Dressing for the interview
So, you’ve been applying for jobs and have now been asked to come in for a formal in person
As you go through your closet, you start to find that it can be overwhelming on what to choose to
wear to land you the job. A few basics items to pick from can help you look sharp and stylish.
Like most of life, first impressions are key; so let’s work together to help you make the best one.
Typical men’s fashion works like this: a few solid colors that can work together. White, Black, Blues, Greys, and Browns. Keep a few basic pieces on hand to make that impression look like a million bucks. No need to be flipping through fashion magazines to find the right look. Men’s fashion tends to be straight forward and not change much through a person’s life. Some of those key items are Slacks, Polo shirt, button up shirt, blazers, sweater, tie and shoes. Think about the flexibility of items on how many outfits it can make, rather than statement pieces when you are starting to build your dressy wardrobe.
On to the interview!
A good rule when you're interviewing is to dress slightly nicer than you would expect to as an employee. For example: employees wear polos and dress business casual? Wear a dress shirt, and/or a blazer.
If you’re not familiar with what the dress code looks like for the company you’re going to be interviewing for, the standard is that if it’s a non-professional position, keep it business casual. If it’s a professional position, stick to business formal. If you’re still unsure, find something in between.
Let’s define: Business casual is typically slacks, leather styled shoes and a polo shirt. Professional is a full suit, with a collared button up shirt, tie, and matching accessories (obviously a lot more involved).
One way to dress when you’re unsure is to wear a khaki. The khaki is less harsh looking then a typical dark colored suit. Its formal, but casual enough to make you not look or feel overdressed. If you want to go more towards the business formal, pair it with a tie. Want to look more casual, go with no tie. Don’t have khaki? Switch to navy. Navy is very versatile, timeless and classy.
The most dependable business casual look would be wearing a button-down, layered with a sweater. The sweater should be a more neutral color such as navy, black or brown as they can match different colored button downs. Pair this with khakis, grey pants or even dark wash jeans (of course in an informal work environment only), and you have a stylish outfit. Don’t forget to add a watch and a nice pair of shoes (skip the tennis shoes).
When choosing a button-down shirt for an interview, it should be sophisticated and stylish. If more formal, stick to your classic colors that are plain or have a subdued print such as blue, black, white. If more causal, you have some more flexibility with pattern and color. Let your outfit complement your personality, don’t let it overshadow you.
Let’s talk about the tie. Ties don’t have to be boring but for an interview, you want to avoid one that
is going to be a “novelty” tie or flashy. Stripes and patterns are okay but keep it professional. Put that skull tie back in the closet and save it for the night out on the town. Don’t know how to tie a tie? Check out our partners video at Ronins Corner’s YouTube Channel.
If the interview is for a company that is business formal, you can always stick with the sophisticated black suite, white shirt, and solid color tie classic. You can’t go wrong there. However, your business formal suit can also be more eye-catching and modest like a blue-grey suite with a light blue patterned tie. It adds a bit of urban without sacrificing professionalism. Then there is also a grey suit which is still formal, yet modern. Pair it with a colored tie and your look will be complete.
No matter what the dress code resembles, it’s of upmost importance to dress neat and tidy. Avoid sandals, hats or capes, sweatshirts, shorts, denim, and graphic t-shirts or t-shirts with writing. Make sure to brush your teeth, bathe and style your hair. And always, make sure your outfit is clean. Nothing stained or ripped. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, remember that it’s okay to ask the person scheduling the interview if it will be business casual or business formal.
Good luck on your job search and happy interviewing.
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