What To Wear To An Interview

As you probably know, first impressions matter
and nothing communicates competence, professionalism and excellence like a well put together outfit.
The goal is to look perfectly dressed for the job you’re interviewing for so you show
respect for the opportunity you get. The general rule is to wear a suit and a tie to the interview.
Now, what does that mean? It means a dark, suit of matching pants and trousers and it
does not mean a combination of jacket and odd trousers. There’s always an exception
the rule, let’s say you apply for a job with a start-up design agency or with an outdoor
construction company, a suit may not be the best thing to wear because it’s simply not
something anybody there would wear on a regular basis and you would just look out of place.
In those situations, a suit may alienate you from your peer group and it may seem like
you’re the odd one out and you don’t fit to the team. Let’s get back to the rule. If you apply for
an office job or any other traditional job, a corporate job, this is what you should do:
A classic outfit shows that you are serious about your job and respectful and this is
not the time to be flashy because you want to be subtle and you want not to have people
judge you based on a diamond earring or a flashy ring. So what exactly does it mean
to wear a traditional suit and tie? Number one is, wear a dark suit. In terms
of color, that means you can go with navy, charcoal, or gray. Do not wear black because
black is reserved for funerals. To learn more about funerals, check out our guide on funeral
etiquette, here. In terms of a silhouette, your safest best is to get a notched lapel,
single breasted jacket with about 2 or 3 closing buttons or a double breasted jacket. Both
are equally as correct for an interview. Make sure to leave your bold striped, pin-striped
suit or chalk-striped suit at home, keep in subtle. you can have maybe a small stripe
but not a bold one. Ideally, you go with solid, classic colors and patterns which means maybe,
a pinpoint, needle head, just a regular twill, but nothing flashy, nothing too extraordinary. Two, wear a dress shirt. A dress shirt means
you have a regular, button down shirt with a collar, and I suggest you get a classic
collar or a slightly spread collar and then you choose the colors, either a solid white,
a solid light blue, those are the best 2 colors. If you have a high contrast, let’s say you
have black hair and caucasian skin, go with the white shirt. If you have blonde hair and
skin ratio of less of a contrast, go light blue shirt. Your shirt can have french cuffs
for cufflinks or barrel cuffs, again, if you wear cufflinks, use subtle ones like these.
Just a simple knot in gold. Avoid a button down collar or anything that’s too extreme,
too big or too small. Also, avoid strong patterns. You can have a subtle stripe but don’t have
pink and yellow shirts or green, it’s all too loud and unusual and it detracts from
the purpose which is to land the job. Third, you want a basic, silk necktie. That
means, it’s no unusual weave, just regular silk and solid colors, you can add a little
texture like one with grenadine, or a jacquard weave but no paisley pattern, maybe a subtle
stripe but that’s about it. In terms of necktie colors, I recommend red, burgundy, blue, bottle
green or maybe silver. These are traditional colors and they look professional and make
you look good. Once you’ve picked out a tie, it’s important
to have a proper tie knot, that means it sits tight against your collar band and there’s
no gap like here otherwise, it looks sloppy and you want to avoid that at all cost. When
it comes to tie knots, stay with a classic one, like a four in hand knot or an oriental
one, you can learn how to tie these knots here. Definitely, don’t wear a bowtie because
it looks too eccentric. Five, consider wearing a pocket square, a
simple, plain, white, linen pocket square with a TV fold is simple and oozes classic
elegance.Stay away from more flashy folds such as the shell folds and even the puff
fold. I think, the TV fold is simply the best fold because it’s simplistic, classic and
professional. If you need a plain white pocket square, you can get one here and in this video
we show you how to fold a TV fold pocket square. Rule number 6: Wear over the calf socks.
The reason being is that you never want to expose your hairy calves. In an interview
situation, you may sit across your interviewer and you have to cross your
legs and when you then show your hairy calves, it’s just a very bad look therefore, you want
simple over the calf socks that match the color of your trousers. A subtle stripe but
again, don’t go flashy, stay classic! For a good selection of interview appropriate,
over the calf socks of high quality, take a look here. Seven: Wear black shoes.
Black is the ultimate interview shoe color and you should always stick with it. In terms
of shapes, I recommend you go with a black oxford or a derby.If you do not have a cap
toe oxford or a derby, you can actually go with a full brogue if you have it, that would
work too. Half brogue or semi-brogues are acceptable too but make sure the shoes are
black and avoid rubber soles, rather go with elegant, leather soles. If you want to learn
more about the black classic oxford, you can check out our oxford shoe guide. In terms of jewelry, I again, recommend to
keep it simple. Have maybe, your wedding band, maybe cufflinks but that should be about it.
If you have an interview during the winter, make sure you wear a pair of dark gloves such
as gray gloves, a scarf in subtle, dark patterns and an overcoat. It makes you look really
professional and not like somebody who wants to hike a mountain.
You never want to show up to an interview with a backpack because it screams “little
schoolboy”, you’re a man, you’re a professional and you want this job and you want to look
like one, that means you have a satchel or a briefcase but not a backpack. Once you have
assembled your outfit, it’s important to check if you have any stains, loose threads, maybe
tags or anything else that may look like you’ve never worn a suit before and that you’re sloppy. Now you should be prepared for a classic,
job interview. So what to wear to an interview in the IT , agency world or outdoor world?
That’s a much tougher question to answer. Basically, you should always be dressed a
notched or two above what you would wear on a regular day to work. Simply to communicate
that you’re respecting this opportunity and that you’re serious about this job. If a suit
is too much, a blazer with a pair of chinos or khakis can still look very professional
especially if you wear it with a necktie. You can also exchange black shoes for brown
shoes, maybe have a more vivid pocket square fold and just maybe add a pair of red shoelaces
if it’s a very relaxed environment, that way, you look like you fit in and you’re not the
odd one out. For more information about interviews, check
out our in-depth guides on our website and goodluck!


  1. What if I wear a bow tie? Bow ties are all I wear nowadays with buttoned shirts and suits. Are job interviews the exception to wear a tie?

    And, if I can wear a bow tie, my entire outfit would be: a solid navy blue blazer and pants, solid light blue shirt, a navy blue bow tie with white polka dots, and grayish-bluefish oxfords? I am tilling of applying for a retail job or a diner.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. Is it bad if I polish my black shoes in the interview? I love to polish my own shoes and normally all of them finish really shiny and professional looking even my matte finish shoes have a shiny toe.

  3. In certain professions and social circles, cufflinks have negative associations with old wealth and may come across as obnoxious depending on the interviewer. While I certainly appreciate them as a fine detail, I would not experiment with cufflinks during an interview and would go with barrel cuffs. The time for cufflinks is after you've gotten the job and are certain that they would not be offensive or excessive within the given office culture. In large law firms, for example, most associates would not be expected to wear them or even chastised for dressing "beyond their pay grade." On the other hand, some of the law firm partners, all of whom have already earned their stripes, may choose to wear them or display other eccentricities.

  4. On my last interview I had a Navy blue suite, white shirt, yellowish tie with navy blue poky dots and Burgundy shoes, is that Okay?

  5. Hey Rapheal….i want to know when you should wear Suede dress shoes??? Are they appropriate with suits and can we wear in job interviews 😀

  6. If the job you're applying to get is one in which you'll always wear suits from Monday to Friday – like a high-end law firm or something like that – would you try to be dressed even 'better' than how you'd look every day (considering you get the job) or would you wear the same simple yet elegant suit?

  7. If you go to an interview for the post of a researcher în physics or chemistry, is It okay to wear a lab coat instead of jacket?

  8. Great timing, I'll having Interview job this year, and i'm pretty confused, but thanks to your video Raphael, such a great help

  9. agree with most Disagree with buttoned down shirt collars, I find that they retain the shape of the collar after washing and are good for taller men.

  10. Does it really matter if you wear a black suit or a charcoal suit? I know that a charcoal suit is a little lighter, but I can't the difference. Most men can't tell the difference, only men in the fashion industry. I work in a law firm and I see tons of men wear a black suits to work. It is probably the most common suits color.

  11. I have always wondered what to wear to medical job interviews? Ony last interview I wore a blue blazer, white dress shirt, navy tie, charcoal dress slacks with tan cap toe dress shoes. The daily attire are scrubs. I think maybe I was over dressed?

  12. Being in software, out dressing the interviewer is a serious concern for me! Sadly, there is no way to predict exactly where to put your limits for these cases; some of them are quite well dressed as well.

  13. I got an interview coming up this vid had really helpful tips and was coincidental that it popped up in my feed! Thanks Sven

  14. +Gentleman's Gazette Great video and nice suit! By showing sensibility to social norms (also the company's), you demonstrate awareness and that you understand how the world works.

    Classy; not flashy. Your replies and, eventually, work efforts will manifest how different or go-getter you are — if you really are.

  15. what if it's a job interview at J Crew? Would a navy blazer, chino pants, and loafers be fine? What's the ideal look for a place like J Crew? I hope you see this!

  16. How does a backpack make you look like a little school boy? So you'd rather carry a satchel (which lets be honest is basically a man-purse)

  17. What can you tell us about messenger bags, laptop cases and bags for men? It would be interesting a video about those topics.

    I have to go with one to the office and I'm considering Maxpedition Testudo or Maxpedition operator tactical attache but I'm not sure.

    Would you give some advice or make some video about? Thanks if so.

    Thanks a lot.

  18. I'm afraid I don't agree with your opinion regarding bowties and black shoes. Six months ago, I applied for a position as a law clerk at a rather conservative law firm, which would lead one to believe that bowties and anything other than black shoes would play against me. However, I wore a three piece suit with a bowtie and brown shoes and was selected for the position from among 15 applicants.

  19. Thanks for the video! Really enjoyed watching it. I have a question about the dress shirt though. Would an off-white dress shirt be suitable to wear for an interview? Something similar to a super light cream color or a white shirt with a little gray in it

  20. Hi Sven,
    For a interview suit, is dark navy or light navy preferable? And for teachers, would single breasted be preferable over double breasted, since single breasted is less formal?

  21. Great tips.

    Your point about the rubber shoe soles got me thinking… if you go for an elegant shoe sole (i.e. leather) then be careful about wearing shoes that are too new. Brand new shoes with a soft or smooth leather sole means that you may slip on the office carpet!

    I've done this before with new shoes, albeit thankfully not during an interview. Just a little add on tip!

  22. I've found that if you have one item that's a little out there or flashy it gives you something to break the ice with and something that they can remember you by visually. At least that's how I got my last job. 😛

  23. Since a suit with a double breasted coat is appropriate for a job interview, is a three piece suit with a double or single breasted vest also appropriate for a job interview?

  24. Since a suit with a double breasted coat is appropriate for a job interview, is a three piece suit with a double or single breasted vest also appropriate for a job interview?

  25. We need to get back to where what we call dress clothes are the normal attire of our society like they used to be when people valued dignity, I try to wear a blazer and never walk out of the house without a tie and I'm ostracized for it.

  26. I agree with most tips here but definitely wouldn't recommend a double-breasted suit. Really surprised that got a recommendation.

  27. Great guide – but what about the second interview? I usually wear a grey herringbone suit that I feel great in, but I'm less confident in my other (cheaper) suits. Is it alright to wear the same grey herringbone to my second interview, with perhaps different shoes and different shirt and necktie?

  28. This guy goes sleeps in his suit too seriously though I worked for google I don’t ware no suit most tech millionaires don’t care about suits for work unless someone has died or getting married.

  29. I have no choice but to challenge want you're saying here. I agree that you'll never go wrong wearing a good looking suit to a job interview but the workplace environment should dictate what clothing is appropriate for a job interview. If I'm interviewing a technical person then nice casual clothes will work just fine and a suit would look out of place. If , however, I'm interviewing a salesperson or a manager, then an expensive well fitting suit is a must.

  30. for students: nobody will hold it against you if you don't have a suit, but dress pants with long sleeve button down shirt is enough, and borrow one of your dad's tie.

  31. Hi
    I dont understand why many people say wearing a black suit is only reserved for funerals when i see many people wearing them everywhere. Tv presenters and other personalities often wear black suits.

  32. there is no job nowadays where you actually wear a tie, 90% of those who have ties working uniforms like train attendants and such…you only really wear the suit here for the interview. Some jobs appreciate some form of jacket with a shirt and normal trousers but it doesnt get any dressier than that for the most part

  33. ya when i was interning on Wall Street a guy said to me look very conservative. Dark blue suit, red tie. I'm like me ok.

  34. To people outside of america, please don't wear a blue suit to a job interview for a professional position. If you do, you'll look too immature. Black is the BEST colour, but charcoal works well. Otherwise, the advice is solid.

  35. Just looking for advice here – I have an interview in a retail position, presumably a suit is too formal, was going to wear shirt, suit trousers and black shoes,but maybe I'm mistaken? Thanks

  36. What about an internal interview in IT?
    Shirt and jacket, with no tie is a few levels above local standards. Still should I wear suit for an interview? I am comfortable wearing suit but it doesn't fit there at all.

  37. Sven you are on point about everything except the tie knot. A tie looks fantastic with a well tied windsor with a spread collar. It's symmetric, more visually striking, and projects confidence. The four-in-hand is best for little schoolboys and happy hour with coworkers.

  38. Question if you read this before Wednesday. Is that suit your wearing too bright? I'm wondering if my blue suit I bought is dark enough and it's about that shade.i have an interview and I've lost 70 lbs since wearing my dark gray suit and I'd rather not buy another one because I have some more weight to lose.

  39. Considering the view that straight-end neckties are more on the casual side in contrast with pointed ones, would you still approve a knit silk one for an interview in the corporate IT field?

  40. Tech is tough. Even corporate tech thinks they're Google. I went for an interview with a hugh healthcare org and healthcare is pretty conservative. Wore my best suit and oxfords and everyone walking into the place was in jeans and tee shirts. Hiring manager looked like he'd been sleeping in his outfit all week. Wouldn't have been so bad if I wasn't 20 years older than everyone I saw. "Look, folks, Dad is here!"

  41. In academic jobs, a business suit would likely be a deterrent unless its as an Economics Professor position. Ivy style in conservative, 'Autumn" colors and patterns would work best.

  42. I once wore my Navy striped DB suit by Isaia Napoli with brown Edward Green Monkstraps to a McDonald’s interview.

    Got the job flipping burgers…

  43. In my country we always say to wear your ordinary clothes to an interview.
    If you normally wear a t-shirt and jeans that’s what you should wear, if you normally wear sweat pants and hoodies that is what you should wear. Otherwise you send out wrong signals of who you are and for a job interview thats bad.
    The person who interviews you wanna know who YOU ARE.

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