This is it – the most important interview of your life. But do you know how to dress for a job interview?
You've only got one chance to make a great impression. Screw this up and you'll come off as unprofessional or downright ignorant – and it could end up costing you thousands of dollars in lost income.
Should you wear a suit? If so – what color? Or should you go casual? And what color shoes should you wear?
Today, I explain how to dress for a job interview.
In this article, you'll find:
Is Appearance Important For A Job Interview?
The first few seconds make up the most significant part of an overall impression when meeting for the first time, either with an interviewer or a fellow person on the street.
The rest of the time in a conversation is usually spent by confirming or discarding the companion's first judgment and rationalizing it.
It can be challenging, sometimes impossible, to overcome a lousy first impression.
There are 8 things men must know about the job interview dress code. That is the purpose of this article, to help you navigate the interview and land the job of your dreams.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #1 Preparation
Find out about the work setting.
Learn about the work atmosphere, premises, and office style that your prospective company uses.
An open-space office means that the company fosters a less formal working style, causing less strict attention paid by interviewers to your attire.
On the other hand, the company about to interview you may have been keeping their traditions for centuries, with respective attributes – conservative dress code, tables of redwood, chairs of expensive leather, etc.
Thus, being interviewed at Google differs from being interviewed at a high-powered law firm.
While in the former case, your appearance can be more relaxed to a certain degree, in the latter, it is probably better to have a classic and more austere look.
Make sure you have proper attire beforehand
It usually takes a while to find a suit that perfectly matches one's body type.
You may try on a dozen suits before you find the right one.
Therefore, it is best to start preparations in advance – a few weeks at least if you plan to buy a suit, or even a month or two should you decide to have your suit custom-tailored for you.
Should you cut your hair for a job interview?
A few days before the scheduled date of the interview, have your hair freshly cut or, at least, trimmed around the neck and ears.
To make sure you have it done right and exactly as you like it, visit a barber that has been cutting your hair for a while already.
Otherwise, you might not be satisfied with the job and become worried about your cut at the interview.
How should your nails be for a job interview?
Ensure your nails are neatly cut and brushed, so they don't look like you have been plumbing or repairing trucks before walking through the door.
Poor nail care gets the wrong kind of attention and loudly speaks for a person's overall untidiness.
How do you smell good in an interview?
A solid scent that isn't the same low-cost gas station fragrance from high school is your best bet when interviewing for a big job.
You'll want to know the scent that best suits you and how to apply it.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #2 The Suit
When deciding how to dress for an interview, the suit is the first thing the interviewer will notice when you walk through the door. Therefore, you want to make sure it sends the right message without being too flashy and distracting from you.
Remember always to follow the Style Pyramid when selecting your suit; Fit, Fabric, and Function.
There is a vast selection of various suit fabrics on the market, and it is essential to choose a proper one. While a blend (usually wool with some synthetic material) is fine, I highly recommended having a suit made of natural fabric such as wool.
Blends keep the price down, but they have more cons than pros – they breathe and wear faster and, in most cases, have less versatility or proper fit.
The most appropriate colors for a job interview and any other highly formal occasion would be navy blue and charcoal.
Black is typically too formal for an interview.
As for the fabric pattern, the best idea is to have a suit of a solid color or with narrow stripes, which will make it reasonably subtle and not too distracting.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #3 The Dress Shirt
Fabric, color, and pattern
While a classic white broadcloth shirt can match almost any suit-tie combination, it is perfect for toning down a bright (striped) suit.
In general, you may want to choose a unique fabric weave (twill or herringbone) in a soft color to spice up and individualize your look, but you shouldn't stray too far from the basic colors.
Again, keep the attention on your face, not your shirt.
What dress shirt collar is best?
You should choose a shirt with a collar according to your face's shape to frame it.
If your face is thin and long, choose a spread collar. The best bet would be a classic point collar for those whose face is round or have a wide-body type.
What cuffs are best on a dress shirt?
Cuffs with one or two buttons are a good selection when deciding how to dress for an interview.
Some interviewers can regard cufflinks as obnoxious, so it is better to avoid wearing them unless you do that all the time and have no shirt with buttons.
Sleeves and cuffs should go right to the top of your hands, with one inch of shirt cuff showing from under your jacket sleeve.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #4 The Neck Tie
Which color tie is best for an interview?
If you consider yourself experienced in tie selection and have a good taste for tie colors, you can try different colors or ties with patterns. However, it is essential to remember that a tie must complement the entire outfit, and the pattern and quality matter.
It is usually best to stick to the basic power colors like red, blue, and yellow.
Can you wear patterns to an interview?
Ties with simple repeating patterns can be good for a job interview as long as those patterns are as simple as possible.
For example, striped ties in certain countries (England, for example) may traditionally represent an association with a particular club (a military club, boys club, school, etc.). Thus, you should make sure that you will not be putting yourself into an awkward situation on a job interview by wearing such a tie.
What kind of fabric is best for a tie?
Although ties made of natural silk can be more expensive, I recommend wearing one of those to a job interview. Synthetic materials tend not to present solid tie knots and can look sloppy and cheap.
What tie knot is best for an interview?
The tie knot you choose will depend on your face, collar type, and skill in tying them. I typically recommend sticking to the classics like the Full and Half-Windsor.
Note: People may caution you that bow ties may be too much for an interview. However, if you feel confident and a bow tie is part of who you are and your style, I say rock it.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #5 The Shoes
There are several different types of men's dress shoes.
However, a pair of black round-toed shoes known as Oxfords, a classic of men's wardrobe, remains the best selection for a job interview.
Such dress shoes come with either closed or open lacing.
It would be best if you avoided slip-ons of any kind.
They are okay for business casual style and also great for traveling, but look unprofessional being worn on formal events and thus unacceptable for a job interview.
The shoes should be neat and well-polished – make it look like you prepared for this!
How To Dress For A Job Interview #6 Socks
Your socks should match the trousers and shoes and possibly be solid and dark in color.
The rule of thumb here is that socks must not draw people's attention.
If and when seen, socks should appear as seamlessly flowing between your slacks and shoes.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #7 The Jewelry
When it comes to jewelry, the main thing to remember is that less is more. Wedding rings, of course, are always acceptable.
Another ring or two is acceptable, especially if it is representative of a relevant fraternity or group.
It is better to keep jewelry at a minimum, especially when you are not aware of the interviewer's particular tastes and standpoint on this issue.
It is not generally smart to sell your car to buy a hand-made Vacheron Constantin with huge diamonds in a dial. Again, the simpler – the better. Just one addition – quality here matters a lot.
Avoid wearing digital, sporty watches and those overwhelmed with various dial plates, huge tachymeters, world time zone plates, etc.
It is better to use a watch with a leather band and a simple face proportionate to your wrist.
How To Dress For A Job Interview #8 Accessories
A belt should be leather and match the color and possibly the quality of the leather on your shoes.
The buckle should be very simple, preferably without any ornament.
Should I bring briefcase to interview?
Should you need to carry a laptop or documents (a resume, references, etc.) with you to an interview, a black quality briefcase or portfolio would be a means of transportation for them.
Avoid backpacks, duffles, or simply carrying a laptop and free stack of paper into any meeting, especially a job interview.
In the end, your goal is to persuade them that you are the right person for the job. You are selling yourself, your skills are the product, and they are the buyers. You are showing that you are a worthy investment. Follow these essentials for how to dress for an interview and you will land your dream job every time.