermarket in. Either way, we know what our clients expect to see and that’s the key.

Whether you’re an entry-level grad, hoping to kick start your career in a large agency, a senior level event or marketing professional transitioning from in-house to agency (or visa versa), a graphic designer making the move from a corporate agency in to a boutique role, or an AV technician wanting to impress the board member of a top production agency. What you wear is important and we’re here to help, with our 5 tips for ‘How to Dress for an Interview in 2015’.

  1. What kind of agency are you hoping to work for?

Head of client services, Nadia Johnston, says: ‘It completely depends on the agency. We have some clients who expect suited and booted with their corporate nature, and some who have a relaxed approach, with a modern vibe. We work closely with our clients to ensure our candidates know the right way to dress for their interview and don’t show up in the wrong outfit. If you’re not working with a recruiter, you need to do your research. Go online and check out the offices and ask colleagues who know them. Social media can really help too. Many agencies will post photos from their office, so you can get an overall feel for the environment you’re going into.’

James Walton, MD, highlights: ‘It’s important to remember you’re dressing to impress, not for a day in the office. Someone once told me, ‘dress for the job you want, not the job you have’ – that seems like a good place to start!’

  1. A fine line between comfy and scruffy

Chrissie Trattos, creative account manager, advises: ‘We would always suggest that you opt for something you’re comfortable in. But whether you’re a creative designer or corporate manager, there is a fine line. Turning up in Ugg boots or your thread bare cons may be comfortable, but it’s definitely not interview attire.’

  1. If in doubt plan for corporate

‘If you’re unsure, we would always advise you to go with a corporate look.’ Suggests Laura Grundy, event team manager: ‘You can ditch a tie or lose a jacket if you feel over dressed. But turning up in a suit where the rest of the office is in their casuals looks far better than the other way around.’

  1. What would you wear to a client meeting?

Sabrina Pattison, senior event account manager, advises: ‘For those experienced with client handling, you know the drill. Ask yourself what you’d wear to a new client pitch? Your new potential employer will base your interview outfit on what you’d look like in front of a client. Always bear that in mind.’

  1. What constitutes smart-casual?

‘It’s that fine line again’, says Donna Banks, Events Account Manager. ‘If your recruitment agency knows the agency you’re interviewing for has a relaxed vibe, with a casual look being more appropriate, we’d advise on smart jeans and a casual shirt, or smarter top with a jacket for the guys. Stick with shoes wherever possible, and never wear scruffy trainers, no matter how relaxed the agency are.’

Goeorgia Bryce, Events Account Manager, adds: ‘For the ladies, I’d suggest sticking with the kind of outfit you’d wear for a relaxed evening meal with family. Either a smart pair of jeans or trousers with a relaxed shirt or top, or a more casual dress.

‘Heels are a personal preference. Don’t opt for a wedge if you’re likely to fall over. Flats can look just as smart. And the not falling over part will definitely be a bonus!’

There you have it! Our team’s 5 tips for how to dress for an interview in 2015. We hope this helps you prepare for your next interview. Good luck!

If you’re looking for a career move and need advice, our team of recruitment experts are on hand to help. Register your CV or call 0845 548 8000