What We Do

Our highly successful, two hour core dressing and interview preparation service achieves consistently high levels of success for our clients, and is at the heart of everything we do.

In the dressing session, with the advice and expertise of our volunteer stylists, each client is offered an excellent selection of high quality clothing to wear for their interview.  The clothes we choose to wear have a huge impact on how we are perceived by others, particularly when meeting people for the first time. Selecting what to wear for a job interview is a critical element of our non-verbal communication, and can be a huge influence on the interviewer when they are making a decision on whom to employ.

We make sure that our clients look fabulous, feel comfortable in the clothes they have chosen, and that they have everything they need, from a winter coat to a pair of tights.

Following the dressing session, our highly skilled volunteer interview coaches work one-to-one with each client in a compassionate and supportive way.  The interview session focuses on increasing the awareness of her own strengths, answering questions effectively and understanding what is expected of them at interview.

Our interview volunteers are all senior managers, HR professional or executive coaches and in a focused session, ahead of a job interview, can have a significant impact on our clients.

When a Smart Works client gets a job, we want them to start their new role with a full working wardrobe. So clients can come back and see us for more clothing to see them through to their first pay cheque.

Then when they re-enter the workplace, our clients are encouraged to join the Smart Works Network meeting every month to further their professional and personal development, helping and motivating each other to continue to succeed.

Over 95% of our clients reported that a visit to Smart Works significantly increased their confidence in succeeding at their job interview.

Case studies

Tina Singh

Tina came to visit Smart Works for the first time in September 2015 and was successful in securing a role as a catering assistant in early October.

I had no smart clothes to wear for interviews and my confidence was at an all time low when I was referred to Smart Works in September.

The dressers at Smart Works made me look super sharp for my interview.  They were so kind and friendly; they knew how to dress me and gave me lots of styling advice.  They really were experts.

The interview techniques and tips I learnt during the interview coaching was also so very useful, and really helped me prepare for my interview properly.

Everyone at Smart Works made me feel worthy.  They really built up my confidence and I would recommend the service to anyone.”

Letitia Adu-Sarkodie

Letitia visited Smart Works in April 2015 having applied for over 30 jobs unsuccessfully in the previous 6 months.  Shortly after coming to Smart Works Letitia secured a job at Google in their HR department.

 “Being unemployed for a long time and being unsuccessful in so many applications had really impacted negatively on my sense of self worth and confidence.  I didn’t really believe in myself at interview which I am sure showed, and I know I wasn’t instilling confidence in the people interviewing me.

 Coming to Smart Works gave me a real confidence boost, it was a fantastic experience.

 The Interview session was priceless as it gave me so many good tips on how to answer tricky interview questions.  I really appreciated being able to go through my CV and I learnt how to speak about my skills and experience positively.

 I definitely left with a smile, and to top it all off I survived a very hard three hour interview and got the job!”

Demonstrating our impact

At Smart Works, we place a significant emphasis on being able to demonstrate the impact we are having on our clients.  We have an acclaimed Theory of Change that shows how and why our service is able to help clients succeed at interview. We have also refined our service to be able to follow up with as many clients as possible, and get their feedback on the impact of our service on their journey back to employment.

We were recently awarded a Level 2 validation of our work on the Nesta Standards of Evidence, a recognised framework for demonstrating impact.  This means that we capture data that shows positive change, and can prove that correlation.

“The evaluation gives a strong indication that the Smart Works service effectively increases its clients’ chances of getting a job.”

From "Measuring the impact of Smart Works" by The Social Innovation Partnership, May 2016