A Gentleman’s Guide: What to Wear to a Job Interview
So you’ve finessed your CV, now it’s time to follow suit with your attire. Read our failsafe guide on how to look the bee’s knees at your next interview.
From swotting upon the employer to planning ways to answer tricky questions, job interviews are a pretty daunting prospect.
And then there’s the way you dress. According to Monster, 62% of employers say a candidate’s dress sense impacts their employability.
With this in mind, we’ve put together a few pointers and top men’s outfit choices to ensure you visually make a great first impression with your potential new employer (which remember: the first 8 seconds of meeting someone, an impression is already formed!)
Start with the shoes
Before you pick your clothes, it’s vital you choose the right shoes. In fact, if your interviewer is female, you might want to consider looking at our previous blog containing research around what shoes women prefer a man to wear.
In terms of style, men’s dress shoes or Oxford shoes are the smartest selection. They not only demand respect, but they also indicate to your employer that you take care of your appearance. In turn, this will make the interviewer think you’ll take pride in your career and deliver a level of professionalism.
Your next consideration is the colour of your men’s shoes. We recommend a brown pair with a navy suit and a black pair for a grey suit. You can find out more about what colour shoes go with which suits here.
We have a strong selection of Brown Oxfords at Percy Stride, and if you new employer knows his shoes, you can't go wrong with a natural Goodyear Welt oozing quality and longevity; 2 traits you definitely want to be displaying!
Dress to impress but don’t overdress
This may sound strange, but going overboard with your interview outfit selection can give off the wrong impression.
For instance, suiting up says you’ve made an effort, while fancy cufflinks should be left for stuffy boardroom meetings and royal weddings. For similar reasons, waistcoats, and pocket watches should also stay at home too.
Keep it simple and opt for a smart silver or brown strapped wristwatch and pocket square – ideally matching your tie.
However, this policy doesn’t make it ok to wear jeans or t-shirts, stay safe and go for a suit. A more smart casual look like khaki chinos and a light blue blazer should only be used if you are 100% sure that the employer operates a creative and relaxed dress code. TIP: If you need further clarification, just email or call them beforehand (there’s no shame in it).
Unless you’re going for an interview with an extremely quirky agency, we highly recommend going for a simple and neutral shirt.
Loud pinks, yellows and purples might give off the impression that you are too confident, extra loud or even trying too hard.
A soft baby blue shirt with a navy suit and matching tie oozes cool, while a classic white shirt, grey suit and black tie combination is a tried and tested formula. However, if you’re looking to inject a little bit of personality without being too showy, a sophisticated poker dot tie and clip can really work wonders.
This subtle Blue polka dot tie will make just enough of an impression when paired with a neutral baby Blue or sharp White shirt. Get one from Hawes and Curtis for £15
So you’ve got the shirt, suit, shoes and accessories, but what about the socks? When you’re patiently sitting in the reception, your suit trousers will naturally ride up your legs.
This means as soon as your potential employer comes out to meet you, they will almost certainly see what socks you are wearing. If you care about the finer details (which do matter), get a pair that either coordinate with your suit, shirt or tie colour. Similarly to shoes, this demonstrates that you take care in your appearance, even if socks are hardly seen during the interview process.
London Sock Company have a full and fantastic range of Men's socks of the highest quality.
Or try our luxury sock guide blog.
So there you have it. Get your outfit choice right and the rest will follow. For more top men’s fashion tips, take a look at the rest of our blog here.