In the spirit of the moment, I’m doing this post because I personally have some interviews coming up. However, this type of information is valuable for men of all ages as you never know when you need to don the suit and put your best foot forward. However, as my hair stylist duly noted today, you have to dress for the type of job you are interviewing for. An interview for a hair stylist requires a far different wardrobe than for a lawyer or doctor.
Therefore, I’m defining the scope for this post as “professional and graduate level jobs in a formal business environment.” This excludes special, niche jobs which may require more individuality or creativity in dress. With that aside, I’m going to split this up into two parts: grooming and attire.
Hair: Get a trim, conservative hair style – no long hair, hair over the ears, Justin Bieber type cuts.
Nails: Make sure your fingernails are clean and cut. Know what a nail filer is? Use one – you don’t want nails that are predatory.
Face: Shave the morning of (NO face fuzz or scruff), brush your teeth, and bring mints along for fresh breath. Don’t eat anything too garlicky and avoid onions and the like beforehand. Additionally, make sure your eyebrows are in order. You want TWO SEPARATE EYEBROWS, so if you have a unibrow, eradicate it.
Body: Shower beforehand. WEAR DEODORANT. Spritz some cologne on (but not too much!).
Suit: For this section, I’m going to micromanage. Get the following:
- Color: Only navy or grey. NO BLACK, NO BROWN – it’s too formal and can be a little too much. Navy and grey are both conservative and businesslike.
- Only single breasted, only 2 buttons, only 2 piece.
- Flat front pants.
- Pattern: Stick to subtle thing like stripes or solids. Don’t go crazy with glen plaids or crazy patterns.
- Tailoring: Go to a tailor! Make sure your shoulders fit snugly, taper the suit at the waist, and hem the sleeves at the wrist (to show some cuff), and hem the pants for a “clean break.”
Shirt: Wear white and iron it. Spread or point collar should work fine. Any cuffs other than French should work (no cuff links).
Tie: Wear a nice, perhaps subtly patterned navy tie. You can’t go wrong. Seriously.
Shoes: Wear conservative brown or black shoes. Lace-ups or nice loafers ONLY. I’ve heard people say that you should only wear lace ups but I disagree – loafers can look fantastic and even better than lace-ups if you get the right ones.
Accessories: Some Do’s and Don’ts
- Metal Matching: Match your buckle on your shoes (if you have one), to the buckle on your belt (a conservative belt) to your watch face (if you wear a watch). That means if you go silver, go all silver. Avoid gold – it can look garish.
- Carry a leather portfolio with a notepad for holding business cards and your pen. Also, you can use it to take notes. Make sure it’s slim and sleek.
- Avoid cuff links, tie bars, and ornate jewelry. You don’t want to look like you are going to a party.
- On the topic of pocket squares, I’m torn. A simple white square can look amazing, but it may be seen as too flashy. For the record, I’m not going to sport the pocket square, although it pains me, I must err on the side of caution.
Some last pointers: Stand up straight, give a firm handshake, and speak slowly and deliberately. Portray confidence in all regards.
Follow these instructions and you can be sure to avoid an Interview Intervention. Break a leg!