How to dress smart casual for an interview

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Scenario: You just landed an interview for your dream job and they specifically asked that you go dressed ‘smart casual’. What does this mean? What should you wear?

Facts: This is an interview no matter what the dress code is. You still need look your best even though you may not need to wear a suit.
Jeans should not be considered for an interview. You can wear jeans once you get the job if the company adopts a smart casual dress code policy, but do not wear Jeans to the interview.

What should you consider wearing?

  • Stick to smart clothing such as a collared shirt with a pencil skirt (knee to slightly above knee length) or a pair of trousers. The trousers could be straight leg, or box, or bootleg. If it is cold weather, wear a cardigan over your shirt. A cardigan is the easiest jumper type to remove inside a central heated office.
  • Or go for a shift dress, (knee to slightly above knee length).
  • Wear a coat over your outfit.
  • Colours: Go for neutral colours like black, grey, beige, navy or brown.

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Navy Hepburn Shift Dress

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Black Pencil Skirt

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Charcoal straight leg trousers

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Black shift dress

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The finishing touches

  • Go for a pair of leather shoes. The shoes could be a pair of heels, or mid heels or a pair of flat shoes like brogues or smart pumps. Remember to clean and polish your shoes before.
  • Hair & makeup: Remember to wear basic makeup with a little bit of perfume. Ensure your nails are clean and cut short to mid length. A light coloured nail polish will look pretty and not attract too much attention. Your hair must be clean and in a neat hairstyle, pulled back or pleated. Show your face. The less hair distractions in front of your face the better for an interview.

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Black leather brogues

Women’s black leather brogues with heel

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Smart Black Wedges

Black combo suede & leather wedges

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Women's Black Leather Smart Shoes

Black leather smart shoes with mid heel

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Black Womens Pumps

Black combo suede & leather pumps

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Go prepared.

Finally, don’t forget to read through the company’s website and social media pages to learn more about them. Check out their competitors. Make notes on any information which is relevant to your potential role in the company. Go over the job description and make notes of how you can help the company. Why are you the best person for the role? Make a list of questions you may want to ask and keep your list handy in your handbag so you can pull it out during the interview. Good luck!