Choosing the Perfect Clothes For Your Job Interview ~ A guide to savvy style for men

Suit for Interview

With the economy still struggling to get back to normal, many people are redefining their careers. Many because they have been let go by their employers and don’t have a choice, but many others because the time simply feels right to make a change.

As a professional change agent, I feel that this is the perfect time to make significant changes in your life. When there is chaos and disorder, change comes more quickly and effortlessly than when things are quiet and on an even keel.

If you are in the middle of a career change and participating in job interviews, you will want to put your best image forward the instant you meet a potential employer. It is sometimes difficult to determine what to wear to your first or even second job interview. Here are a few guidelines that men can use to create the most professional image possible.

Take the time to research the company culture you are interviewing with before you decide what to wear. Take for example that you are applying for a sales job in middle management. Find out what the next level above the sales department wears to work on a daily basis. You will want to arrive at the interview wearing what the managers (the next level up) wear. This will create the unstated impression that you are an employee with growth potential. The interviewer will see you as confidant and fully capable of advancement should you be hired. When you are perceived as capable of advancing, it is also implied that you will be efficient at the job you are applying for.

This is the subtle nature of dressing to impress. By appearing more polished and put-together than the other candidates, you will be sending subconscious signals that you will be more efficient and capable of excelling at the job position.

For the majority of men in white-collar jobs, there is the expected uniform of a dark / neutral suit either in navy, black or dark grey. You should choose your suit color by whichever color best highlights your features. Take for instance, that you have blue eyes, a navy suit will enhance that asset. If you have black hair and tan skin, a black suit will work wonders for your complexion and stature. Many men with salt and pepper hair look great in dark grey suits. Whichever you choose, make sure your suit is of a dark hue. If you do not know which color suit works best for your complexion, ask the helper. Click here for more information about how to choose a good quality suit.

For men, tailoring is crucial. Skipping the time and money to have your suit tailored for your body is the same as wearing scuffed shoes to an interview. Always budget tailoring costs into the price of a new suit. It makes the difference between looking impeccable and confidant to looking like a rag-a-muffin with sleeves too long and shoulders drooping off.

If in doubt about what to wear with the suit, men can always default to a crisp white shirt with either a red or gold solid or striped tie. Never wear novelty ties to an interview even if you are a professor! Match your belt to your shoe color and make sure your shoes are shined and scuff-free.

When it comes to choosing the shoes to wear to your interview, I always say that you can tell what a man is made of by the quality of his shoes. Shoes should be one of your big investment items. Spend a large portion of your budget on a pair of high quality leather dress shoes. There are not many items in a man’s wardrobe that will show individuality and class as well as a great pair of shoes. Shoes are the element where you can literally put your best foot forward with ease.

I know many of you are thinking, what about my watch? Your watch is a definite way to show your unique personality and standing in life. The thing is, it is not as immediately apparent as your shoes. They are always visible which is why I place greater importance on them as a clothing asset.

The following list contains a quick reference guide for a cutting-edge job interview impression:

Interview Appropriate Attire
Suit (navy, black or dark grey)
Slacks hem length no higher than top of heel
Coordinated shirt / tie or blouse
Conservative, shined shoes
Professional hairstyle
Neatly manicured clean nails
Portfolio or briefcase w/ pen
* Clean, crisp in excellent shape

Men’s Interview Don’ts
Shirt partially buttoned with tie
Scuffed shoes
Wrinkled or novelty ties
Khaki slacks

What Not to Bring to the Interview
Gum
Cell phone
Ipod
Coffee, soda or water
Cover all tattoos and remove visible piercings

How to Get an Edge Ahead
Find a great tailor – Wear an Impeccably fitted suit
Show some savvy – wear hand-crafted Italian leather shoes
Remember to check your view from the back and side

If you are a woman with upcoming job interviews, you might want to click here to read this article.

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