The career of your dreams is right around the corner. You can feel it in your bones. This is what you’ve studied for, what you’ve worked toward and what you know you’ll soon achieve. You’ve landed a job interview at the ideal corporation, and you know that everything has to go right if you’re going to get the job. There are many things you’re thinking about: how you’ll answer certain questions and that first telling handshake with your future employer.
But what about your attire?
Many men go into their interview without a second thought as to what they are wearing. As long as they look nice, they often believe they’ll be fine. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Your wardrobe plays a vital role in whether or not you land the job of your dreams. If you’re not dressed correctly, you could hurt your chances before you even open your mouth.
A recent study by the Social Mobility Commission confirms this. In part of the study, they explore how the way you dress can affect whether or not you get a job or even keep a job in areas such as investment banking. While it may sound superficial, many interviewers look at your attire to determine whether or not you’ll be a good ‘fit’ within the company.
So, what should you avoid wearing? Here are a few suggestions and a little insight provided by this government study.
In the business world, brown shoes are often looked down on when they are paired with men’s suits. While many men can pull off the look, there are many others who can’t. According to the study, employers consider them unacceptable, especially among newer and younger employees. Older employees with more seniority in the company may get away with wearing them, however.
While not every corporation is going to look down on you for wearing brown shoes with your business suits, some will. Don’t take the chance, especially when going in for an interview. A pair of navy or black oxfords will complete your look just as easily and with better results.
In the study, a candidate selected for the interview process at a bank was asked about his attire and how it affected his interview. He informed the Commission that the interviewer told him that while he was quite sharp and well educated, he wasn’t the right fit for the job because he wasn’t polished enough. His tie was too loud for the suit he was wearing.
This may seem trivial, but how you dress is important to your potential employer in many ways. They want clients to feel confident around you, and if you’re dressed poorly, that confidence is sacrificed. While you want to stand out and make an impression in an interview, avoid wearing a tie with flashy colours or distracting patterns. Stick to a bold colour and a solid print or micro design. Red or blue are excellent options when combined with the right shirt and men’s suits.
This rule doesn’t end with ties, either. Be careful of other distracting items, such as jewellery, that make take the interviewer’s attention away from your resume.
When you walk into the room for your interview, you should command respect immediately. You can’t do that if you’re wearing a suit that doesn’t fit you right. The wrong cut, the wrong size or even bad tailoring can make it impossible for you to land the job of your dreams.
Before you go into an interview, take your suit to a respected and professional tailor. He will help you determine if the suit gives you the right silhouette and whether any adjustments need to be made.
Even if your suit fits correctly, you can still look awkward in it if you aren’t used to wearing one. Before your interview, make plans that require you to wear your men’s suits out and about. The more you wear them, the more confident you’ll be the day of your interview.
Like loud ties, contrasting socks can be a distraction. You don’t really want the interviewer looking at your feet instead of concentrating on your answer to his questions. It’s more than just a distraction, though. According to the study, large corporations like banks aren’t looking for individualists. They are looking for people who can fit into their current team of workers. They don’t want you to stand out. They want you to fit in. While you may be able to add a bit of your own personal style into your wardrobe later on, now is not the time to show off your sartorial capabilities. Stick to the basics when it comes to pulling together your suit.
When you’re given a time for an interview, it’s perfectly acceptable to ask the individual setting up the interview what to wear. If they offer you advice, take it. You don’t have to match what they say to wear word-for-word, but showing up on the day of in something completely different can be very telling. The interviewer will assume you aren’t the type of person who listens to directions or who cares to work under the direction of others.
So, what should you wear? If you aren’t specifically told what you should wear to an interview, always opt for a more formal approach than a more casual one. A fitted suit in a traditional black, blue or grey is almost always appropriate. Just make sure you pair it with a conservative shirt and tie. Make sure your suit jacket, shirt and trousers are all clean and free of any wrinkles.
Consider where you’re interviewing when deciding what to wear. If the environment is conservative and likely has a dress code, such as a law firm or bank, do your best to be accommodating. Dress like you already work there, and the interviewer will have a difficult time finding fault with your attire.