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What men should wear to an interview

Updated on May 05, 2015
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There are a few rules men should keep in mind when going to a formal job interview:

Suit Colors: Navy blue or a darker gray are good. Some dark brown suits are ok but should generally be avoided. Earth tones aren't formal enough and shouldn't be worn. Black suits are plenty formal but are inappropriately flashy, like something you'd wear to a wedding. Blue suits are usually the favorite.

Pin Stripes?: Pin stripes are ok, but only if they are subtle. They add a touch of flair, show adventurousness and can liven up a gray suit.

Style: Stick to a two- or three-buttoned two-piece suit. Four-buttoned suits may be seen as too trendy and three-piece suits may be viewed as too much.

Fit: Suit jackets should fit so that they can be easily buttoned without any real tug marks across the fabric. The arms should be long enough so that about a ¼ inch of your dress shirt can be seen past the cuffs when your arms are relaxed at your side. If you have a "normal build" (a typical shoulders-to-waist ratio), then your ideal suit size is your chest size. If you have a "distinctive build," then you'll definitely want to get measured by a tailor.

Shirt Color and Collar: White shirts are the safest and most conservative. Cream, almond and pale-blue shirts are also fine as long as they are solid without stripes or patterns. Point collars are recommended for an interview, but spread collars are ok too. Avoid cotton-blend shirts, polyester or any shiny shirts. They should be 100% cotton.

Tie Color and Size: Wear a tie between 2 ¾ and 3 ½ inches wide. They should have a traditional pattern and be made of pure silk. No "trendy" ties or anything made of something besides 100% silk. Your tie should reach, but not exceed, the top of your belt buckle. Do not wear a bow-tie to an interview.

The Knot: Windsor knots are generally preferred at job interviews because they're considered the most conservative. Four-in-hand knots are fine as well. Knots should be neat and fit within the space created by your choice of collar. If you insist on wearing an alternative knot style, choose a white dress shirt with a spread collar that will accommodate it. Lettered tie-tacks are fine, but avoid any religious or political insignias.

Shoe Color and Style: Interviewees should wear black, oxblood or brown leather shoes. Black shoes are strongly recommended because they match almost with any suit and are easy to coordinate with a belt. Rubber soles are ok if they are low-profile (without noticeable treads). No loafers! And try to have them polished.

Belt: Your belt should always match your shoe color. Have suspenders but no belt buckles.

Socks: Socks should be dark and coordinate with your suit. They should be long enough so that no one can see your leg when you are seated.

Jewelry: Only wedding rings are universally permissible for men. You should remove all other jewelry, including earrings, for an interview. College rings are typically acceptable for younger interviewees. Cufflinks, provided that they are small and conservative, are fine.

Briefcases: A small leather briefcase or portfolio is recommended to carry your notebook and resume. Do not bring a large briefcase or bag with you.

Cologne: Use little cologne, or none at all. Don't smother them in smell.

Hair: Hair should be clean and well kept. Shorter hair is generally preferred. Facial hair is discouraged, although well-groomed mustaches are usually ok.

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    • Paul Edmondson profile image

      Paul Edmondson 9 years ago from Burlingame, CA

      Here in San Francisco, people show up for interviews over-dressed, especially if they are from out of the area. So, it's good to know the culture and the environment before you interview.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      I agree with Paul; Although I usually dress the way you say. Which does require some effort. Personally i think shoes are are important. I also go for a swim before an interview..Good blog

    • 02SmithA profile image

      02SmithA 8 years ago from Ohio

      Interesting post. I'll remember these next time!

    • profile image

      WOTPN 8 years ago

      very good to have it all spelled out so that the fashionably challenged (ie, all men folk) can understand!

    • buhrandt profile image

      buhrandt 8 years ago

      You got it right.

    • greathub profile image

      greathub 8 years ago from Earth

      what should be done if temperature is about 90 degree fahrenheit and one has to take public bus(i.e. no airconditioning) to the office where interview is taking place?

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks everyone! Well, greathub, I've definitely had to take the bus while dressed to impress, and I like to take the little personal fans with me to help me cool off along the way :)

    • greathub profile image

      greathub 8 years ago from Earth

      @ glassvisage

      was that a joke?

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Sadly no, although I know the image of me holding a little handheld fan on the bus on the way to an interview seems silly :P

    • profile image

      the dentist 8 years ago from Midwest

      Great tips. A first impression is everything.

    • l0wryda profile image

      l0wryda 8 years ago from Michigan, USA

      I've gone through a fair amount of professional interviews this summer and this guide surely is accurate!

    • Sandilyn profile image

      Sandilyn 8 years ago from Port Orange, FL

      You are right on in this topic. Men need to read this. In my professional life I have seen it all. When it came to hiring men if they did not approach the interview in the attire that was suitable it was a direct signal to me regarding their take on how they would conduct themselves in their professional lives.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 8 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for commenting, everyone! I think it would be great to have a chance to conduct an interview someday, and wonder what kind of impressions I'll get from clothes alone :)

    • mapsandearth profile image

      mapsandearth 8 years ago

      why dark color ? :-(

    • profile image

      Refster 8 years ago

      I usually don't wear a white shirt and pinstripes are not me. Do a lot of the other things you stated.

    • profile image

      expertqtp 8 years ago from India

      Thats a very nice article..

    • profile image

      Richard Lockyer 8 years ago

      I agree a dark blue suit is important as that colour projects authority.

      I interview lots of people and i always check to see if their shoes are polished as this says so much about people

    • livelovecoffee profile image

      livelovecoffee 8 years ago from Georgia

      This is great info. Thanks for the tips and keep up the quality hubs.

    • leeroper profile image

      leeroper 8 years ago from UK

      I still see quite a few people who do not ware a belt, even at interviews this can occur. A belt is important even if your trousers fit perfectly. The following part about a suits Fit is useful. I often struggle to find the right fit and although I have a normal build, I have a distinctive style. So maybe a tailor will be of use in the future, instead of traipsing around many stores!Thanks for the hub.

    • profile image

      iMindMap 8 years ago

      Thanks for the tips to win an interview.

    • profile image

      Erick Smart 7 years ago

      Nice hub! It should be a no brainer for men on what to wear to an interview but sadly it is not. And what you wear plays a huge part on how the business views who you are.

    • WordWielder profile image

      WordWielder 7 years ago from Austin

      This was great! You obviously know your stuff. I will definitely keep that in mind. I think you should expound on your idea: "what should men wear to a business seminar? Casual or formal?" Also, "what should men wear in a corporate environment job where khakis and blue jeans are permitted". Just a thought! Thanks also for the nice comment you left on my hub. I haven't checked yet but I'd appreciate if you'd join my club if you haven't already, thanks!

    • ontheway profile image

      ontheway 7 years ago

      What men should wear to an interview

      well written, I come on , welcome to my hub

    • profile image

      techie 7 years ago

      thanks , i will try it out in my next and first ever job interview

    • profile image

      john 7 years ago

      Very well written hub .....

      very much informative ......

      Thank you very much for your great hub, for good advice, good wishes and support. Thanks for sharing your experience with all of us.

    • creativeMind profile image

      creativeMind 7 years ago from Cochin

      informative and superb content..loved it..

    • StevenCavendish profile image

      StevenCavendish 7 years ago

      Great tips. It definitely is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed in my opinion.

    • earllyan profile image

      earllyan 7 years ago

      I would suggest a skinny tie...it looks better aside from being not so cocky...

      --

      wanted to tell you guys that I ran across this great site which offers excellent service on men's tie. You can get the best ties every month delivered to you, just subscribed a few days ago and still waiting for my new set of ties this weekend... check this out - http://www.tie-club.com

    • profile image

      kevin mcculloch 7 years ago

      u go on about wearing suits and that right but what if you were only going to aninterview to work somewhere for example burger king or somewhere that isn't working in an office

    • nearbuystore.com profile image

      nearbuystore.com 7 years ago from Somewhere on the highway....

      nice hub but it should be job specific this is rather general a suit is not always the best option

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 7 years ago from Northern California

      Fair enough! Thanks for the comments!

    • harrisdy profile image

      hdy 7 years ago from Texas

      great hub!

    • kea profile image

      kea 7 years ago

      Thanks for the tips. Having interviewed 100s of people and been in many interviews, most people would be better off if they read this. I've interviewed people that have a tie on, but it's loosened up and their top button is unbuttoned....what's the point of wearing the tie?! Cheers.

    • TheLadders profile image

      TheLadders 6 years ago from New York

      Great info! It never gets old to say that you need to 'dress the part.' Potential bosses can't help but evaluate an interviewer based on appearance. Many people simply don't realize how critical wardrobe can be to landing a job.

    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 6 years ago from At the Gemba

      Guess the jeans and T-Shirt are right out... Oh well...

      Where I am you need a long white man-dress! Saudi Arabia

    • makd1788 profile image

      makd1788 6 years ago

      hey I am lazy person to select any suitable cloths..but for interview we have to take our first impression..that could be from cloths..so your points have lot of senses...useful advices for selecting cloths..

    • Mark Greenley profile image

      Mark Greenley 6 years ago from UK

      I think that as a general rule of thumb all of your suggestions sound great. I've worked in the creative industries for 12+ years now and the rules are slightly different, there is much less emphasis on the suit and tie type of culture so I think you need to judge what you wear based on the profession you are looking to work in.

      Would you suggest these rules transfer directly to the working environment? I find that if I meet a client for the first time I need to take care about what I wear so that I appear confident and professional, subsequent meetings I might be more relaxed though as I get to know them personally.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 6 years ago from Northern California

      Thanks for all of your comments! Mark, I would say that in my experience, the rules still apply in the working world. I know that when I got hired at my current job, I slacked off a little bit on the attire and went a little more casual because I felt more comfortable. For me, this was a bad idea and ended up going back to the kind of stuff I wore at my interview.

    • profile image

      sweechin 6 years ago

      ohh goodness, Nice :D I was thinking about buying this product but could not find it. Thanx for the share.

    • manijee profile image

      manijee 6 years ago

      i prefer dark black and prefer what best matches you ,

      for people who love custom suits can have one for their interview at Imparali Custom Tailors www.imparali.com

    • maxravi profile image

      Ravi Singh 5 years ago from India

      Thanks for your hub.nice tips.The most important I think is hatever you wear, you should be comfortable in that.

    • AutumnSarah profile image

      AutumnSarah 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      You should do one on what women should wear!

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all! AutumnSarah, you can find my Hub on what women should wear to an interview here: https://hubpages.com/business/What-women-should-we...

    • profile image

      lscript 5 years ago

      Also, should be able to impress the interviewr:

      http://www.indiansscript.com/forum/f237/how-impres...

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you for the link!

    • profile image

      Gere 5 years ago

      Hi and thanks a lot for such interesting tips...

      I would like to know if it advisable, according to you to wear men's pointy shoes to a flight attendant interview.

      Thanks in advance!

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      Gere, I think that anything that isn't too bold is okay. You just don't want your clothes to stick out for the wrong reasons!

    • profile image

      ashoo 5 years ago

      what shudb wear with blue shirt , black pant

      what colour of tie n socks?

      answer plz hehe

    • Aceblogs profile image

      Aceblogs 5 years ago from India

      Bang on ! 100 % correct. being this way would leave an impact on the interviewer and you will always stand a good chance

    • StaceyD profile image

      StaceyD 5 years ago

      If you just go with the suit and smart shoes you can't go wrong

    • profile image

      michael 5 years ago

      can anyone find me information about clothes for interview

    • ukbusiness profile image

      ukbusiness 5 years ago from Bristol, UK

      This is a great guide if you are after a financial/office job as this is the typical attire. If you are interviewing for a factory worker and turn up in a suit then you are overdressing, and it shows you don't fully understand your job role.

      I would keep this guide as a rule of thumb, and modify slightly depending on what position you are interviewing for.

      Either way, great hub!

    • profile image

      70sMan4Ever 5 years ago

      This person has no idea what he is talking about. Another repressed individual who further represses the male species. Hey, ever thought about about wearing a conservative 70s suit, with wide lapels and flared pants, and more tailored than today's suits? How about 2 inch stacked heel shoes? Wide black necktie? And how is an employer gonna know if your shirt is 65% dacron polyester and 35% cotton? It's kind of stupid if a prospective employer wants to know if your shirt is cotton COME ON MAN!!! STICK IT TO THE MAN! You know, the 70s doesn't have to represent loud colors. There were quite conservative suits back then sporting the style and I feel people should feel free to wear whatever they want, keeping professional of course. Then again, you could walk in with a modern Armani suit and try to be "all that" and still be turned down for a job. Be yourself: employers should only see what you can offer the job rather than how you look. It's time to break down that wall. Dig it?!

    • profile image

      70sMan4Ever 5 years ago

      The perfect 70s interview suit, and please listen up:

      1) two piece heather gray or gray with subtle pinstriped suit, or navy blue. Jacket should sport wide notch lapels 4 1/2 inches at widest point and pants should be flat front with a slight flare leg no more than 21 inches around the hems. Pants can also be sansabelt, meaning that they don't require a belt to keep in place (typical in some 70s suits). Jacket should have either single or double vented back and fit like an hourglass.

      2) Necktie should be between 4 to 4 1/2 inches at widest point and gorge or knot should be over 1 inch. Tie should sport the full 70s effect, and tie should suspend slightly above belt.

      3) Belt should be black or brown, 1 1/2 wide with either square or o-ring, or d-ring brass or silver buckle. Make sure that if you wear a belt, the belt matches your shoes (ex: black belt with black shoes or cordovan belt with cordovan shoes).

      4) Shoes should be black or cordovan with no more than 2 inch stacked heels. They should be kept shiny, preferably all leather. (There are shoes made of man-made soles that could be worn if you can't find all leather shoes).

      5) Men can wear a pinky ring or a wedding ring and a wristwatch with a leather strap and a round dial.

      6) Hairstyle should be trimmed, preferably a layered 70s cut that only looks voluminous but is kept short in the back. Sideburns can be optional.

      7)Wear Brut cologne or English leather, because they are manly scents. Do NOT wear designer cologne.

      Not only is this look classy: it is timeless and makes you stand out. hey who know, your employer may hire you instead of the poor man sporting a modern Armani suit trying to look so interesting when, in fact, that cat is nothing more than a wanna-be with no talent. It's your resume and previous experience that will get you the job, but if your prospective employer is gonna hire someone, let it be the man that creating a "lasting impact" to him thanks to his polyester look. You all dig it?!

    • profile image

      70sMan4Ever 5 years ago

      I forgot the shirt: fitted shirt with long lay-down pointed collar, 65% Dacron polyester and 35% cotton, preferrably. Yes, for this one please stay away from 100% polyester or nylon shirts, as these would be more appropriate for a night at the disco. And there are broadcloth shirts that come in conservative colors, such asd off-white, cream, white, and sky blue. Striped shirts are also fine, and you could get away with a shirt sporting geometric patterns. That's the great thing about the 70s: there is more variety rather than today, when there is no variety, especially for men. catch you on the flipside, and if the author of this post has a problem, tell them that 70s Man told you that he don't have a clue about men's fashion. Peace out!

    • thecnatraining profile image

      thecnatraining 5 years ago from Vancouver

      Looking clean and well dressed will set the bar for you. Its vital to have proper fashion and well fit suit. Speak with confidence with eye contact. Ask questions to the interviewer. Your set!!

    • profile image

      stu 5 years ago

      Is it acceptable to bring a brown leather briefcase if you're wearing a black suit?

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 5 years ago from Northern California

      I think it can be acceptable. If it's a high-profile position, just ensure it's good quality, though I would probably go with a black briefcase personally.

    • Java Programs profile image

      Java Programs 5 years ago from India

      Hi glassvisage,

      Very well written hub .....

      very much informative ......

      superb content..loved it..

      Thanks for the share ... keep the good work up ....

    • profile image

      Jobs Etc 5 years ago

      I agree with one or two of your previous comments; Dress according to the environment you desire to work in. I enjoyed reading your article, very well written.

    • profile image

      MUZAMMAL AHMAD 4 years ago

      you should wear in what you feel confident......that's it. but you should stick to some rules as mentioned above. that you should dress light color plane shirt with dark suit and ties matching to suit or shirt.but according to environment if you cant wear two pice then its even ok with pant.n if you do so then you should consider about belt color @tie pin.other wise don't make it complicated that you are gonna consider you tie pin and belt color in two piece as no one gona note that.yes you should not wear jewellery .but you should wear wrist watch,cufflinks,tie pin,good leather shoes,good belt,dark color socks,should definetly use cologne and gel on hair for perfect hairstyle.that's all.its all for your personal satisfaction on your side otherwise if you are a worth professional no one is gonna reject you on dress and outlook basis.just feel confident.

    • glassvisage profile image
      Author

      glassvisage 4 years ago from Northern California

      Thank you all for your comments and your feedback! It does come down to whether you feel confident in what you wear.

    • eric-carter profile image

      eric-carter 4 years ago from Fulham, UK

      Thank you for taking the time to write this such useful hub! You will absolutely not believe how badly dressed guys and girls I've seen coming to an interview at the place I work. Hopefully some of them will read what you wrote and think twice before coming with short pants and sneakers!

    • Ebonny profile image

      Ebonny 4 years ago from UK

      I particularly like your advice about limiting cologne - what smells fragrant to the wearer may prove unpleasant, irritating or overwhelming to your interviewer.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi glassvisage.

      I agree in general with your views. Over here in the uk, it is formally accepted that you would wear; striped suit. plain shirt, spotted tie. Plain suit, plain shirt, spotted or patterned tie. Black shoes to match dark suit and black socks. There's a very formal English saying 'no brown in town'. Even if you don't have much money and your clothes are old. Be sure they are well pressed. Always, Always polish your shoes. All to often we see a man all spruced up and he is wearing dirty shoes.

      Women always notice a man's shoes and personal grooming.

      Graham.

    • GlstngRosePetals profile image

      GlstngRosePetals 4 years ago from Wouldn't You Like To Know

      Great Hub and awsome information for that lasting impression you want to leave with the interviewer. Voted up !!

    • profile image

      troplolop 3 years ago

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    • profile image

      Tailor Made London 21 months ago

      Hi, here is our intake on what to wear to an interview, would be great if you could have a look.

      http://www.tailormadelondon.com/what-to-wear-to-an...

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