The following was posted on the Fashion Forum page:
I’m going for a job interview with the BBC. I do want to look smart – in the past I’ve always ‘overdressed’ for interviews and, as you say, it has made me feel confident and I’m sure that has rubbed off on the interviewees.
But the thing is, most people I’ve met at the BBC tell me they don’t worry too much about what they’re wearing, and I’m concerned that looking too ‘continental’ might come across as flashy or threatening – or just a bit vain.
First of all, it’s great that you’re thinking about this. It’s important know who is interviewing you and it’s worth thinking about how they will be dressed and how they will see you.
My advice is:
- continental women tend not to look flashy – confident, professional, successful, yes; but rarely flashy. The way to pull this off is to make it look as if you’ve put together your look effortlessly – that you haven’t tried too hard. Don’t dramatically change your style for the interview: it’ll be obvious. Even if it is the BBC, don’t try to be overly ‘creative’. Avoid bright colours; stick to so softer ones. If you want to show a little flair dress it up with an interesting piece of jewellery or at most a colourful shirt.
- no matter what the interview is for, always wear a suit (or at the very least a jacket). You are always more likely to be taken on if you look presentable and successful. Over three decades of working with senior executives – and hiring quite a few people for Wardrobe – I am convinced that there are few, if any, circumstances where it’s a good idea not to wear a suit for an interview.
- whatever you wear, make sure it really, really fits you. You need to appear 100% confident that you look good when you walk into the room. You don’t want to be fiddling or adjusting your clothes, so ensure that they look and feel as though they are you (and not just your interview persona) – and make sure that you can walk comfortably in your shoes.
- make sure your hair looks good and your make up is natural – but don’t go without make-up – and if you wear glasses, don’t forget to give them a clean
I don’t know if you are going for a presentation job or an executive job, but I am constantly amazed at the way the BBC’s female presenters dress. While the men are always immaculate, it seems to me that the women get it wrong more often than they get it right. It is harder for women, but you only have to look at their counterparts on the US news channels to see how to put together a well-groomed professional look that can complement the undoubtedly professional content of their work. Just as in your interview, looking successful and confident in front of the camera can only enhance credibility among their audience.
Good luck with the interview.