How to look the part at a job interview

Not sure what to wear to that all important training contract interview? To the rescue comes Shoosmiths graduate recruitment manager Claire Lewis with some top tips on interview style.

Miniskirts and plunging necklines may be in fashion at the moment, but Lewis recommends that female candidates stick to ironed shirts and skirts of a sensible length. She adds: &#34Make sure you have suitable footwear that will stand you in good stead for whatever may befall you, rather than opting for high fashion.&#34

And as Shoosmiths&#39 assessment days often involve an outdoor challenge, such as building a bridge across an imaginary lake on the firm&#39s tennis court, applicants are advised to take account of the &#39smart-casual&#39 dress code mentioned on the letter of invitation.

&#34Smart-casual means shirts and trousers for the lads and blouse/top and skirt or trousers for ladies, rather than a suit,&#34 explains Lewis, adding that the dress code is meant to convey the firm&#39s friendly approach.

Another general tip for girls is not to wear too much &#45 or indeed too little &#45 make-up, while boys should not go overboard on the hair-styling products.

Yet while appearance is extremely important, Lewis stresses that a dirty shoe or overpowdered face will not necessarily count against you when it comes to deciding who gets offered a training contract.

&#34Performance is everything, [but] candidates could be making it harder for themselves if they turn up to interview and don&#39t create a favourable first impression by wearing appropriate dress,&#34 says Lewis. &#34Candidates [should] think about the image they&#39re creating and the image they&#39d like to present to a future employer.&#34