Dressing for a job interview is more about maintaining a professional appearance and showing that you’re serious about the position than it is about flaunting one’s sartorial eccentricities.
Here are a few basic guidelines.
Always wear a full suit
The suit is the uniform of the corporate world and a staid symbol of competence. Being well turned out is good business etiquette and is still perceived as being professional. If a suit doesn’t fit be sure to have it altered prior to the interview or if necessary purchase a new one. Work clothing is an investment so always invest in quality.
Save the wild accessories for another occasion
While a pocket square can be additive to an outfit at a dinner party, they can be a liability at a job interview especially at a conservative workplace. Though organisations value individuality, being too flash may be interpreted as a sign of youthful arrogance as opposed to professional confidence. Understated jewelry such as a tasteful watch is acceptable and adds subtle personality.
An ironed shirt
Since the shirt is an essential element of the cynosure, a wrinkled shirt can compromise the appearance of the rest of the outfit regardless of the quality of the other elements. Additionally it may be interpreted as a sign of poor time management. If the suit is corporate armour then a shirt is its chainmail.
A simple shirt
A simple shirt such as a white or blue broadcloth or poplin is a safe go-to option and is universally accepted. Shirts with spread collars are considered more formal and are therefore the most reliable options.Bold coloured and strongly patterned shirts should be avoided as they may be considered too confronting and may therefore create an undesirable first impression at an interview.
Avoid skinny ties
Wearing a tie is compulsory however steer clear of skinny ties. A company will often have its own customs and attitudes to dress that have been acquired and developed over a long period of time and which are difficult and slow to change. Consequently skinny ties have yet to become an established work uniform despite their popularity and ubiquity.
Tattered or scratched shoes will diminish the quality of any outfit. Shoes are the final articles of clothing that we look at and consequently are responsible for the final impressions we have of someone’s appearance. In an emergency an average quality pair can have their appearance improved significantly with several coats of quality polish.
Avoid perfume or deodorant
An employer with discriminating tastes may be bothered by particular scents or they may suffer from perfume-related allergies. However if necessary apply a roll-on deodorant that does not produce a strong scent instead of cologne to prevent body odours.
Ensure all hair is well groomed
Since the eye is naturally drawn to the face it is imperative that all hair is well groomed. Facial hair should be well-trimmed or kept at a minimum, despite the resurging popularity of unruly beards in order to demonstrate an ability to maintain appearances.