I was recently approached by T.M Lewin to undergo a fun, informal interview about workwear and dressing to impress (boardroom style). Having had several interviews recently (and a further few coming up), I thought it would be a great opportunity to brainstorm, in addition to creating some great collaborative content. So, with T.M Lewin asking the questions, here’s what happened.
You are currently working 4 jobs, with managing your blog and uni it must be hectic, how do you cope?!
It is very hectic but I think it helps that I absolutely love blogging, so luckily it never feels like a chore. If I’m feeling unmotivated or tired or worn out, I do have the freedom to take a mini blogging break but it is tough sometimes. I am dipping in and out of lots of different things, as I personally believe it’s better to have your eggs in lots of different baskets (or lots of different projects in this sense of the phase) so that you constantly have things ongoing and you’re not defined by just one thing. I have lots of exciting opportunities on the pipeline though, so I’m excited and equally, very terrified.
Day to day, what does your main job entail?
Unfortunately, starting University meant that I had to leave my main job, which was primarily working with bloggers in the travel PR sector however I still dabble in several bits with that company and enjoy working with them. Essentially, my day revolved around engaging with bloggers, researching what current trends were, maintaining social media, attending briefings, accompanying bloggers on trips in and around London and so on. It was a very exciting job (oh and did I mention, I was able to look at pictures of beautiful destinations all day – not quite as good as being there, but almost) and I’m sad to have left, but hopefully University will bring lots more new and exciting opportunities onto the horizon.
When dressing for work, what is your ‘fail safe’ piece of workwear?’
Definitely a blazer. Even the simplest of outfits can be smartened up by adding a blazer. One of my favourites is a plain black tailored jacket from Principle which is so flattering, yet really comfortable. It has silk lining (adding extra comfort) but looks very formal and on trend at the same time.
What is your favourite interview look?
Interview outfits are so important because they really enable you to make that first ‘great’ impression. I either opt for a fitted print dress (usually in dark red and black, so as to not be too outlandish) and a blazer, or a shirt, patterned tailored trousers, heels and a scarf. I guess it entirely depends on the job in hand but a well put together, well presented outfit (with the right accessories) is going to make so much more of an impression than a simple black two piece suit. You want to sell yourself and stand out from the crowd – and you can do this in more ways than just your qualifications, achievements and personality.
If you had to pick one piece of work wear to make casual, what would it be?
Again, it’s the blazer! I think a smart blazer can look amazing as casual day wear, especially teamed with a pair of jeans and flat shoes. If you are interested in chopping and changing the purpose of your blazer, I’d opt for a brown cotton based one, over a more formal silk/shoulder pads.
Do you think the way you dress affects the way you perform in the workplace, we’d love to hear your thoughts?
Yes and no. I think to some extent how you dress exudes into your mind frame – so if you’re slobbing around in a tracksuit, chances are you’re not going to be in the right mindset to work to the best of your ability – however saying that, for more creative jobs, I think some of the best ideas do come from informal situations – so I guess you never know!
Do you agree with the saying ‘dress for the job you want, not for the job you have?’
Definitely! I once read an article about a very famous news presenter, who dreamed of being in front of the camera but was stuck behind it, as a runner. Despite others on her team slobbing around in jeans and t-shirts (which were probably the most practical outfits for the job, but still) she wore smart, well put together outfits each day – and so when a presenter was late arriving to work, she was chosen as the stand in for the rehearsal – eventually landing her a dream job in TV! A lot of it is revolved around luck and being in the right place at the right time, however if you do the leg work (and dress the part) you will get there eventually.
And finally, any predictions for the summer work wardrobe in 2014?
One of the top trends for this summer is pastels – which is so easy to incorporate into your work wardrobe too. A yellow shift dress or duck egg shirt teamed with a pastel pink bag would be ideal for cool, yet on trend looks. I guarantee pastels (and prints) will be working their way onto the high street very soon.