Getting that interview look right!

So you’ve sent off your CV and cover letter and you’ve got an interview. What next? You have to dress to impress. That all important first impression is priceless says Hannah Smithson, as she reveals tips on how to get that ‘interview look’ perfected.



Avoid messy and outdated styles but rather stick to simple and clean. Get rid of the hair accessories and gigantic flowers but keep your hair out of your face, so your potential new employer can see your eyes and smile stand out.


Keep it natural. Stick to the make-up you’d wear on a regular, day to day basis. Perhaps a natural foundation over a daily moisturiser. Don’t go over the top with eyeliner, and just a small amount of mascara to help you appear wide-eyed and interested. Less is really more.

Dress to impress

Steve Sims, local restaurant manager explained what he likes to see in a potential employee and said: “It depends what job role you’re going for but even so I would expect anyone coming for a formal interview to make an effort. By that I mean being tidy, clean, presentable, clean shaven, and wearing a nice shirt.”

Steve mostly recruits for front of house roles so first impressions are important to him as most of his staff are facing customers every day. He said: “Fashion is not so much of an issue but if someone was stuck in the 60’s for example, I’d struggle employing them.

“Unfortunately, no matter how many qualifications you have, if you come to an interview looking shoddy then you won’t get the job. I would rather employ the chic looking person with less qualification- at least I can train them up but I’m not here to be a fashion guru.”

Pro fashion help

London fashion designer, Nicola Baum, works for Victoria Beckham and recently returned from London, Paris and New York fashion week and advises to always dress up rather than down. “If you’re unsure, go for more”, she says.

“For females she says, “don’t be scared to dress up and wear skirts and dresses – you can get away with it and men can’t so why not. Finally, don’t go dressed like you’re going to a funeral- some colour is ok and shows your personality. You want to be remembered but similarly not for looking like a fire cracker so keep it sensible.”

Spot some of the best dressed Bournemouth locals and see which style suits you:

Colourful – Outreach Officer

Matthew Usher is Bournemouth’s very own Aimhigher co-ordinator for Bournemouth University and Outreach Officer and has conducted many interviews in his time. He wears a simple coloured shirt to work most days and says comfy shoes are the most important thing to remember!

“It’s very important that you are presentable when you come to an interview and it doesn’t have to be the boring black trousers and white shirt- we actually quite like something that shows off your personality.”

“But make sure your shoes are comfortable – there is nothing more annoying than shoes that you have to wear all day that are rubbing at the heels and pinching at the toes.”

Fashionista- Trainee Restaurant Manager

Matteo Arena, orginally from the fashion capital of the world, Milan Italy is training to be a restaurant manager and certainly dresses to impress.

Matteo won the award for ‘Best Dressed’ at the last staff awards at Hot Rocks restaurant on the beach in Bournemouth and says that he spent over £100 on his shoes when he got promoted.

What’s hot for guys? Simple block coloured shirts, skinny ties (depending on how formal your going) and a great pair of comfy shiny shoes to boot.

What’s hot for girls? These girls are going for easy earth coloured dresses with simple suit jackets, opague tights and smart flats.

Stylish- Student Journalist

Gemma Mullin wears a simple green dress teamed with a skinny waste belt and black fitted jacket when out reporting in Bournemouth town centre.

She said: “I feel like I’m dressed up to go on the apprentice today.” But she looks quite the part and certainly very professional from where we’re standing.

Smart- Acting Editor

Charlotte Blake wears a Terrecotta dress and grey suit jacket as her first time as acting editor for her student TV station.

She said: “I feel a little bit like Rebecca Brookes today but I like dressing up as I think I get more work done when I’ve made an effort with how I look.”


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About hannahsmithson

Hi I'm Hannah. I've just graduated from Bournemouth University with a first class honors in Multimedia Journalism and am about to adventure off to the other side of the world to work in the Falkland Islands for FITV. I am excited about my future prospects in Journalism and here is my blog where I document most of my experiences. Please get in touch if you want to chat...

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