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!