5 Top Tips: What should designers wear during a creative interview
Striking the right balance between corporate and casual for a creative interview in design or architecture can often be tough. On the one hand you don’t want to get it completely wrong and turn up like a stiff in a formal suit, however, you also don’t want to be turning up wearing some beaten-up old trainers with scruffy hair!
Dress for the company as much as yourself. We designers are so visual, so it’s important to fit the tribe and make an impression the moment you walk into the design practice. Having met with thousands of designers and varied design firms from around London, we have realised that you must dress for the individual role. Here are our top tips on how to dress for a creative job interview.
Top tip is to visit the company’s ‘about page’
Most design companies will have an About Page – this will give you an idea of what the practice is about. Hopefully, there will be images of the studio’s staff or offices, which can give you a picture of how the staff dress day-to-day. If there aren’t any images, then try a Google search – this should serve you with images of design projects, press or staff members and will hopefully be able to give you an idea. If all else fails, take a look at LinkedIn! If your interviewer has a stiff headshot, then err on the edge of smart, if it’s a colourful styled shot, then incorporate some colour and pattern into your outfit. Whatever you do, make sure you research everything you need to know before an interview.
Pick your clothes like you would a design scheme
When preparing for a design interview, think about how your clothes work together. Consider the colour palette, whether the patterns clash, if the fabrics work together. Designers will look and love that your watch matches your socks… weird, but it’s the small details that count, and designers will be looking at those details! Most employers will want or need their staff to be seen by a client at some point, so make sure your clothes are clean, ironed if needed and you are comfortable in your outfit.
Show your body art?
At HAUS, our opinion (as we said on Radio one back in 2016) is that tattoos shouldn’t make a difference to the interview selection. It should be your skills, personality and portfolio that should secure you the job. However, you aren’t interviewing for Haus! When interviewing for a design practice, be considerate of your body art. Wearing a vest with a full tattooed sleeve on show probably isn’t the best idea. Consider being respectful and hiding your inked skin until you know they are comfortable with the idea of tattoos. Having said that, tattoos are very interesting and can be a conversation topic. Judge whether the interviewer would be open to chatting about your tattoos. At HAUS we hired an applicant as they had a great triangle tattoo… it really depends on the company!
Let your personality out in your clothes choice
Obviously, your portfolio will do most of the talking but show your culture, personality, life and fun in your clothes. You don’t just want to be another candidate in a white shirt and jeans. Try and add something personable and individual to your outfit so that the interviewer will remember you. Stand out from the crowd with your individual style.
If in doubt, wear black…
Designers love black… it’s simple, classic, elegant and you can’t go wrong.
For more advice on how to dress for a creative interview, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 800 1454.