How smart should you dress for an interview? How do you make the best first impression? Getting ready for that important job interview is a stressful but important task. You need to look the part if you’re going to convince the interviewer you’re right for the job.
From figuring out how formal to go for your job interview, to making sure your socks match your shoes, here is Mainline Menswear’s ultimate men’s guide to dressing for a job interview.
How Smart Should I Dress for an Interview?
To begin with, we need to figure out how formal you should be for the interview. “Dress for the job you want not the job you have,” is all well and good, but if you dress too fancy for a job with a casual dress code, they might believe you won’t fit in with the office atmosphere and that you have higher expectations than the role they’re offering.
Most companies have an online presence, so be sure to research them (something you should be doing anyway) in order to make an intelligent guess on the dress code.
If this isn’t enough and you’re really not sure, a last resort could be parking outside the office just before start time. You’ll be able to see what their employees wear and follow suit. You should always err on the side of overdressing if you still not comfortable with how fancy to go – after all, it’s better to look overdressed rather than underdressed.
With that sorted, let’s break down the two categories of interview dress code.
What to Wear at A Formal Interview?
Lawyer firms and upper management are examples where formal dress code will be expected. A full suit is the only option to play it safe, and it’s important your suit fits you properly. We’ve already written a blog post to help with this here.
Make sure your suit is smart and clean and opt for neutral colours for ties like blues and blacks. Don’t go for bright, garish colours when you’re going to an interview. You’re meant to be impressing the interviewee with your skills, not with your suit, so keep your outfit simple.
Pay attention to detail when you’re wearing a suit for an interview. Make sure nothing is creased, stained or ill-fitting. We recommend keeping a small grooming kit (a hairbrush, some mints) with you for any last-minute fixes you may need to do.
What to Wear for A Business Casual Interview?
Really, this is as casual as I’d recommend going when it comes to job interviews, even if your work setting has a very lax dress code. Chinos/trousers and a button-up shirt is acceptable for more casual interviews where you know the actual dress code for the job isn’t smart. Just remember to wear a belt and dress shoes still and leave the jeans and trainers at home.
Also, avoid wearing accessories, including earrings or piercings as they could lower the chances of maintaining a professional presentation. Any tattoos should also be hidden from sight of the interviewer as it could pose as a risk for presenting yourself in a professional manner – unless you’re interviewing at a tattoo parlour, in which case this rule does not apply.
As we mentioned earlier, don’t opt for bright-coloured clothing with shades such as red, blue, green and pink being a big no-no. Preferably you would want to wear clothing that is either white, brown or black as they’re professional colours for casual business clothing. Dark colours might also be acceptable for business clothing including dark blue. The good thing about these neutral tones is that they’re all very easy to match.
Extra Interview Tips
Now that your fashion game is on point, the following are some extra tips to guarantee a successful interview and to impress the interviewer:
– Maintain good hygiene – brushing your teeth and cleaning yourself on a regular basis.
– Do NOT chew gum during the interview as this could show a lack of respect towards the interviewer.
– Maintain a confident tone of voice and body language – this will give the interview a better impression. Sit back in your chair and try to feel relaxed, don’t perch on the end hunched over.
– Consider questions that the interviewer is likely to ask you – this can be done by researching the company and the role you are applying for.
– Be prepared to discuss your previous work experience or work related to the role and any times you have worked in a team – the interviewer is likely to ask you this, so prep your answers beforehand so you can explain why you’d be a good fit to the business with ease.
– Prepare yourself with one question you’d like to ask the interviewee. They will always ask if you have any questions at the end of an interview, surprise them with your interest and stand out from the other candidates by actually having a question ready. Such as: “what is the company’s five-year goal?” Or “what skill would you consider important for the role in question?” This gives you another chance to prove yourself.
We hope you found these tips useful and good luck with your upcoming interview!