What to Wear to an Interview

You may have head the expression “Dress for Success”. It is true, dressing in a professional manner will create a good first impression and will set you apart from your competition when applying for a new job. Below are some Interview dress tips that will help jump start your career.

Know the Industry & Job

Before picking out suit, shirt, and tie, think about the Industry and the job you are applying for. Even though it is generally better to over-dress than being too casual, wearing a full suit for a blue collar job might be a little too much of a good thing. The minimum you should be wearing are dressy slacks, a tugged in button up dress shirt, and leather dress shoes.

Classic Job Interview Attire: The Suit & Tie

In most cases the professional look of suit and tie is the best way to make a good first impression during a job interview. Pick a classic dark colored suit that is rather traditional than trendy. Best is the single breasted 2-piece suit in dark charcoal or midnight blue. Patterns such as pin-stripes should be avoided as they might be perceived as a touch too flashy. Make sure that your suit fits you well. The sleeves should have the right lengths, the jacket should hug your torso and have the right fit on the shoulders, and the pants should fit on the waist as well as have the right length. Finally, make sure that your suit is free from wrinkles. If you drive to a job interview, hang the jacket onto a hanger to avoid creases. In case you are travelling by air use a garment bag, and if possible dress up after your arrival. The best dress shirt for a job interview is plain white in color. The shirt should be freshly pressed, clean, and odor free. Best is the classic turn-down collar, and cuffs can either be barrel cuffed or French cuffed – worn with cufflinks instead of buttons.

Then there is the necktie. The tie should set a nice contrast to the suit and shirt, add color, but also should not draw too much attention to itself and away from your face. Excellent tie colors for job interviews are classic and conservative such as navy, burgundy, and light blue. Bright colored ties such as pinks, bright greens, purple, and bright red, should be avoided. Tie your tie so that the tip ends near the center of your belt buckle. The knot you choose should also be matched to the shirt collar. Larger tie knots such as the double Windsor knot look best on wide spread dress shirts, while narrow tie knots, such as the Four in Hand look best on narrow spread collars.

Finally there are the smaller clothing items and other accessories. Your dress shoes should be black in color and freshly polished, and your socks should match the suit. Other accessories such as pocket squares or tie bars are not suggested for job interviews. Again, keep the look classic, conservative, and professional. You do not want to make too much of a fashion statement but rather want to make the impression that you are reliable, competent, respectful, and honest.