By Ruoro Kairu
Dressing right for an interview can be stressful. Should you always wear a suit? Are jeans ever okay? Must you wear a tie every time?
While attending an interview, you want to make the best impression from when you walk in for the interview. The interviewer will start analyzing you from how you’ll have dressed. To make the right first impression, you’ll need to dress the part.
Depending on the job level and type you’re interviewing for, you’ll likely dress in business formal or business casual.
Regardless of the job you’re interviewing for, you should steer away from clothes that are can distract the interviewer – too loose, too tight, too old or just offensive.
Here are some tips for what men should wear to interviews.
What are some of the appropriate interview clothes?
Black, gray, navy and official pants are always an acceptable choice. White shirts are universally acceptable, but in some instances, you can get away shades of different colors, such as blue.
When it comes to ties, you should keep away from anything too loud or outrageous.
What is business formal and business casual?
Business formal: Basically, this is either a two or three-piece suit with a tie. For this, you should stick to professionally acceptable colors – black, gray or navy, and a solid-colored tie.
Business casual: This is less formal dressing that you can incorporate more into. You can, for instance, wear a formal shirt and tie with a light solid-colored sweater.
Regardless of how casual the interview is, try and keep away from jeans, shirts, torn clothing, and clothes with graphics, writings or prints.
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When accessorizing, keep it as minimal as you can. Watches are generally acceptable, but chains, bangles, and bracelets are largely unacceptable.
If you’ll apply cologne, let it be mild. You do not know if the interviewer could have a reaction to the cologne you’re wearing.
Your shoes should look professional, clean and shiny.
For professionals in the creative industry, you can include a bit more color to your dressing, but do not overdo it. For example, you can include a creative tie or a brighter shirt. The other rules, however, still apply.
Here’s a breakdown for what you should wear to different positions.
1. Internship positions
As an intern, you’re likely looking for opportunities that will offer experience and possibility for growth.
When attending an internship interview, wear business casual. Other candidates will likely show up for the position in less casual clothes than you –which will work to your advantage.
In an internship interview, you want to show the interviewer that you are professional and serious about beginning your career. Dressing in business casual will portray the message that you’re ready to join the job market, and that you take the opportunity seriously.
2. Startup positions
Most startup positions can be viewed similarly to internship positions. Since the company is just starting out, dressing formally could make you feel out of place. It could also make others feel uncomfortable.
Dressing in business casual will show them you’re excited about the opportunity and can be professional without it coming out too strongly.
3. Entry-level positions
When attending an interview for an entry-level position, you should first research the company’s culture. This will give you a better sense of whether to go with business formal or casual dressing.
In a case where you can’t find information about the company, business casual should be your go-to option.
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You want to portray that you’re ready to kick start your career, but at the same time, you don’t want to be seen as though you’re trying too hard.
4. Mid-to-senior level positions
For this interview, your best approach is still to research about the company’s culture.
If you don’t have access to the information, you should dress business formal. This will demonstrate that you’re ready for the responsibility.
5. Management and executive positions
For management and executive positions, business formal should be your preference. The interviewer will expect you to dress the part of a manager. Put forward your strongest impression of how you would normally dress for a day at the office.
For these positions, how you dress will reveal a lot about your leadership and management mindset.
6. Phone, Skype and video interviews
During a remote interview, you might get tempted to dress casually. In the case of a phone interview, the interviewer won’t see what you’re wearing, right? Wrong!
Dressing right even for a phone interview will help put you in the right mindset.
Dress as though you’re going for the physical interview. Your dressing guide should be the position you’re interviewing for.
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In closing, if you want to go to an interview feeling confident, prepared and comfortable, you have to dress the part. If you can, always look at the company’s culture, and let that guide your dress options. If the option is unavailable, the above guide should help you.
What you wear for an interview says a lot about who you are as a professional and how seriously you take the interview –and by extension the job.
For men, you can buy a few coordinating pieces that you can interchange when going for different interviews.
With these tips, you’ll be able to dress appropriately and leave more time to what really matters in the interview –winning the interviewer over with your personality and outstanding achievements.
Need assistance in learning how to pass any job interview? Talk to our interview coaches today for a mock interview coaching.