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    • invisibility
    • By invisibility 7th Jan 18, 1:14 PM
    • 36Posts
    • 12Thanks
    invisibility
    Civil service interview attire (female)
    • #1
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:14 PM
    Civil service interview attire (female) 7th Jan 18 at 1:14 PM
    I'm a former teacher and have a couple of outfits I normally use for job interviews. They are sort of collared spotty/floral dresses that I pair with heels and a blazer.

    This civil service interview I've got coming up on Wednesday is making me feel I need a more formal outfit. Whilst my standard interview outfits look formal, they aren't business formal, not like a pant suit or pencil skirt look. Problem is I am plus size and I tried on some formal pencil dresses/skirt blazer suits yesterday and they make me look huge and cling in all the wrong places.

    How formal should my outfit be? Do my standard ones sound okay? I'm panicking because I'm really struggling to find anything else to suit my shape

    I guess I'm feel unsure all of a sudden because the civil service interview is probably the most "serious" one I've had. It's rare for a female teacher to wear a really formal suit so I never felt the need to wear one at interview. I dont know if im worrying for nothing though.
Page 1
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 3,426 Thanks
    BorisThomson
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    What level is it far? HEO or lower and you'll be absolutely fine, more senior I would wear a suit. Trousers are fine either way.
    • keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • By keepcalmandstayoutofdebt 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • 3,246 Posts
    • 1,700 Thanks
    keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    As smart as can be.

    If I can link interview guidance I had given to me under a council I will.
    But I think it was a PDF there was an attachment in the interview confirmation - I just remember the guidance saying buff your shoes and put your very best attire on kind of thing.

    ETA Sorry is a PDF which reads "Think carefully about what to wear, always dress smartly for an interview as the importance of first impressions cannot be overstated. Get your best suit out and polish your shoes! Please make sure you look both smart and professional"
    Last edited by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt; 07-01-2018 at 1:59 PM. Reason: .
    "If you are caught in a rainstorm, once you accept that you'll receive a soaking, the only thing left to do is enjoy the walk"
    • invisibility
    • By invisibility 7th Jan 18, 1:58 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    invisibility
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:58 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Jan 18, 1:58 PM
    Thanks for replies.
    As smart as can be.

    If I can link interview guidance I had given to me under a council I will.
    But I think it was a PDF there was an attachment in the interview confirmation - I just remember the guidance saying buff your shoes and put your very best attire on kind of thing.
    Originally posted by keepcalmandstayoutofdebt
    Yeah that doesn't surprise me. I'll ask for some opinions on how formal my outfits are. I may be overthinking it.

    What level is it far? HEO or lower and you'll be absolutely fine, more senior I would wear a suit. Trousers are fine either way.
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    It's EO. Thanks for your reply.
    • BorisThomson
    • By BorisThomson 7th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
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    BorisThomson
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    Thanks for replies.

    Yeah that doesn't surprise me. I'll ask for some opinions on how formal my outfits are. I may be overthinking it.



    It's EO. Thanks for your reply.
    Originally posted by invisibility
    In that case, you could turn up in jeans and it wouldn't matter (although I'm not suggesting that you do!). You'll be assessed entirely on what you say - how you answer the competencies - and how you look or what you wear is irrelevant.

    The civil service is generally very relaxed about attire, for interviews and in work. They won't notice or care whether your shoes have been buffed Focus on preparing some excellent competency examples, that's what will get you the job. Good luck!
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 7th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • 5,032 Posts
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    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:00 PM
    In that case, you could turn up in jeans and it wouldn't matter (although I'm not suggesting that you do!).
    Originally posted by BorisThomson
    As jeans were on the 'banned' list where I worked I wouldn't recommend wearing them to interview. The type of clothing mentioned in the OP would be perfectly acceptable though. No need for a suit at EO level.
    • laura8417
    • By laura8417 7th Jan 18, 3:07 PM
    • 237 Posts
    • 531 Thanks
    laura8417
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:07 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:07 PM
    I had an internal EO interview back in July and I wore a blouse and trousers with a quite loud flowery pattern. As whats been said before, it is mainly about what you say rather than your attire, although if I had turned up in what I normally wear to work I'm sure that wouldn't have been looked on favourably and would have probably been part of the feedback. I wasn't wearing a suit jacket/pencil skirt anything like that, and I did get the job
    Good luck
    I Miss You Dad 1948 - 2016
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 7th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • 2,881 Posts
    • 4,104 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Jan 18, 3:37 PM
    When Mr S had his Civil Service interview (EO Tech) he wore his best suit and dress shoes.

    10 minutes before his interview he rang me in a panic - seems when he got out of the car his shoe soles not only crumbled, but both heels fell off!

    There was no way I could get another pair of shoes to him in time, so I just told him to wing it. It must have been a good omen, because he got the job.
    • bouicca21
    • By bouicca21 7th Jan 18, 10:56 PM
    • 3,696 Posts
    • 5,556 Thanks
    bouicca21
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:56 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Jan 18, 10:56 PM
    You don't need to power dress for an EO interview. Smart but comfortable.
    • marlot
    • By marlot 8th Jan 18, 8:14 AM
    • 3,499 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    marlot
    ...
    It's EO. Thanks for your reply.
    Originally posted by invisibility
    It may well be a competency based interview.

    The job spec should say which competencies will be relevant (there are 10 in total).

    Think of some good examples of when you've demonstrated the competencies. If you have a poor memory write them down.

    Good luck!

    I do lots of EO interviews. Dress doesn't matter unless its inappropriate. I'd be a bit surprised if someone turned up in jeans and a T shirt, but it wouldn't affect their scoring.
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 8th Jan 18, 8:47 AM
    • 1,061 Posts
    • 1,302 Thanks
    enjoyyourshoes
    Competencies:-

    Say what YOU did
    Skills you used linked to competency
    What the outcome was
    What you would do differently
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • TBagpuss
    • By TBagpuss 8th Jan 18, 12:15 PM
    • 6,570 Posts
    • 8,539 Thanks
    TBagpuss
    It sounds like you will be fine for this interview. Hopefully you will get the job so the question won't arise again for a bit, but if it does, a dark, plainish dress plus a jacket or blazer looks more 'formal' than a floral or patterned dress, so you can dress in something which looks good on you and is more formal!
    • invisibility
    • By invisibility 9th Jan 18, 2:11 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    invisibility
    Thanks all, I've got my outfit down.

    It is competency based so I've been prepping like crazy.
    • Silvertabby
    • By Silvertabby 10th Jan 18, 1:16 PM
    • 2,881 Posts
    • 4,104 Thanks
    Silvertabby
    If you are going to wear a dress/skirt be sure to pop a spare pair of tights in your bag.

    Good luck !
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