How to Dress to an Interview

In your preparation for that great interview, you definitely don’t want to mess up the first impression because that first impression will determine how the hiring manager or the interviewing panel reacts to you emotionally. It is not uncommon in most interviews to find the differences in dressing being the make or break factor between two very qualified candidates. It is therefore always imperative that you look smart and dress for success in every interview you go to. With men’s fashion being relatively straightforward, it is easy to come up with an interview outfit that is stylish, tasteful and at the same time professional looking. Some simple helpful basics to keep in mind are included in this gentleman guide on how to dress for an interview.

The Suit
A suit is the most professional attire for an interview and this is not the time to experiment with bright colors as much as a certain bright colored suit sets off your eyes or hair. Leave the bright colored suits for showbiz, and stick to a dark colored suit which could be either black, gray, or navy. Stick with solid colors or subtle patterns. Wear the right size which should fit well and visit a tailor if need be, to make any necessary adjustments. You definitely don’t want to come off as sloppy by wearing a suit that is a size too large or too small. Of course ensure that your suit is wrinkle-free.

The Tie
You will do best with a blue or red tie which is usually the standard professional tie, but with ties you can experiment with colors and still maintain that professional look. You can opt for brighter or patterned ties, but be careful and ensure that your tie isn’t too boldly patterned or colored that it becomes distracting. A stripped or patterned tie can work well and so would a purple, white or pink one. Remember to tie it well, because wearing a tie wrongly will no doubt give you that sloppy look.
suit-and-tieThe Shirt
When it comes to the shirt, stick to the classic white and you won’t fail. Ensure that your white shirt is clean and ironed. Wrinkled shirts are a no-no and believe it, the hiring manager will notice if you haven’t ironed the one you are wearing. Not ironing will give the impression that you haven’t put in your best efforts to look impeccably neat and aren’t taking the interview as seriously as you should.

The Shoes
Make sure your shoes are shined and that their color blends well with your suit’s color. Wear black shoes, they go well with most outfits. However, if you really want to stick to the interview dressing rules down to the dot, consider wearing black shoes when wearing a gray or a black suit. Brown shoes will also work well when worn with a navy suit. Of course stick to dark colored socks and you will never go wrong.
shoesThe Watch
This very important accessory should be part of your outfit. Cheap-looking watches of the plastic variety won’t do, and you still don’t need to break the bank to get a good gold or silver watch to complete your outfit. You can get fair-priced ones that are great looking. Anything else that looks colorful or has cartoon characters shouldn’t even be considered.

The Belt
Choose a professional looking belt that will not attract any unnecessary attention. Belts with big buckles are an absolute no! Choose a belt that matches your shoes, so it should either be black or brown and fitting you well. By fitting it means, no part of the belt should be hanging by the side.

The Grooming
Don’t get the attire right and fail when it comes to grooming. Showing up in an interview with last week’s stubble, you hair unkempt, your nails dirty and signs of last night’s party still in your eyes is not advisable and will make the hiring manager decide immediately that they don’t want you on their workforce. Look at the little details and work on them, the interviewer will definitely appreciate your great effort to look your best and actually want to listen to everything you say on the interview.

Keep This In Mind
Always remember this when dressing up for that interview. You are not getting that job by dressing well but rather you are making sure that your presentation of yourself is flawless. Remember the interviewer can decide in 10 seconds if they want you in their workforce or not. You will therefore increase your chances by dressing impeccably and not unintentionally disqualifying yourself by dressing all wrong.

Dress Better Than The Job Dress Code
It is a general rule that you dress one or two levels higher than that job you are being interviewed for. If you are going for mechanic job interview you will of course not show up overalls as much as that is the way you will be dressing for work. Dress in nice and clean professional looking clothes and you will not only make a better impression, but it will show how respectful of the job you are. By dressing a notch or two above what the standard apparel for the job is, you are not only showing how much you care for the position but how well-versed a player in the game, you are.

Some will say that dressing for an interview and not doing so everyday after getting the job is pointless. However, that is a wrong attitude because if you are applying for the job, why make a bad first impression to your future employer? Remember that very few interviewers will forgive bad dressing.

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