Men's Basics: Dressing For A Job Interview

Deciding what to wear for a job interview is nerve racking to say the least.  The right look could be a major factor in your future.  The wrong one could block you from your dream job before you even answer the first question.  Like any great interviewee, you want to impress the interviewer by answering questions in a compelling way.  You want to show off your skills and qualifications as well as your enthusiasm for your potential new company.  But if you show up in a look that’s sloppy or too casual, you could quickly ruin your chances.

Research The Culture

The dress code at Goldman Sachs is far different from the hoodie and jeans look at Facebook.  Take the time to understand the company you’re interviewing with.  While dressing up is typically a safe bet, if you show up to a startup interview in a three-piece suit, it might be an indication that you haven’t done your homework.

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When In Doubt, Wear A Suit

That being said, if you really can’t land on any concrete information and you don’t want to chance it, stick with a basic suit.  Spare the frills.  This is not the opportunity to pull out the most brightly coloured pocket square and the pink tie. Instead, stick with neutrals. Just make sure they’re well pressed and wrinkle-free.  And make sure your suit fits perfectly.  A clean, tailored look communicates confidence in any environment.

Casual Still Calls For A Shirt

Even if you feel that a traditional suit is too formal for the interview, don’t plan to show up in a t-shirt and joggers. You still want to impress.  Instead of a full suit, grab a white shirt, grey round-neck jumper and long overcoat and balance it with a pair of chinos or trousers from a neutral colour family.  The look is less formal but still professional.

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Wear Grey

That’s right.  Research proves grey indicates that you’re logical and analytical, according to Men’s Fitness.  If you want to add in a hint of your powerful side, drop a dash of red somewhere in the look.  While a well-dressed guy is a well-dressed guy, psychology still plays a big role in how interviewers see you. Certain colours are associated with different skills.  Try to wear hues that will associate you with the best skills.

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Well Kept Men Always Win

It isn’t just your clothes that matter here.  Your grooming is just as important.  If you’re typically clean shaven, build in the time for a nice shave before the interview. If you have a beard, make sure it’s tame and moisturised. In terms of fragrance, don’t overdo it.  Go with a subtle scent that doesn’t overpower the room.  You don’t want to be remembered simply because your cologne lingered in the room two hours after you left.

No Folders, Please

Slip those copies of your resume in a leather document holder or briefcase.  Your professional look will go downhill if you show up well-dressed with your CV in a paper folder.

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These are not definitive rules to abide by when you’re dressing for an interview, however there's no harm at all in dressing to impress. If you stick to them you might just get the call back that you’re waiting for.  Break them and you may just stay on the unemployment line.

Dressing appropriately will only increase your chances of getting a role!

Written by Jamilah Estrianna Toni | @Jamilahetoni