Many clients referred to us may have experienced long-term unemployment, have a history of ex-offending, drug abuse, homelessness, poverty and many other life challenges. This results in low self-esteem and confidence that becomes a barrier to finding employment. Looking and feeling the part for an interview is a step towards succeeding in finding that crucial job and getting their life back on track...
Niall from Aston was referred to Suited for Success through a Birmingham job centre. After 10 years in and out of prison and a history of non-violent criminal offences he’s now ready to get a job but felt not having any interview clothes was a barrier.
He said: “ Over the years I’ve been done for burglary, shoplitting, car theft all petty non-violent crime; I just got sick of wasting my life away in a prison cell.”
Now working hard to find employment, Niall had a chance to attend a job interview and asked the job centre if they could help him with interview clothes but was told the job centre can only provide clothes once he has started a job.
Disappointed, Niall still turned up to the job interview wearing his tracksuit and trainers but was turned away at the door because of the way he was dressed, explaining how that made him feel he said he felt disheartened and belittled.
Really angry about his job interview experience he returned to the job centre and expressed his frustrations: “I kicked off at the job centre and the manager was called, I explained that I was angry because I needed appropriate job interview clothes and nobody was helping me”.
"It's like looking at a different person"
Niall was then referred for an appointment at Suited for Success. Dressed by one of our male volunteers he was given a complete interview suit including shoes and accessories. While being dressed he explained that he had never had a job interview before, never worn a suit and not even worn a smart pair of shoes. He even commented on how strange it was to hear his shoes walking across the wooden floor.
Looking at himself in the changing room mirror he commented on how he could now see what the employer saw when he turned up for that interview in a track suit and trainers: "It just doesn’t look like me, it’s like looking at a different person. I feel better in myself and hopefully it will give me a lift and help me progress. I want to progress in life and without the help from Suited for Success it would have been a big struggle. I won’t be rocking up to an interview in a tracksuit now”.
Getting emotional Adam continued: “I don’t look like my past, my past is my past and my future is now in front of me.”
Listen to Niall talk about his experience...