Suits you sir – what should I wear to my forthcoming interview?

By Liam Horan, Career Coach & Managing Director, Sli Nua Careers, Ballinrobe

Q: Interviews have not really been my thing. I got a job in a garage after leaving school 33 years ago and for those 33 years I never wrote a CV, and apart from funerals, weddings, the Debs Ball and my daughter’s graduation, I don’t think I have ever worn a suit. Unless you count a boiler suit. I went from job to job on word of mouth.

Liam Horan
Liam Horan, BALLINROBE Tel: 094 95 42965

Recently I applied for a job as a parts manager in a big agricultural repair place. My daughter threw a CV together for me and she must have done a good job because I have been called to interview. She’s saying I have to wear a suit to the interview. I’m digging the heels in. Would you act as an honest broker – though, by the cut of your jib in your photo, I don’t think you spent too many days in a boiler suit yourself. (DH, email).

A: Flattery will get you everywhere, DH.

You’re right, I’m a townie, and real townies don’t wear boiler suits.

For a while, when Dexys Midnight Runners were all the go (it sounds like you’re around the stamp as myself so you will remember them, I’m sure) townies flirted with dungarees, a first cousin of the boiler suit, but we came to our senses again.

At the risk of going against the man of the house, I’m with your daughter on this one. This is a professional engagement: the ‘tin of fruit’ is the man for it. Close the top button on the shirt and sit the tie neatly against it. Make sure the shirt isn’t too tight, by the way: road-test it a few days beforehand in case you have to make a visit to Louis Copeland for a replacement.

You won’t regret dressing up: you might regret dressing down. We don’t know how far we have to go with this, but make sure to scrub up well on the day: we wouldn’t recommend going straight from garage to suit without a pit stop in the shower and at the sink.

When you get the job, you can revert to your preferred dress code.


Liam Horan is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers Ltd. You can read more blogs from Sli Nua Careers coaches HERE, and make a booking for CV Preparation and Interview Training.