Need a new Job? What to wear to that interview…
The days of working for one company for your entire life have probably gone the way of the madison avenue advertising guys. Does this still happen, yes, but it has become the exception, not the rule. With this in mind, it is important to know how to dress when you are looking for a career change, company change or otherwise find yourself on the interviewee side of the job interview. Here are a few tips that should be helpful and possibly make a difference.
Do not be over the top
Far too often we want to stand out from those who may be interviewing for the same job. The way we dress is not the way to show this to a potential employer. Our actions, experience, and accomplishments are great ways to set ourselves apart when seeking a new job. When it comes to dress, you need to be able to show that you can fit into the surrounding culture without being a distraction. Your own due diligence on the company culture would be important. While most of this article is directed to the suits, shirts, and ties you’ll want to select for the interview these tips may not be relevant if you’re interviewing for a unique company like google, or perhaps a job as a dog groomer.
If your clothes don’t fit, the position probably won’t either
Fit is the most important thing when it comes to appearance. You don’t have to purchase a custom tailored suit to have the perfect fit, although we do prefer it! If you’re on a budget, you can get an inexpensive suit at a discount store and have it professionally tailored and still stick to a budget. A man dressed in a perfectly fitting $100 suit will look better than a man dressed in a poorly fit $2,000 suit every single day of every single week. If you want to make a wardrobe mistake, wear clothes that don’t fit properly. You’ll not only be uncomfortable, but they’ll make you look sloppy and unprofessional.
Be professional, top to bottom
One of the most important aspects of dressing to success is to provide a complete package. A well tailored suit (or at least one that fits properly) will only get you so far if you’re wearing the wrong shoes, or forget to pull it all together with a tie. Each part is in and of itself important to the entire picture. If you wear a suit, but forget a tie or are wearing informal or severely scuffed shoes, it shows the employer that you know how to do the job, but choose to ignore some of the finer details.
Dressing conservatively is not a political statement
Don’t confuse conservative dress with conservative political ideology. While the derivation of the word may be the same in both context, dressing conservatively does not necessarily reflect your political stance in the world. Not withstanding the fact that you probably should steer clear of political conversations in a job interview, no one will make such assumptions of you. You’ll want to try to wear a suit with a reasonable notch lapel if you have one, and stick to a solid colored shirt if possible. Patterns in ties are fine, but nothing too flashy or over the top. Make sure your tie is always darker than your shirt, and the width of the tie should match the width of your lapel. Under no circumstance should you be wearing a suit with a fabric that has any sort of shine, shimmer or sheen to it. No trash bags in the interview room!
The right shoes make much of the difference
More important than anything else when it comes to shoes is likely to be the condition of their outer appearance. As noted earlier, if you are wearing worn out, beaten up or outright scuffed up shoes that are noticeable, then the notice given will not likely be a positive one. In addition, there are several style guides that can help you match the right color shoes with the right color suit. A standard charcoal (not black) suit and black shoes, with a black belt are an easy start. Navy suit with brown shoes and a brown belt will also do. Yes, your shoes should match your belt!
These tips are no guarantee to get you that dream job, but they’ll certainly keep you from instant disqualification by looking like a slob, a pimp or a scum bag. Present yourself to the interviewer in such a way that he or she could envision putting you in front of their prospective customer, and you’re a step in the right direction. If you have any additional questions, our experienced style team can help find the perfect suit for that new job interview, or in preparation of the career or industry jump!