Rules for dressing for an interview
Of course there are obvious ones, like looking clean and trying to stand up straight, but here are seven non-negotiable rules that you must adhere to. Some of them are trickier than they sound. (Though all of my advice in this post is geared towards people interviewing for courses like sciences, healthcare and humanities.)
If a skirt or dress that's caught your eye is even remotely approaching mid-thigh length, don't even think about it. Put it down and turn away.
'Sensible' means closed-toe shoes with no obvious platform or any kind of heel you could stab a person with. If you really want to wear heels but need to walk in between a train station and the uni campus, maybe wear flats for the journey.
Cleavage should be strictly under cover - people need to earn that stuff, you know. If you've got a top or dress with a low neckline, try layering a blouse underneath it to cover up a little.
Wear a set
You need to know exactly what your doing with textures and colours if you dare to stray from a set suit. It is pretty much impossible to match black with black or grey with grey or navy with navy if you've got, say, a blazer already but no skirt or trousers. It's probably a lot easier to just buy a new set. The easiest way to not wear a set is to go a different colour and a different texture, but be careful with this.
You can't overdress
At a uni interview you need to look like you mean srs bsns. This is the next few years of your life on the line, and probably your life's career too. In a professional setting you can't actually look that out of place even in a full suit.
At your interview, your mind may or may not be in complete meltdown, but if you're physically uncomfortable due to your clothes, you'll stand little chance of coming across as comfortable and relaxed. So don't make compromises - buy only clothing and shoes that fit you, and make you look good, so you can feel good and make the best impression you can.
I know it can be so, so hard to restrain your creativity and play it safe, even though you want to look like the interesting person you are. But the best approach is to look ordinary and boring, only to reveal yourself as a stunning candidate when you get talking with your interviewer. Once you get on your course, perhaps you can afford to dress how to you want a little more.
I know I said to be boring, but with some carefully chosen accessories, you can sneakily show elements of your personality which may even be a useful topic of conversation. If your a musician, maybe you could wear a treble clef necklace. Or you could wear a brooch to show your support of a charity you volunteer for or donate to. But be sensible and subtle.
|skirt | top | blazer|
New Look: £43
|dress | blazer|
|blazer | top | skirt|
Bring a companion
Someone sensible and reserved would be ideal, so you have someone to keep you down to earth and focussed on finding something appropriate for the occasion. It's really helpful for someone to check whether the seams are okay and the fabric's lying right, because even with mirrors, you can't really see your own back very well.
Keep your receipts
It's a lot easier to just buy all the main things from one shop, but if you do have to do some intershop matching, keep receipts handy in case you find something that's better than what you already have.
Always try stuff on
This is an absolute must when it comes to tailoring. Sizes vary hugely across different shops and it can be hard to find a jacket that fits you just right, but it's worth the trouble. When matching things, look at the fabrics under bright light to ensure the colours and textures work together.