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What to wear to an interview?

Discussion in 'Design Jobs & Employment Forum:' started by Chris8920, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. Chris8920

    Chris8920 New Member

    I've had a search through old posts and noticed this hasn't really been discussed.

    For graphic design agencies/studios, what would you wear to an interview?

    I usually go better safe than sorry with a suit and to be honest I'm not really sure what the alternative would be. Does anyone wear anything different?
  2. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    As an employer I would expect the person to dress smart, suit/tie or at least shirt/tie. I know lots of agencies are more relaxed and people have felt out of place rocking up in a suit, however, in my experience it is better to be safe than sorry and be overdressed than look like you haven't bothered.
  3. Paul Murray

    Paul Murray Moderator Staff Member

    Yesterday I actually had a chat with a designer who runs a pretty big agency in Manchester about interviews, and he said he'd expect someone to turn up just wearing what they'd wear everyday if they were doing the job. He'd want someone to just be themselves so he can see what they're really like, especially if he's looking to hire them.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  4. Edge

    Edge Active Member

    Actually the simple thing to do in the case of a creative agency is ask.
    Stationery Direct likes this.
  5. @GCarlD

    @GCarlD Well-Known Member

    This is exactly what I was going to say, simply ask what the dress code is. Usually for a design job, they wouldn't expect you to come to work in a suit. Very smart casual should be fine for an interview, I would say though, a nice shirt is a must!
  6. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I have a tendency towards a suit when attending interview.
  7. spottypenguin

    spottypenguin Active Member

    This old quandry still gets me. My gut instinct is to wear a suit and yet I have had the piss ripped out of me by more than a few agencies when I have suited & booted. Similarly when I have tried the middle-ground of shirt/tie and trousers (I find they *are* a big advantage over boxers), I have sometimes felt too casual for an interview. What I tend to do now is scope out the place before I go. If it all looks very smart and a bit serious then suit it is.

    However I have an unexpected interview tomorrow and even though I have worked freelance for the guy before it's a bit of a dilemma. He knows I am generally a hoody & combats kinda guy when I freelance but he has offered me a formal interview so it will have to be a suit. That said I *know* he is going to take the piss out of me wearing a suit.

    Christ, women think they have it tricky!
  8. Chris8920

    Chris8920 New Member

    Haha, I've not had the piss taken out of me but I've definitely felt like maybe I should drop the jacket and tie or something. Good luck with the interview :)

    Thanks for everyone's comments. My main worry is which I've often read people is that people can assume it will make you look overly serious or dull, but I always feel that shouldn't get in the way if you come across enthusiastic and positive in the interview. I guess there is no real answer and the best advise is to judge it yourself and even ask if necessary.
  9. Stationery Direct

    Stationery Direct Administrator Staff Member

    How about shirt/tie/suit jacket with shorts/ of both then :icon_biggrin:
  10. Katedesign

    Katedesign Well-Known Member

    Suits don't have to be boring... clean your shoes though that will impress! (though not too shiny that's just weird)
  11. Dave L

    Dave L Well-Known Member

    Being yourself can still include formal dress at interview however scruffy you are day-to-day. If people on the panel want to have a dig at you for dressing up take it in good humour but suits are still the way to go and no one but the biggest arse can seriously have an issue with the idea that you've done the right thing in opting for formal dress.
  12. stuartluff

    stuartluff New Member

    I've rolled up to an interview fully suited and booted, laptop in one hand and samples in another only to find the company is a one man band working from an old public toilet building on a roundabout. While the guy could obviously sell himself, he made me feel uncomfortable and so I refused the position when he wanted to hire me.

    From experience... wear what YOU feel comfortable in. If they don't like it, they will bring up dress code in the interview. If they don't and you're still unsure ask them yourself. There's no stupid questions, only stupid people because they dont ask questions.
    Corrosive likes this.

    ARRIVALS Well-Known Member

    I think I know that toilet... but good advice.
  14. Mister

    Mister New Member

    Wear what you would wear to work at that place. If it's a proper grown up agency it's highly unlikely they will wear suits. Even when we attend pitches and meetings with large corporations we don't wear full suits and that goes for our business dev team and project managers as well. Sure, they can wear a suit if they want but it's not expected of the industry.

    I am responsible for the hiring and firing of designers at my current agency and in 7 years I only remember 1 guy wearing a suit to an interview. I couldn;t really think about anything else but the suit during the interview. I suppose you could say he left an impression but that impression was that he would't fit in.

    I actually attended an interview myself on Monday. It was for Head of design and customer systems at an agency with 3 studios across the UK. I didn't bother asking the question about clothes. I showed up wearing a T-shirt, jeans, vans, hoodie, about a weeks beard growth on my face and I didn't bother with a portfolio. I got offered the job (still not sure on whether to accept). The way i look at it, if they were suit and tie guys then I wouldn't have fitted in anyway.
  15. DesignTutor

    DesignTutor New Member

    This is a great topic. An often overlooked issue but an important one that is a subtle part of the interview, and as the saying goes – first impressions do count, and as designers it’s an important aspect of self-promotion. Some simple but great replies above and all will help you to decide. I have a good friend that wears a shirt and tie everyday to his graphic design job and I have other friends that wear a t-shirt and jeans. Think of it as a design brief, wear what you are comfortable in and what best fits the environment. Some of the larger companies will state in your interview invitation if it’s business attire or casual. If in doubt, ask and do your research. Mark

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