One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)
This is the second week of the Marks & Spencer Blogger Style Challenge that I’m taking part in, where I’m bringing you a series of outfits for four different job interview scenarios. To fill you in: M&S have given me a dress of my choice that I have to create four outfits around, depending on the brief they’ve given to me and four other female bloggers in a prize competition – to read the full details of the challenge, click here to read about it in my first post. Thank you for all the wonderful compliments in week one – I really appreciate you taking the time to comment!

(To see the dresses I chose from, click on this link to their dresses page)

Week 2 Challenge: Stepping up the Career Ladder

The brief: Create an interview outfit for a more senior role at a corporate firm (e.g. a bank, law firm)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)

One Dress, Four Ways: Job Interview Outfits (Part 2)
A job interview for a bank or a law firm may well be the most challenging brief for me, as my usual style is not the office attire normally associated with working in a corporate role. But I think there are a few basic rules to follow to ensure you are suitably and appropriately dressed to bag that senior position.

I decided to keep the look simple, polished and neat, adding a blazer for a professional touch – too much bare arm (or armpit!) would definitely not be appropriate. But a small spotted print in neutral colours stops the blazer looking too plain, and a knotted skinny belt over the jacket adds a little interest and shape for a neat waistline. The one other small adjustment I made was to neatly fold the sleeves of the blazer under – not over – to “shorten” them slightly (I find full length sleeves look a little dated).

Although a trend-led outfit is not what’s called for in this situation, it’s important to get small details right to keep it looking modern, otherwise you run the risk of looking frumpy whether you’re older or younger.

As for the rest of the accessorising, I styled my hair in a neat side bun (I LOVE this hairstyle – thanks Adele for the inspo), added a structured patent bag and kept the jewellery very simple: classic watch, small feminine earrings and a simple ring. I chose medium height heels as I think it’s important to wear heels, but my usual 5″ platforms would be very inappropriate for a senior corporate position!


While this outfit is not what I would choose to wear myself day to day – my own job doesn’t require such corporate style dressing – I really loved this as an interview outfit for this kind of role. I felt extremely smart and business-like but still very feminine; the small touches like the hair, earrings and subtle bows on the shoes still add interest and femininity without detracting from the clean silhouette.

Job Interview Tip no.2

Consider the contact email address on your CV [resume]. If you’ve only ever used your address or similar, it’s time to get a sensible one that you use purely for job hunting correspondence. I’ve recruited many staff over the years and looked through countless CVs – I would always immediately disregard any with an unprofessional-looking email address!

I’m halfway through the challenge now – don’t forget to come back next week for part 3!

Dress: courtesy of Marks & Spencer, Blazer: courtesy of Marks & Spencer, Shoes: courtesy of Marks & Spencer, Bag: Next, Belt: Unknown, Earrings: F+F at Tesco, Watch: Gift, Ring: Unknown


  1. October 3, 2012 / 11:52 am

    Catherine this was a good read. Your look is so appealing and professional. Well done and helpful. That side bun is beautiful on you. Dawn suitcase vignettes

  2. October 3, 2012 / 11:57 am

    lovely look, your hair is just stunning.

  3. October 3, 2012 / 12:38 pm

    Very executive office! Well done and well-polished.

  4. October 3, 2012 / 1:36 pm

    i love the added touch of the polka dots, it looks professional, but still has a bit of fun flare to it!

  5. October 3, 2012 / 2:10 pm

    Loving your hair this way Catherine…
    Thanks for recommending me for the award..I will pass it on after this weekend. I have a lot of planning to do for my son's "shark" party this weekend!
    Sheree xxx

  6. October 3, 2012 / 2:20 pm

    I have to second the "consider your email" advice. I once reviewed a resume for a beautiful young African-American woman whose email address was chocolatebunny@etc. I debated whether to say something but in the end didn't, and still regret it. I hope someone eventually made the suggestion to her.

  7. October 3, 2012 / 3:07 pm

    Aw love this look sweetie! That dress is so chic and timeless and I adore how it looks with the polka dot and especially with how you have belted it up, great touch! Your hair also looks beautiful styled this way 🙂

    Take care,

    Daniella xox

  8. October 3, 2012 / 8:29 pm

    LOVE your tip about the email address! I recently had an applicant use a tardis@ email address. Now, I love Dr. Who just as much as any respectable nerd, BUT I laughed out loud and discarded the resume!

  9. October 4, 2012 / 12:53 am

    Catherine – your hair is AMAZING. Please teach us how you did that.

  10. October 4, 2012 / 6:55 am

    You look great,love your polka dot jacket 🙂

  11. October 4, 2012 / 8:47 am

    I absolutely adore this outfit Catherine!
    It's chic and feminine yet professional and your hair looks incredible like that…could you do a tutorial sometime?

  12. October 4, 2012 / 5:23 pm

    Catherine, you are very stylish with this outfit. I like the balance of colors and I love the jacket. The dress is beautiful and wonderful bag. I am sure that the interview would not be a problem for you.

  13. October 4, 2012 / 8:21 pm

    Wow – if I was working, I'd like to think I would be able to carry off such a lovely outfit. And you really suit the Adele inspired hair. At the risk of sounding naff, your hair is "cool" :o)

  14. October 8, 2012 / 2:25 pm

    Great business look! That polka dot blazer is the perfect print for the work place!

  15. October 8, 2012 / 7:31 pm

    Love this look! It's not what I need to wear to my office either, but it's so polished and professional. I'd wear the blazer for sure! Too cute. It's a great interview outfit. Not fussy, but still feminine.

  16. October 9, 2012 / 12:45 am

    You look stunning! Love the side bun!

  17. October 20, 2012 / 10:03 am

    I love this post! Sitting just outside the '20-something' bracket but holding a senior management position myself, I struggle to strike the balance between dressing appropriately for my age and looking professional enough to be taken seriously. This whole look is perfect and I LOVE the hair!

    New follower here! xx

  18. October 22, 2012 / 7:37 pm

    Great look. I work at a bank as a Senior Communication Manager in the Advertising Department. I could have worn this outfit to the job interview. You nailed it. Fortunately, once working there, the dressing rules are not strict at all. Quite the contrary. But hey, I like dressing up anyway, so no problem whatever the requirements would be. I turn up in ball gown type clothes, jeans, baggy (but chic) trousers and jeans. Pencil skirt suits.. You name it, all good.
    Had a good laugh over "". Not a very bright person if you use such an address at a job interview.

  19. December 5, 2013 / 5:28 am

    A great read on properly dressing for a job interview. Those who are looking for jobs in Clark will surely find this information useful. Thank you for sharing.

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