15 Tips for Choosing the Best Outfit for an Interview
15 Tips for Choosing the Best Outfit for an Interview

Interviewing for a position, you want to look your best and make a great impression on your potential employer. This can be a difficult task considering the many options and style choices out there for men. Nonetheless, some of the most frequent questions we receive from our readers relate to what to wear for an upcoming interview. We’ve put together some helpful tips to assist you with your outfit selection the next time you have a big interview date. We hope you enjoy.

15. Wear a Single- Breasted Suit

Single-breasted suits are not only the current fashion choice for men, they’re also the safe bet when going to an interview. The difference between a single-breasted suit and one that is double-breasted are the number of button columns the suit has. A single-breasted suit will have one column of buttons and a narrow overlap of fabric. In contrast, a double-breasted suit will have two parallel rows of buttons, and a wider overlap of fabric. As a general rule, single-breasted suits are currently more in style and should always be your go-to choice when selecting the right suit to wear for an interview.

14. Wear a Navy Blue or Dark Gray Suit

Color is everything when choosing the right suit choice for your interview. Avoid extravagant or “flashy” colors such as a bright red, purple, or yellow suit. A solid black suit is also NOT an appropriate choice for an interview. It is always better to stick with a dark navy blue or gray suit for these occasions as these colors are stylish yet still very conservative choices. Remember, a fashionable yet simplistic style is always the best way to go.

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13. Get Your Suit Tailored Before Your Interview

This should come as no surprise. A tailored suit will look awesome on you, and can make all the difference on how you are perceived by an interviewer. This is especially true if you’re applying for a client-facing role such as sales, consulting, or marketing. You shouldn’t be caught dead sporting a suit that is too big or roomy for your size. Wearing a tailored suit demonstrates that you are aware of your presentation and style.

12. Wear a Solid White or Light Blue Shirt

If you’re applying for a position that will have multiple interviews, you should wear a white shirt for the first interview as this is always the professional choice in the business world. White shirts also go with any suit selection. You can wear your white shirt with a navy blue suit for your first interview. You can wear a light blue shirt with your dark gray suit for your second interview.

11. Choose the Right Socks

Wear dress socks that are a solid blue or black color. Your socks should be long enough to cover your legs when you sit down. Wearing white socks or ankle socks of any color with dress shoes is an absolute fashion violation, and can be quite embarrassing once you sit down and everyone can see them. If you don’t have dress socks, you should invest in a pair immediately.

10. Wear Dress Shoes with Laces

Stick to wearing a pair of nice dress shoes with laces for your interview. In some instances, wearing penny loafers are acceptable for an interview but such rare instances are generally exceptions to the rule. You can never go wrong with laced-up dress shoes as they offer a classic, traditional, and professional look to your outfit.

9. Wear a Nice Tie

Your tie will be the first piece of your outfit that your interviewer notices. It’s best to wear a conservative dark-colored tie.  A solid color is the best choice but small dots or stripes will work as well. You should never go over the top when choosing a tie for an interview. Flashy designs and bow ties are completely out of the question and should never be an option to wear for an interview. Always remember that a traditional yet stylish look should be the aim for your interview wardrobe. If you are unsure about whether your tie (or any other piece of your outfit for that matter) is too over the top, it’s best to choose another option to stay on the safe side. Another important note is to make sure your tie’s color matches with your suit and shoes.

8. Avoid Excessive Jewelry

Unless you’re auditioning for the role of Mr. T, leave the gold chains, necklaces, bracelets, and rings (besides a wedding ring of course) at home. Your interview style should be conservative and never flashy.

7. Wear a Watch

A nice watch adds a sense of professionalism and timeliness to your outfit. You should wear a nice watch that coordinates with the colors of your outfit. In general, a watch with a leather band will probably give you a more professional look than one with a metal band; however, either option is acceptable. There is no need to break the bank buying an expensive watch for your interview, especially since you’re watching is only an added accessory. You can find plenty of great watches on the market for a very decent price.

6. Avoid Cufflinks if Possible

Cufflinks may come off as over the top for some interviewers. There are certainly many instances where it is perfectly acceptable to wear cufflinks to an interview. However, just to stay on the safe side, it’s better to wear a shirt that doesn’t require any cufflinks.

5. It’s Smarter to Overdress than Underdress for Your Interview

Regardless of the company’s dress code, it’s better to dress formally rather than informally for your interview. Some businesses may have “business casual” or even “casual” dress codes but that does not mean you should dress the same way as the current employees do. Remember, your goal is to get the job first. Once you’ve secured a job offer, you can dress accordingly based on the dress code of the office. There are some exceptions to this rule, of course. For example, if you’re interviewing at a manufacturing plant, they may ask you to dress a certain way to ensure your safety. In general, however, wearing a suit to your interview- no matter what position you’re applying for- is usually the way to go.

4. Wear a Belt that Matches Your Outfit

Nothing looks worse with a nice suit than wearing a belt that doesn’t match its color. It’s wise to invest in a reversible belt with one black side and one brown side as these colors are the only choices you should be selecting from when choosing the right belt for an interview. Another important point about your belt: Never wear your belt simultaneously with suspenders. You should wear either one or the other as wearing both at the same time is a fashion faux pas.

3. Bring a Business Notepad or Folder Instead of a Backpack or Loose Papers

How you carry the items needed for your interviews, such as your resume or notes, affects your outfit. Consequently, it’s no surprise that a backpack or lose paper items won’t go very well with your nice suit. A nice folder/portfolio or business notepad will look much more professional.

2. Good Grooming and Cleanliness are Extremely Important

Bad grooming and poor hygiene are surefire ways to kill your chances at securing a job offer after an interview. You can come to an interview sporting a great suit but it will mean absolutely nothing if your outfit isn’t clean or has stains on it. Before your interview, make sure to have your outfit thoroughly dry-cleaned, pressed, and ironed. Your suit and dress shirt should be free from any stains or dirt marks. Your nails should be clean and freshly trimmed (no long fingernails). You should also trim and comb your hair before the interview to look polished and presentable. Your teeth should be brushed and cleaned (you may even get them whitened if possible). It’s also not a bad idea to have a few breath mints BEFORE your interview starts. Finally, any excessive body odors will leave a bad stench (literally) with your interviewer. If you plan on wearing cologne, go very light with it or just don’t wear it at all. You should, however, always wear deodorant and avoid smoking right before your interview to avoid any nasty bodily odors.

1. Wear Your Smile

Your smile is the single most important piece of your outfit and you should never leave home without it. Even with dapper clothing choices, not wearing your smile to an interview can cost you big time. A warm smile makes a big difference, and it can even help you overcome any negative points you may have during an interview.

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