How to Choose a Job Interview Outfit (for Men)
- August 30, 2017
- ExperChat Staff
From preparing your responses to researching background on the organization, a lot of preparation goes into a job interview. One area that demands your full attention is your wardrobe. Sure, your skills, experience, and infectious presence are important. However, a killer suit is the one aspect of your prep that can seal the deal. If you dress well, you’ll make a solid first impression. Here are some guidelines to help you decide what to wear for a job interview.
Rules for Every Environment
Traditional or Conservative EnvironmentIf your big interview is taking place at a place like a law firm or financial institution, it’s safe to say the environment is conservative at best. Workplaces like these are chock-full of suiting purists who avoid trend in favor of the classics. You should follow their lead. Keep your colors muted and neutral—navy blue, black, and charcoal gray are the suitable choices. Your suit’s cut should be modern but not trendy. Go for a slim leg but not skinny. Stick with a one- or two-button jacket. Finally, only wear traditional shoe choices (i.e. the wingtip, oxford). The goal of this look is to prove you’ll have no problem adjusting to the culture.
For business casual environments, usually the more creative industries like publishing and design, you have more freedom. Your day’s work will be less predictable, and the same goes for your interview look. Feel free to wear suiting separates as long as your look is cohesive (i.e. blazer and trousers rooted in the same color family, one piece that stands out more to add contrast). Play with color in your accessory and dress shirt choices. You can even get away with denim for this kind of interview but take caution when going this route. Choose something neutral like indigo blue selvedge. Still stick to classic shoes like the oxford. The key here is to relax your look but not so much that you seem uninterested.
Business Casual Environment
Startups are tricky because they’re less established and don’t abide by a standard set of rules in their everyday business. Therefore, pinning down rules for interview style is difficult. This is a scenario in which your pre-interview research is crucial. Some startups deal with a more seasoned clientele while others are hardly ever customer-facing. To make the right impression, try to find a balance between business casual and casual style.
Dark denim, a dress shirt, and a blazer or cardigan work as a great combo. Or keep it simple with a pair of dark, slim chinos and a white dress shirt. Trade in your traditional shoes for low-top, canvas sneakers, but make sure they’re clean—impeccably so. You want your look to show that you’re up for the unpredictability of the startup world, and that you’re not tied to the structured ways of corporate culture.
Like your résumé, references, and skills, your interview outfit plays a huge part in whether you get the job. Make sure you spend time building the perfect look to land the role of your dreams.
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