Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently asked questions about Smart Works and the service we provide to unemployed women across the UK.
Where is the clothing donated from?
Approximately 40% of our clothing is brand new and comes from a range of luxury brands and high street retailers such as Hobbs, John Lewis and Evans. We also receive make-up from Bobbi Brown. The other 60% is donated by individuals, companies and various other organisations that run clothing drives for us. All our clothing donations are carefully sorted and steamed before being hung in our dressing room.What clothing will I receive at my Smart Works appointment?
You will receive a complete outfit for your interview that could consist of a suit, shirt, heels and a handbag or a skirt, blouse, jacket, tights and some flat pumps. This outfit is yours to keep and free of charge. When you get a job you can come back to Smart Works for a second appointment and here you will receive an additional five items of clothing for your working wardrobe.Do you offer hair styling and make-overs?
Hair-styling and beauty make-overs are not part of the core Smart Works service, however our expert stylists are always on hand to offer advice around choosing the best interview outfit to suit your needs. Once a month, our long-term supporters at Bobbi Brown, send in their make-up artists to provide interview-appropriate make overs for our clients.Can I come to Smart Works if I have a job but have no suitable clothing?
For women who have not yet secured interviews, we can offer a Career Coaching session with one of our trained volunteers. This will help you to identify next steps in your job search, and give you some guidance on applications. Once you have secured an interview you can make an appointment for our Interview Preparation support, providing you with an additional coaching session and a dressing session in person or virtually.What should I do if I can’t make my appointment or if I’m running late?
If you can’t make your appointment please call and let us know as soon as you can, the more notice the better. If you are running late, again, please call and let us know, however if you are running more than half an hour late we can’t guarantee that you will be seen as we work on an appointment schedule, and do not offer walk-in appointments.Can I bring my family?
We prefer for you to come to Smart Works without your family if possible. This is your time and we want to focus solely on you. Please do speak to your local Smart Works if you have any concerns about this, particularly if you are struggling to find alternative childcare arrangements.Can I bring my pet?
We ask that you do not bring animals to your appointment.Do I need to bring anything with me to my appointment?
If you have an item such as shoes or a jacket that you’d like to wear to your interview you can bring this and our stylists can work around the garment to find the rest of your outfit. For your interview coaching session it’s very helpful if you have the job description for the role you are interviewing for and your CV.Do you pay for travel?
No, we are unable to pay for your travel to the appointment; this is something you need to discuss with your referrer.Do I need to be on job seekers allowance to come to Smart Works?
No, any unemployed woman with an upcoming interview is entitled to our service so you do not need to be on job seekers allowance.Can I call and book an appointment in for Smart Works myself without my referrer?
No, appointments at Smart Works are by referral only. Each local Smart Works works with a large range of referral partners who support women back into work. If you are unsure please call and we will be able to advise you.Can I come to Smart Works to prepare for every interview?
No, the Smart Works service is a one off service to prepare you for your interview. If your last visit to Smart Works was more than two years ago do call and we will be happy to discuss this with you.What do I do if I can’t travel to a Smart Works centre?
Our service is available to women across the UK, regardless of their distance from a Smart Works centre. All our coaching can be done over the phone or via video call by the same trained volunteers who come to our centres, and parcels of workwear can be posted to your home address.