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What to wear for a media job interview?

Paul Hatton posted on Monday 12th March 2012 at 20:57

Hi there,

I have an interview with the BBC coming up this week but I am in two minds whether to go with a full suit or something smart casual. The job doesnt involve working in a suit and I’ve heard good arguments for both options. I just wondered what other people thought or if they have had experience in this area?

Thanks, Paul.

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Recommendations: 0
James West
posted

I’d wear a suit. I don’t think you can go wrong turning up for an interview like that. It shows you are taking the process seriously, and treating it and the panel with respect.

I worked for the Beeb for fifteen years and wore a suit for about six months of that. But I wore a suit for almost every board I went to. Occasionally I’d leave the jacket at home, but still went with a shirt and tie.

For the jobs I didn’t get it was never down to my attire.

Recommendations: 0
James West
posted

Oh – and whatever you decide to wear – good luck!

Recommendations: 0
Paul Hatton posted

Hi James,

Thanks for your input; I was steering more towards a suit as it was, however what you describe has convinced me a suit is definetly the way to go.

Thanks for the good luck!

Recommendations: 0
Colin Kelly
posted

Full suit and good luck. Don’t be surprised if some of those interviewing you are more casually dressed, but going all out will make a good impression and show you’re taking it seriously.

Recommendations: 0
Daniel Fox
posted

Definitely a suit. If you get there and it feels wrong, just lose the tie. You’ll still look sharp.

Beyond that, make sure you’ve shaved and look like you’ve been awake for more than an hour!! (Oh – and make sure if it’s new clothes there are no tags hanging out. Been there – it’s not a good look!)

Trust your instinct when you get there.

Break a leg.

Recommendations: 0
Paul Hatton posted

Thanks guys, the interview is tomorrow and I have my suit ready. I appreciate the input/advice and the kind words. Thanks again!

Paul.

Recommendations: 0
James West
posted

Let us know how you get on. And have a question or two ready for the bit at the end when they ask if you’ve got any questions.

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Brian Christopher Winter
posted

I would have said a suit as well. I saw a schools programme a good few years ago now, about careers and getting a job. On that it said if you turned up in a suit there was no danger of making fashion and colour clash mistakes and as has been said, shows you are committed and serious about getting the job. Hope you got it.

Recommendations: 0
James Cridland
posted

In a wider context…

For a job interview, wear a suit or smart business attire. In commercial media, ties are optional. (In the BBC, they’re often not).

Though don’t wear a suit if you’re a student applying for a year’s work experience. You just look silly then. Go looking smart but not as if you’re a) in court, or b) going to a wedding; you look uncomfortable or hot. One of the last students I interviewed turned up in a t-shirt, with artwork of a monster on it; on looking closer, the monster’s willy was out, and he was weeing. “The one with the t-shirt” got the job. I’d not recommend the weeing monster t-shirt though.

As an aside: BBC interviews are all experience based, and generally work along the lines of “So, you say you’re a good communicator. Tell me about a time when these skills came in handy in your current job.” Vital prep for any BBC interview, therefore, is to look through your job application and think of clear relevant examples of each of the skills you claim to have.

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Peter Symonds
posted

If it is a technical position, be prepared to do a written technical test.

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