“You never get a second chance at a first impression.” The sages of suave have said it countless times, and that’s because it’s true. Every man wants to look his sharpest when presenting himself for the first time, but how do you make sure you don’t underdress – or even overdress? The times, they are a-changin’, and many men are surprised to learn that the long-unquestioned suit and tie approach is not appropriate in all cases. While way better than underdressing, yes, it is possible to overdress. Make sure you follow the interview dress code.
The key to selecting a successful outfit is the same as succeeding in the interview itself: preparation.
Do Your Research
No matter how stellar your resume is, if you’re unprepared on interview day, you might as well not show up. Nine times out of ten you’d be walking out the door without so much as a sliver of hope of getting an email back. Each company has its own personality, and this will determine how you dress for the interview. Before you pick an outfit, spend some time browsing the company’s website and social media pages to get an idea of what it’s office culture might be like.
If you’re uneasy relying solely on the Internet, it’s perfectly fine to call the company’s front desk or Human Resources Department of the company and ask them about their interview dress code.
Match, Don’t Mix
The type of position and company you are interviewing for should tell you how you should dress. Business-professional should be the standard for a high-paying, high-prestige job at an established, well-respected company. This means rocking a tailored power suit. You want to show your interviewer that you take yourself as seriously as he takes his company.
Now, let’s say you’re interviewing for a down-to-earth tech start-up. The office environment might be a lot more laid back, and the power suit could make you look out of place. Companies like these are often experimental, innovative, and unorthodox – and you wouldn’t want your interviewer to think you take yourself too seriously! Ease up on the formality, and try a looser fitting casual suit. Remember, you want your outfit to match the energy and overall feel of the company.
In the days leading up to your interview, make sure your clothing options are cleaned and ironed. It doesn’t matter how well you dress if your clothes are wrinkly or dirty. It will send the signal that you lack attention to detail.
Make sure that you are properly groomed and hygienic. Maintain an appropriate hairstyle, clean up any facial hair, and don’t neglect the little details such as fingernails and facial blemishes.
Invest In A Few Outfits
When looking for employment, chances are you will have more than one interview scheduled in a tight window. This means that in between days of interviewing, you may need to switch things up. It’s worth investing in a few suits that range from professional to more casual. Remember, this is an investment – not only will your outfits help you land the job, but they’ll also become part of your daily work wardrobe.
When purchasing outfits, it is important to keep comfort and fit in mind. We suggest you get everything tailored and fitted. Not only will this make it easier to wear, but you will also avoid the loose and baggy look. If you wear an outfit that is half a size to a whole size off, you will look scruffy and disorganized.
The same thing goes for shoes. Invest in a few pairs that are comfortable, but also durable. You don’t want your shoes to lose its shine or have the leather peel.
Male Accessories for the Interview Dress Code
For men, accessories for an interview are rather simple. Normally, the interview dress code allows a watch, and even rings are appropriate. However, make sure that your jewelry isn’t too flashy. You want the attention on you and what you have to say, not your gold pieces.
Try It Out
After you’ve bought or selected what you want to wear, give it a test run. Practice your interview responses in the full outfit. There are things that we may not notice until the anxiety and nervousness kick in. A shirt collar that was perfectly fine before could start to distract you and make you uncomfortable.