In a world which depends on what the eye beholds, first-impressions are important. This can be the case when interviewing for a role in fashion.
Pop culture has projected ideas of fashion headquarters as teeming with eclectic characters, where every detail of a look has to be curated with refinement and quirk. This particular view of fashion employees is exaggerated, but it is nevertheless important to present a certain image. This image will sometimes depend on the role, yet employers always trust that whomever they are interviewing has an interest in fashion. The easiest way to demonstrate this is to dress well.
There is no ‘right’ way to dress for an interview in this industry but here are a few pointers to consider when rummaging through your closet in preparation for the big day.
These two words, which make many appearances in our lives, are all the more relevant when dressing for an interview. Experienced employers will notice immediately if a candidate does not feel at ease in the clothes they are wearing. Your confidence be diluted when wearing clothes that do not suit you and your perceived interest in fashion will appear as forced.
Do not create a false image of yourself. If you are ultimately hired and you revert back to wearing your preferred clothes, there will be a risk of coming across as inauthentic.
Although the importance of staying true to one’s personal style does not fade, it is equally useful to take into consideration for whom you wish to work. Be aware of when it is appropriate to be creative and expressive, and when it is to be classic. Try to not pander to the aesthetic of the brand but do not allow your outfit to be the opposite style of fashion either.
Our temporary staff, who are selected to work in London’s most iconic brands, have a strict all-black uniform. As a result, we ask our candidates to dress for their interview accordingly; black trouser or skirt suits are required. If you have to buy a set for the interview, rest assured that this classic business outfit will come handy in the future.
Being able to afford high-priced clothing does not automatically make the fashionista or sartorial genius. Fashion or accessories that immediately stand out as expensive, whether they are instantly recognisable pieces or adorned with logos, are unnecessary for a first-time meeting. If you are proud of the fashion you own, prove that you are interested in the industry by the quality of the fabric or the cut of the tailoring.
If you do wear an iconic and/or branded piece of clothing, avoid recent collections as you risk to appear as someone who is dependent on current trends. Remember, style and fashion are different; being able to pull off a dress that was sold years back will demonstrate your commitment to taste.
We asked our consultants about the important attributes that make a successful interview. Having immaculate presentation was high on the list- specifically hygiene and grooming. Having a neat hairstyle, tidy nails and clean teeth are fundamentals.
If you wear a fragrance, we recommend a refined perfume that is not immediately identifiable- owning something that is both inoffensive and unique will allow for greater intrigue about yourself and may even spark an informal conversation about the scent.
Be inspired by ourselves
To expand your ideas, we asked members of our team what they wore to their interview for Elite Associates.
Karina, Marketing Manager: For my first interview here, I wore a black cotton shirt, black culottes and black heels. My personal style is very simple and refined. My jewellery also reflected my love for minimalism; my silver band ring with a turquoise stone added the perfect pop of colour.
Pierre, Communications Coordinator: I would describe my style as contemporary and put together. I wore a purple cashmere jumper over a monochrome-print shirt with blue jeans and black leather shoes. I wanted something that was both smart and striking.
Fern, Front Desk: I am often the first person people see when they arrive to our office. It is important that I reflect the standard of the clients we work with. For my interview, I went for something clean and simple: an ivory silk shirt, ivory trousers and nude pumps.