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Preparing for a graduate job interview can be exhausting. Between reviewing the job description, researching the company and composing your answers to the most common interview questions, it’s easy to forget that you need to dress for success too.
When first impressions are key, your outfit couldn’t be more important. We know that deciding what to wear for your graduate interview can be a minefield, so to help you make sure that you look the part we’ve teamed up with swipe-able fashion app, Grabble.
Grabble’s Head of Content, Sarah Potts, has passed on her top tips to take the stress out of dressing for your graduate job interview – so whether you’re male or female, corporate or creative, you’ll be ready to walk into your interview feeling calm and confident.
If you're currently applying for graduate jobs, check out the latest graduate jobs in London and the UK.
Regardless of how casual the company’s dress code is, your interview isn’t the time to experiment with crazy trends. It goes without saying that you’ll need to look smart – but there are some key differences depending on the kind of company you are interviewing for.
If you’re interviewing for a corporate role, stick to a well-fitting two piece suit and a classic shirt. Keep it simple – but if you want to stand out opt for a colourful pocket square or a quirky pair of socks that will allow you to show your personality without being remembered for all the wrong reasons. And always, always, always make sure that your shoes are smart and squeaky clean!
Creative types can afford to be slightly more experimental. If you know for sure that the dress code is a little more relaxed, try a well-cut blazer with a pair of tailored trousers or smart, slim-fit chinos (which don’t have to match your jacket!)
You’ll still need to look put together, so a plain white shirt is a great option, but you can always experiment with a unique collar to express your personality.
When it comes to footwear, a lace-up brogue or a Derby shoe is your best friend – if you’re feeling adventurous, choose a modern style with a thick sole to make a subtle statement.
Choosing the perfect outfit can be a little trickier for girls, because there are so many more options to choose from!
If your interview is at a corporate company, great tailoring is the way to go. It’s always better to be overdressed than under – so invest in a classic pair of pegged trousers with a matching blazer to keep your look polished and refined.
If you’re worried about looking boring, show off your vibrant personality with a fine printed blouse or add a pop of colour to your outfit with a bright bag or watch. When it comes to footwear, there’s no need to risk breaking your ankles with sky-high heels – a pair of pointed-toe flats give off just as much of a smart vibe, without the added pain!
If you are interviewing for a more creative role, then you’ve got the scope to experiment with your outfit (to an extent!)
A pinafore dress is the perfect smart-casual option, and when teamed with a long-sleeved roll-neck knit underneath can look polished whilst still being comfortable.
If you’ve already managed to suss-out the vibe of the office you’ll know whether or not trainers are acceptable, but if you’re at all unsure opt for a safe bet - a pair of smart ankle boots or flats that will bring the whole outfit together.
For a more sustainable and cost-effective option, try shopping at vinage markets and charity shops!
For more style inspiration, download Grabble – the app for discovering brands & products and fulfilling all your on-trend fashion and lifestyle needs.
Have an upcoming video interview and wondering what to wear? Here are some top tips for how to virtually dress to impress!
When dressing for a video interview, it's still equally important to dress appropriately to suit the company's culture and enviroment. Research the company before your interview so you have an idea of what's appropriate.
If you're wearing a suit and tie, it's a good idea to opt for a solid colour for both rather than patterned, as this can create a 'buzz' effect on camera - and may take attention away from what you're saying.
Lighting is equally as important as what you wear on a video interview - be sure to adjust the lighting in the room so you can be clearly seen and you are centered in the camera. If you wear glasses, play around with the lighting to reduce glare from your lenses.
While it's unlikley the interviewer will only see your upper half, it's still a good idea to wear professional trousers and bottoms in case you have to stand up for any reason, this will also help you get in the interview mind-set.
If you have an upcoming video interview, check out our skype and video interview tips for job seekers.
Wearing certain items of clothing could give employers the wrong impression and hinder your chances of landing a role. Here's what not to wear to an interview:
When attending a job interview, avoid wearing the below items as they could suggest you don't take pride in your appearance and you're not taking the interview seriously.
Most of these items apply to corporate job interviews, as it's likely creative companies with a more youthful and relaxed culture will be less concerned about interview attire. Although, be sure to avoid wearing a suit and anything overly formal if you're interviewing for a creative role/company.