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)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!