That interview is fast approaching. The only real question is: what to wear? It is not ideal to show up in torn jeans and a T-shirt, especially a graphic shirt. Whether it is an entry-level job or an interview to move up in the corporate ladder, first impressions are everything. What an interviewer sees the second a person walks in the door is what will stay with them. The right outfit will leave a good, confident impact, though figuring out what works and what does not work for a job interview can be difficult.
What Suit Should I Wear?
This has always been a classic, traditional style of choice for interviews, though the exact style and color will depend on the specific job. For starters though, focus on the fit. It is vital to choose a well-cut full suit to sell the right image, such as confident and polished. Men should not go for anything too tight or too loose, as it can damage the overall physique of the wearer. As for how to choose the right suit for the appropriate job and interview, if going for an interview in the boardroom or one for a corporate job, try for the classic gray or navy blue colors. Mid-grays are often ideal, and the single-breasted and two-button option also does well. For other workplaces, like those in the design or fashion industry, it doesn't hurt to show a bit more creativity such as using earth tones and patterns.
Dress Shirt & Dress Pants
Depending on the situation, skipping the suit as a whole and simply go for the dress shirt and dress pants option. It can still help give off that polished, professional appearance while not over or under-doing it. Again though, start out with the right fit. For the pants, be sure the hem does not drag on the floor and make sure the pants themselves do not sag. Add a belt, if necessary. A good brown or black leather belt can do wonders for an outfit. Also, be cautious and ensure the pants are not too tight. For the dress shirt, it is beneficial to take the long-sleeved, straight collared approach. The color of the shirt should be something solid, though as long as it is not overly loud with bright colors and patterns, it should be fine. The standard for dress pants tend to be black though.
If going into an environment where they expect a more business casual approach, a good sweater can suffice rather than the dress pants and dress shirt combo. Having the right sweater is important though, as it is far too easy to wear something that will turn a future employer away. Appropriate sweaters are not baggy or give the borderline sloppy appearance. Make sure the sweater fits well without seeming too constricting either. Usually, a v-neck type of sweater is one to avoid on its own. However, when paired with a good dress shirt and tie, it can help. A well-fitted turtleneck sweater can also work along with the right blazer.
What Does Business Casual Mean?
The previous section touched on the business casual approach for dressing for an interview. What does business casual mean? There is not exactly a clear-cut definition for it, and in fact, it can vary depending on the job. To dress business casual is to come across as professional while not being too done up. Good things to keep in mind are wearing shorts and sandals is too casual, and a full suit down to the tie and vest can perhaps be a touch too formal. Finding the in-between is where some men struggle. Try to go for khakis or chinos. Sweaters, as mentioned before, are a good choice for business casual, and so is a pressed, button-down shirt without the tie.
What Not to Wear
With a better understanding as to what apparel can make a powerful, unwavering statement at a job interview, it is time to address what not to wear. For one thing, do not come across as too casual, even in a business casual environment. No matter if the job states casual wear is fine for the interview, leaving an outstanding first impression helps. It is important to note wearing t-shirts, jeans, and sneakers is simply a bad idea for a first interview. If going for the dressed up approach, do not wear colors or patterns that are too obnoxious. Also, avoid clothes that just do not fit are going to make you stand out in all the wrong ways. Don't go for outdated clothes either, and for those with tattoos, it is a good idea to cover them up. Be wary about accessories too as it is easy to have too much. A watch and wedding ring, if applicable, is more than enough.