Interview Attire for Men: How to Dress for a Job Interview

FT Contributor  | 

Dressing the right way for your job interview is imperative. In fact, what you wear can make or break your chances of landing the job. There are some things you should and shouldn’t wear to a job interview, especially as a man.

When you first meet someone, you tend to make an initial judgment of them in nanoseconds. The same can be said of a recruiter or human resources representative meeting you for a job interview. One of the first things the interviewer will notice is how you’re dressed, so you want it to be as professional and polished as possible.

Before you head to a job interview dressed to the nines, ask the recruiter or person conducting your interview what the office dress code is. This will help you make an informed decision about what to wear while also demonstrating that you can listen to instructions and fit in with the other employees on the job.

Below, you’ll discover some of the best ways for men to dress for a job interview. Note that the attire we’ll discuss isn’t just limited to interviews. In fact, many of these pieces can be worn for a multitude of events and seasons.  

Business Formal

Business formal style typically requires that you wear a three-piece suit and tie. When it comes to interviewing, avoid a suit that is too flashy or distracting. Instead, stick to a black or navy blue suit. Showcase your personality with a solid-colored tie, but nothing too over-the-top.

Other acceptable types of formal business wear include formal shoes such as Oxfords or loafers, belts, tie clips, and cufflinks.

Business Casual

Business casual is more common, especially in today’s workplace. Stemming from the programmers of 1980s Silicon Valley, this relaxed style has made some companies more appealing to potential talent than other companies that follow a strict dress code.

Because casual business attire is a lot more flexible than formal attire, it’s easier to find something you already have in your closet. For example, a sweater and button-down shirt paired with khakis could be a great choice for an interview in a business casual office. Other acceptable options include slacks, polo shirts, khakis, and loafers.

Fashion Tips for Men

Now that you have the basic elements of interview attire in your closet, it’s time to style them. Below, we’ll explain how you can put the perfect interview outfit together using your wardrobe. Don’t be afraid to get creative when choosing an outfit for your interview — showcasing a bit of your personality will help you stand out from the sea of applicants.

Choose Basic Pieces

Every male wardrobe should have the following staple elements from which to choose in order to create comfortable, fashion-forward looks that are appropriate for an interview:

  • White button-down shirts.
  • White undershirts.
  • Black or navy pants.
  • Black or navy dress socks.
  • Black or brown belt.
  • Solid colored ties or bowties.
  • Cufflinks.
  • Black and brown loafers or dress shoes.

Use Layers

Layers can help anyone appear dressed up without looking overdressed. For instance, layering a white undershirt beneath a white button-down shirt can keep you warmer in the fall and winter months. Add a suit jacket or blazer on top and you look professional and polished.

When it comes down to it, layering can help you create the perfect look, but it may also help you feel more confident. If you feel like you’re overdressed for your interview, try shedding a layer or two until you achieve the perfect interview style.

Light Colored Jackets

Heading into an interview unsure of how the rest of the company dresses can be enough to rattle your nerves. If you’ve asked the hiring manager or recruiter about the dress code but they have yet to reply, you may be unsure of whether the interview calls for a business casual or business formal dress code.

Fear not — if you’re ever unsure of what to wear to an interview, generally a light-colored suit is a good middle ground. Khaki or beige-colored suits can evoke a professional personality without being as dominating as a navy or black suit might be, especially in a business-casual office.

Statement Ties

Unless the place you’re interviewing for says otherize, you should generally avoid novelty ties at all costs. However, you can use ties as accent or statement pieces in your wardrobe. Choosing a brightly colored tie or one that features an interesting pattern allows you to showcase your personality without being too loud or obnoxious. Avoid anything that has explicit imagery or wording on it, as that can leave a bad taste in your potential employer’s mouth.

Always do your research before you head to an interview so that you’re prepared to look your best. Whether you’re taking the job interview digitally or in-person, the way you dress is important. Stand out in a good way to your potential employers and you’ll be more likely to make a lasting impression.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

This post was updated December 5, 2019. It was originally published December 5, 2019.