Men: Looking Your Best at an Interview
To get off to a good start at any interview, turn up looking the part. Your interviewers don’t wait until you answer your first question before they start making judgments, you are being assessed from the moment you turn up. Don’t rely on the company’s dress code for guidance as this does not apply at the interview stage; instead, take a look at our list of top tips to help you present yourself at your best.
- Professionalism is all-important, so dress in an outfit that is suitable for the professional role you are applying for. More often than not, a suit will be the right choice. Forget about the company’s dress code, casual clothes are typically not appropriate. If you’re not sure of which direction to take, dress up, not down, and wear a conservative suit. Think about how your prospective boss would dress and try to emulate them.
- Have we mentioned wearing a suit? It is almost always the best option. When we advise wearing a suit, we mean matching pants and jacket, a dress shirt, a tie and color-coordinated dress shoes and socks. An ideal color combination is a shirt in a light color, such as white or light blue, with a suit of a dark color.
- Make sure you’re comfortable. A well-fitted suit will not only look great, it will also make you more relaxed and ensure you aren’t distracted by overly tight pants or floppy sleeves.
- Stay away from ‘quirky’ brightly-colored ties and bright colors in general.
- Your shoes don’t need to be new but they do need to be in good general condition. Be sure to give them a polish before your interview and match your belt to your shoes. If you are investing in a new pair, ask a salesperson for their input on a good, traditional dress shoe. You will never regret owning a pair of conservative, high-quality dress shoes. They are always useful.
- Your outfit should be freshly cleaned and ironed in readiness for your interview, or splurge and take it to the dry cleaners for a freshly-laundered, crisp look.
Hair & more
- You also need to be freshly laundered! Part of your preparations for your interview must include bathing or showering and shaving or trimming your beard. Of course, wear deodorant to stay fresh but stay away from aftershave and cologne as the smell can be too strong for some or may even set off an interviewer’s allergies.
- Now that you and your outfit are squeaky clean, do the same for your teeth. Before attending the interview, give your teeth a clean and refrain from smoking and eating until after it’s all over.
- For your hair, keep it simple. Your hairstyle should be conservative, neat and tidy.
A more casual look may be okay for a second interview but remember our first tip: professionalism is all-important. Looking over-dressed is far better than looking under-dressed.
These rules may seem like quite a bit to take in, but they are tried and tested and following them will ensure you make a good first impression. The importance of presenting yourself well at an interview is paramount and will impact how you are evaluated as a candidate. A professional outfit and a clean, neat appearance will show your interviewers that you respect yourself, as well as them and their organization.