Winhurst Recruitment
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Blogs & Vlogs

The interview is relatively informal…..

I only ever said this once. The candidate I said it to, it must have been his 2nd job interview he’d ever gone for and he took it literally. He turned up in shorts, T-shirt and flipflops. Oh my. Fortunately, the client & I had worked together for a number of years, so we knew each other really well so when the candidate had quite rightly said “Jo said it was informal” when he realised that he should have been wearing something more formal than what he was wearing, the client knew exactly in what context I had said it, and in what context the candidate had interpreted it.

And as the summer of 2018 draws to a close, we have experienced some amazing weather and temperatures, which have been great for me as I sit in my home office, windows wide open in shorts, t-shirt and a flipflops but not for many employees who haven’t had air conditioned offices but at least they knew the dress code. The difficulty has been for the candidates who are interviewing in this heat. I had one candidate who called me ahead of her interview in central London in 33 degrees heat asking if it was OK for her to wear a summer work dress rather than a suit. A quick phone call to my client and they were fine with that.

Some companies have dress down Friday’s and I’ve had clients wanting me to tell my candidates who are interviewing on a Friday that they don’t need to wear a tie. One candidate recently said he couldn’t imagine going to an interview without wearing a tie but appreciated the heads up.

For a lot of the foodies I deal with, factory tours can be involved as part of the interview process, so it goes without saying that jewellery and nail varnish can’t be worn but please plan your outfit. Don’t rely on a clean shirt and polished shoes to be waiting for you the moment you need to get dressed. Think about the weather, think about the culture of the business and if you’re not sure, ask. I once didn’t plan and as I sat there at a final interview with an MD and Head of Commercial, I could feel myself getting warmer & warmer, thinking “Oh no, a sweat-tash is not a good look for an interview” and the MD must have read my mind, that or he was thinking the same about my “sweat-tash” or his, and he jumped up and put the air con on. Phew, panic over, I could focus again on the conversation. I’m also the girl who got changed in a multi-storey carpark as I’d have an interview on a Friday morning and I was heading back into the office which was dress down Friday. I hoped to goodness that CCTV was busy focusing on something else that day!

What to wear at an interview should be part of your preparation for the interview. Showing that you care and that you plan ahead can only be a positive thing so make it part of your checklist when preparing for an interview. And what happened to the candidate who turned up in short, t-shirt and flipflops? He was offered the job after he went back in for a 2nd “formal” interview and 2 years later he’s still there.

Email: jo@winhurstrecruitment.co.uk

Tel: 0115 972 6513

@winhurstrec