Interviews: dressing on budget for the entrepreneurial student

Time and money never seem to be on your side as a student. It can be difficult to decide what to wear for an interview without breaking the bank. As you’ll be wanting to flaunt your independent attitude to business, you’ll need a look to match, but this can often be hard when your funds are limited.

Like most, students can often exude charm and confidence at the flick of a switch, but it’s important to match your interview attire appropriately to your personality. With this in mind, your clothing should be stylistically personal, but traditionally applicable to the office or business environment.

If you’re wanting an interview outfit with an eccentric interview flare, Noose & Monkey have put together this guide to help you nail the look and get the job.

business dress

Prepare for your interview, but also prepare to look the part

Although it would suit your bank balance to attend an interview in jeans and trainers, no matter how entrepreneurially driven you are, there’s no pulling off this look in an interview. There are, however, ways around this if you think smart. Is there a pair of black trousers that have sat at the back of your wardrobe since you started uni? Or do you have relatives or friends that you can borrow from for the day?

You’ll actually have to take into consideration the type of job you’re applying for and the business working environment that you’ll be entering. Brand identity is an important factor that will influence your look, so look on company webpages to see whether you can take influence from any particular marketing or identity factors they utilise within their campaigns. Some businesses will require you to wear a full suit, but if brand identity reveals a more casual aspect of the business, then simply wearing a pair of trousers and a shirt may be more applicable.

Haircuts are cheaper than suits

Even though the most politically correct of us will disagree, looks are important, and they usually count towards an employer’s first impressions of an interviewee. If you’ve got an old suit and you can’t afford to buy a new one, then pay for a haircut that will really sharpen up the appearance of your overall look; after all, it’s cheaper than paying £120 for a new suit.

business dress

The suit always sticks

Suits are always a reliable way of making sure you look on point for your interview, irregardless of whether or not the business is slightly more forward-thinking in terms of its culture and outlook. Whether it’s a grey or navy suit doesn’t matter, it’s all about how it feels and fits. Go for a slimmer fit tailored suit to create a smart yet stylish look. Always make sure that you’re comfortable in the suit you’re wearing. If you’re not, your ability to converse with interviewers is going to be compromised. To add entrepreneurial flare to your outfit, incorporate a waistcoat into your suited outfit to really make a lasting impression on whoever interviews you. Remember, never wear anything that isn’t you. Don’t try too hard; be yourself and wear what you would wear for you own comfort.

Ensure that the shoes are as good as the outfit

More often than not, many people going to an interview seem to think that their shoes are the least important part of their outfit, but they’re wrong. Nine times out of ten shoes will be the deciding factor between whether an outfit is fairly decent or a classic. Black shoes go well with black, and brown shoes go well with navy or grey trousers. Shoes should always be shined and match the suit or outfit. For example, a slim fit navy suit would require a brown brogue, whereas skinny black trousers would look better with a Chelsea boot.

Sockless looks are also a good way of adding a memorable dimension to your outfit; for example, you could wear a brogue with rolled chinos at the ankle. Or alternatively, a derby shoe could be worn if you want to mix traditional etiquette with modern day fashion chic.

If you have an interview upcoming, good luck, and remember that you’ll look great. Make sure your outfit matches your personality and keep in mind that confidence is key. You don’t always have to look like you’ve spent a fortune to pay for your outfit, but if your outfit is thought out and suits you, you can never go wrong.

Originally written by: Andrew Mills