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Menswear for a job interview

Menswear for a job interview

At first sight, it´s much easier for men to dress for job interviews than for women. It seems like it will be enough just to wear a nice suit and you’ll be ready to fight for the job you really want – but it´s not exactly like that. Even for menswear, there are several rules you should be aware of.

Suit

  •  Your suit should be tailored for your size (this is important mostly in banks and insurance companies, where a more specific type of suit is required).
  • Your suit should be a matching two-piece and should coordinate well with your shoes.
  • Suits should not be overtly flamboyant, choose a simple and classic material and design.
  • Conservative and classic colours such as black, grey and navy are the most appropriate.

Shirt/Sweater

  • The best choice is definitely a shirt made from comfortable material.
  • Avoid flamboyant colours – white, light blue or a classic stripe pattern is the most appropriate.
  • Always wear a long-sleeve shirt, even in the summertime. 
  • If wearing a sweater, also choose a plain colour in a simple, classic style.

Tie

  • Ties are not necessary if you are wearing a suit and shirt, but the overall look is more professional with a tie.
  • A tie made of quality silk always makes the best impression.
  • Again, avoid glaring colours, materials or flamboyant designs.

Belt and accessories

  • Your belt should match your shoes, the best material is leather.
  • Keep any noticeable jewellery to a minimum, wear only a wristwatch and cufflinks.
  • Wristwatches can be noticeable and can create a stereotype around the economic situation of the candidate. Consider if your type of wristwatch is appropriate for the interview you are attending.

Shoes and socks

  • Socks should be long enough to cover any visible skin on your leg while seated.
  • Choose a single colour of socks (not patterned) and match them with your trousers or shoes.
  • Shoes should be elegant, clean, comfortable, and best if made from leather.
  • Court shoes or moccasins style should be free from any eccentric design.

Grooming

  • You should be well groomed with appropriate facial hair.
  • Choose a high-quality eau de toilette/cologne and be careful with the quantity you apply! 
  • Cigarette smell can be very unpleasant – please ensure that your breath is always fresh (don´t forget to dispose of your chewing gum before the interview).
  • Your hair and nails must be clean and neat.

What men should never wear for a job interview

  • Sandals, sneakers, flip-flops
  • Ties with characters or childish patterns
  • Jeans, shorts or casual trousers
  • ‘Trendy’ or colourful t-shirts

Never say never

It´s important to remember that there are also spheres where the applicant is allowed to turn up at an interview in casual clothes. Good examples are advertising agencies or marketing departments in big companies; the types of places that are looking for creative people (such as Copywriters or Art Directors). In these occasions a suit could be inappropriate and discourage a potential employer.

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Visit our career zone for more tips and articles about looking for a new job.