Men have it a lot easier than women when dressing for a job interview. While women have to choose from an array of styles, accessories and shoes, men will nearly always be fine just wearing a suit. Now, most companies will let you know if you should be in business professional or business casual dress for your interview; but if you’re in doubt, the safe route is to overdress.
For business professional interviews in more formal environments, your best bet is to wear a suit and tie. Head to your local tailor and they will hook you up with a standard suit that will last as long as you can fit into it.
Fit is the most important aspect; I cannot say it enough. Dress pants should be slightly fitted and hit an inch above the sole of your shoe. The shoulders of your suit jacket should not be boxy, or stick out beyond your shoulders, and the cuffs should hit right at your wrist. A nicely tailored suit will add a level of professionalism and make you look more competent and mature.
Companies in all industries are starting to adopt a more casual dress code. Now, that doesn't mean just wear jeans and a t-shirt. It means leave the tie and suit jacket at home or in the car.
Some companies are more relaxed than others but the general guidelines are pretty simple: wear dress pants or khakis with a button up dress shirt. The shirt doesn't have to be too fancy since business casual means keeping things simple and comfortable. Shoes should still be nice looking shoes. If you're wearing dress pants stick with your usual dress shoes and if you're wearing khakis you can use a brown leather type shoe with laces.
Keep in mind that dressing professionally means sticking to conservative or subtle colors; so, no big bright pink ties. Make sure to use colors that accent the suit and look like they go together. If your dress shirt is pinstriped, stick with a solid tie. If your dress shirt is plain, you can get away with a pattern, but make sure it is tasteful—unless you want to explain the frogs on your tie. Remember, the color of the belt should always match the color of the shoe. When in doubt, black shoes and a black belt always work.
Tying the Tie
There are a variety of knots to choose from when tying a tie. For example, if you have a long neck try going with a full Windsor knot because it makes your neck look shorter since the tie knot is wider than usual. Another is the narrower half Windsor knot, which can make a short neck look longer. Tie-a-tie.net is a great resource for how-to videos and tips for caring for your ties.
Accessories, Socks & Facial Hair
French cuff shirts and cufflinks are not necessary—they are a bit too fancy and flashy for an entry-level interview. However, feel free to wear a nice watch and have a professional looking pen handy. Also, your dress socks (never wear normal white socks!) usually match your pants and should be pulled up to mid-calf. No one wants to see your bare leg or, heaven forbid, your white socks. Finally, your face doesn’t have to be clean-shaven, but any facial hair should be well-kept.
The bottom line: look polished and professional. Following these simple guidelines will ensure that the interviewer remembers you for what you said, not what you wore.
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