What to Wear to an Interview: Style Guide for Men

How you dress to a job interview contributes to your success or failure in getting your dream job. It gives the HR team an idea of how professional you are or would be. And it helps you make a good first impression upon your arrival at the venue. If you’ve been contemplating on the right outfit to wear to an upcoming interview, keep reading as this article contains a style guide for men on what to wear to an interview.

You know, while your IQ matters a lot, how you carry yourself also plays a big role in determining if you’d get the job or not. So, in order for you to ace that interview and get on the payroll of that organisation, read and digest this style guide for men on what to wear to an interview. Afterwards, adjust your wardrobe to suit your goal.

Why do you need to Dress Well for an Interview?

Dress formally to an interview

Since first impression matters, the number one trait of yours that leaves an impression on the hiring team is how you appear to the interview. You don’t necessarily need to have a glowing skin, but your skin has to look good to show you’re healthy.

In the same vein, you don’t need to look like you’re attending a fashion show to meet your prospective employers. Knowing how to dress with style goes beyond that.

Just follow this guide on what to wear to a job interview. And be rest assured that so long as you ace the written or oral test while adopting what we say here, you’ll get the job.

What to Wear to An Interview As a Man

“You can have everything in life if you dress for it”.

Edith Head

This quote by Edith Head summarises the essence of this post. Let’s apply it to your situation by rephrasing to say: “you can have that job if you dress for it.”

This article won’t just tell you the pieces to wear to that job interview. We’ll also give you a guide on how to combine them appropriately to make you the perfect candidate no employer would say no to.

Therefore, the following should be your best pick to an interview:

  • Button-up/button-down shirts
  • Sweater
  • Neutral-coloured suits
  • Trousers (could be chinos, khaki, slacks, etc)
  • Tie
  • Cufflinks
  • Wristwatch
  • Loafers, Oxford, Derby and other dress shoes
  • Belt
  • Tailored Blazer, sport coats
  • Socks
  • Sweater

Principles on How to Dress for an Interview

If the firm’s dress code allows it, you can wear a native wear like the senator

Now you know what to wear to an interview. Let’s see how to combine them with these principles:

1. Do Your Research

Before leaving your house to meet your prospective employer, you have to research the company. Discover what they do, know their core values and their dress code too. This is because some organisations accept only formal office wear while others welcome business casual outfits as a norm and native wears towards the end of the week.

To research on the company, visit their official website so you can have a peek at their work culture. You can as well ask the Human Resource Manager to tell you the organisation’s dress code.

2. Be Moderate

You’re expected to dress conservatively while in a formal environment. We know you’re stylish and trendy. But unless the job position you’re applying for has to do with fashion, you don’t have to announce your loud and bold style to them on your first day there.

Therefore, you should follow the style tips for the minimalist man and stick to them. Go for collared shirts with mild colours. Just keep it simple.

3. Go For Neutral Colors

When dressing for a job interview, your best colour palette should be neutral colours. They are staple colours that apply to everyone regardless of age or style.

 This implies that your outfits should mostly comprise black, white, grey, navy blue, beige, brown colours, etc. This is important so as to appear moderate and avoid drawing too much attention which could cause a distraction.

If you want to wear bold colours, then merge it with simplicity. For instance, you could pair a bright-coloured shirt with black or navy blue pants. Then wear your black or brown shoes  with a matching belt

4. Be Professional

If the dress code of the company is a formal office one, stick to basic/neutral colours. You can wear a suit or wear a shirt with trousers and add a tie. You can also add cufflinks and a pocket filler if need be.

If the dress code of the office is a business casual one, then you don’t have to look too formal. No need for a suit or tie; just pair your chinos pants with a shirt or sweater and you’re good to go.

If it’s a startup organisation, there’s a high chance you can wear a smart casual outfit for the job interview. Meaning that they’ll be more relaxed with their dress code. In that case, you can wear a pair of jeans with a tucked-in shirt and sweater.

Don’t forget to wear a belt to hold your trousers firm. And as for jewelry, a wristwatch is fine. Just be sure of the organisation’s dress code before opting for anything.

5. Your Footwear Must Complement Your Attire

Ensure that your shoes match your attire

Go for dress shoes such as Oxford, loafers,  Derby, brogue, etc., and other shoes for formal occasions. If the work environment is a casual one, you can wear sneakers paired with jeans. Remember the first principle: do your homework on the organisation and find out their dress code.

6. Wear Your Clothes Before Wearing Your Clothes

Don’t just hurry to the interview without rehearsing at home. Part of your rehearsal should include testing your clothes to know how they fit and how you’d look. You could stand in front of a mirror to examine yourself and know if the clothes are perfect. If they aren’t okay, look for something else to wear on time.

What Not to Wear to a Job Interview

Do not wear shorts or flashy colours to an interview

1. Excessive Perfume

You’re going to get a job and not to let them know you wear the best perfumes. So, your perfume doesn’t necessarily need to announce your presence and give you unnecessary attention while in an interview. Just make sure your scents are at minimum because they could be irritating to some other person and end up triggering an allergic reaction.

2. Too Much Flashy Colours

If you want to wear bold colours, then make sure the remaining components of your outfits are neutral so you don’t look too loud. That is, you can wear a bright-coloured shirt with neutral-coloured pants and shoes.

3. Flip-flops

Save your palms, pool sliders and flip-flops for the weekend.

4. Dirty Clothes

Nobody has to tell you this. First impression always matters.

5. Rumpled Clothes

Well, read number five again.

6. Too Much Accessories

You don’t have to wear so many jewelry or accessories. Save the bracelets, neck chain and what have you for other occasions. Just pick a wristwatch, cufflinks, etc., and you’re good to go.

7. Tees

Save them for your casual outings. Stick to collared shirts and sweaters.

8. Shorts

Nobody has to tell you this. Shorts are for casual occasions. They aren’t included among what to wear to a job interview.

Don’t go to an interview with a “loud” haircut

This style guide has shown you what to wear to a job interview and how exactly you should look in order to ace it. While your clothes and shoes are important, you should also ensure your hair is in good condition too. You don’t have to wear a haircut that distracts your interviewer from your answers. If you really want the job, follow this style guide for men on what to wear to an interview and thank us later.

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Victoria B. Willie

Writing has always been a part of me. From writing stories as a young child to studying Communication Arts in the university, it has always been more than a medium of expression to me.

And then one day, I found myself toeing the path of an entrepreneur and becoming a fashion enthusiast. This made me develop an interest in content marketing and copywriting.

That aside, when I'm not writing copy or SEO content, I'm designing statement pieces for my fashion brand, Ria Kosher, crushing on Lucious Lyon, and writing wild stories that always come with a twist.

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