Angharad Warren
Angharad Warren
Associate Director: Private Practice

Articles From the Team

What should I wear to a legal interview?

In so far as interviews go, particularly in the legal profession, 'business casual' does not apply.  First impressions count and the importance of making a good one cannot be underestimated.

Whilst smart trousers and a buttoned down shirt or a wrap dress might be acceptable office wear at many firms on a day to day basis, you should always turn up to an interview reflecting your most professional self (regardless of whether it's 'Dress Down Friday' at the firm you're interviewing with!).

It would be hard to overdress for an interview, a suit is always acceptable interview attire and your safest bet.  It shows you take the opportunity seriously and it's professionally appropriate for solicitors.

Although you would imagine such basic advice goes without saying, it's staggering how much negative feedback we receive from interviewers based on candidate appearance alone. 

Here are a few snippets of past feedback received from firms...

'She turned up in a crumpled suit!'

'He wore brown shoes!  The partners were horrified.'

'We wouldn't usually comment but he had particularly bad body odour.  It wouldn't be fair to others.'

'He had way too much gel in his hair.'

'She had too many piercings.'

'Her tattoos were too visible.  We don't feel it would portray the right image of the firm to clients.'

'Her shoes were scuffed.'

'She wasn't corporate enough in her appearance.'

'He kept a scruffy looking jacket on for the whole interview.'

'He played with his keys throughout.'

'He put a bottle of water and his mobile phone on the desk.'

'She had too much makeup on/she didn't have any makeup on' (you can't win!)

'Her hair was a mess.'

'He hadn't shaved.' (I've never had a firm take issue with a neatly trimmed beard).

Whilst none of this feedback is relevant to how well someone can perform a job, it's important to realise that appearances are important and rightly or wrongly you will be judged on yours.  I know this would horrify certain artist/musician friends of mine but if you've made the decision to enter the legal profession, it would be wise to play by the rules when it comes to how you present yourself!

For more information contact Angharad Warren at BCL Legal.

 

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