Reader: Hey Lex, I was curious as to what you think would be appropriate attire for a professional male going on a job interview?
Yay a guy question! The most important thing to remember is that the first impression the interviewer gets of you is your appearance. It is not shallow, it is human. Looking sharp at an interview is just as vital as your resumé. Your qualifications are what get you in the door of course, but believe me they are more likely to hire the well dressed and clean-cut guy over the one who looked like he slept in his suit and didn’t bother shaving.
Lex’s Style Tips for Guys Going On Interviews:
- Wear a full suit and tie. These days most offices have a business casual environment where dress shirts and slacks are perfectly appropriate. For an interview though, you should be putting your best foot forward. Always wear a suit and tie on an interview. Who cares what it’ll be like once you are on the job? You have to get the job first!
- Wear a navy or gray suit. Black looks like you are going to a funeral or wedding. Tan is too casual. Any other color not mentioned is simply too flashy for an interview.
- Make sure your suit is tailored. Suits are not “one size fits all” and there is nothing worse than an ill-fitting suit. Most places offer the tailoring in-house —utilize that service! There is not single man who can wear a suit right off the rack. It just isn’t possible.
- Avoid suits with patterns. I love a plaid and don’t mind a pinstripe, but for an interview it is best to keep it basic. You do not want anything to distract the interviewer and patterns tend to do that.
- Wear a solid white shirt. Do not wear a colored shirt. Keep it simple, classic, and crisp.
- Add just a small amount of flare with your tie. Ties can get crazy, so you need to be sure to reign yourself in with this one. Do not choose a tie with a wild print and a ton of colors. My suggestion is to always go the subtle route. Choose colors that are not too bright. The kind of colors that compliment the suit, but do not take attention away from it.
- Wear lace up oxford shoes. Never wear loafers to an interview. You will take all the good you did and ruin it. Loafers are the epitome of casual. They are no where near dressy enough for an interview.
- Make sure your shoes and belt match. You might think this is obvious, but for some guys this is not a requirement. So, just throwing this tip out there just in case. Your belt and shoes must ALWAYS match. Always. It is just tacky to do otherwise
- Wear a watch. A man with a watch knows that time is valuable. It is a subtle addition that your interviewer will definitely take notice of.
- Make sure your grooming is on point. Beards are so popular these days that, in my opinion, it is perfectly acceptable to keep your beard for an interview, but you must make sure that the beard is neat and trimmed. Cut and clean your nails. I hope you do this on a regular basis, but it is so important for an interview. I know a manager who has not hired people because they had dirt under their finger nails. Trust me, it’s a real thing. Cut your hair. The man bun has many places in the world, but a corporate interview is not one of them. Shaggy hair needs to go as well. Make sure you have a clean cropped cut that is styled to perfection. Details matter fellas!
- Recommended, but not required: Add a pocket square. It adds such a dash of sophistication! Also, carry your resume in a briefcase or leather carrying case. It will make them take you so seriously!
Here are a couple looks to give you some inspiration for your next interview! Good luck!
**Lex answers reader questions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All reader submissions are anonymous.