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8 Style Essentials to Nail a Job Interview

Nothing says “professional” and “go-getter” more than a shiny black leather briefcase.

Justin Lyons

Regardless of the corporate culture of the company you intend to work at, whether austere with formal dress code like the law firm down Wall Street or laid-back like Silicon Valley, a requirement common to all is that interviewers appear well-groomed and fashionably styled.

Sometimes though, you may still be unsure of what exactly to wear to avoid appearing odd among the current employees. The solution to this is to do some snooping around on the company’s website and see what the staff wear in the images provided.

Alternatively, you can check their respective profiles on LinkedIn to have a feel of what their corporate fashion sense looks like, which we assume is what is generally acceptable in the company.

Read more after the jump:Justin Lyons

1. Suits

For very formal workplace settings, you will be good to go with a dark suit that has two—not three or more—buttons.

Navy blue or charcoal colored suits work best for the classic look while black is generally not the most preferred option as you may end up looking like a valet, or like a throwback version of your dad at his job interview in the sixties.

For a casual look if you find yourself preparing for an interview in a creative design company or a creative design role, for instance, feel free to switch things up a bit by opting for other colors.

You can even show your creative side by donning separates, that is, jackets and pants that are of different but complementing designs and colors.

Examples are black jackets and grey pants, grey jacket and navy pants, unstructured jackets and pleated pants, and as many other fashionable matches as your mind can conceive. Check out amazing Nanamica menswear.

Your casual needs are covered in the collection, from blazers to bags.

2. Shirts

For shirts, classic button-downs in light colors like white, beige, or light blue are your best options. Bold prints and patterns are a no-no, but if you can’t get your mind off them, then consider going for the ones with subdued patterns like thin blue stripes.

3. Ties

Ties come in many colors, patterns, and designs, leaving you with a wide range of options to choose from. However, here’s not the chance to display any bold or unusual fashion tastes. You do not want to show up in a tie with paisley or flowery prints.

Block colors or subtle patterns like thin stripes or checks are suitable picks.

4. Socks

Socks are non-negotiable pieces of the item for a job interview. Think of them as a piece that aids the transition from your crisp pants to your smart shoes.

No, your interviewer does not want to see your hairy (or perhaps smooth) ankle, neither are they particularly interested in being distracted by the loud color and/or pattern going on at the base of your pants.

As much as possible, your socks should be inconspicuous, and the color and pattern should make this happen.

If, however, your interview is at a progressive fashion company catering to trends in pop culture, then, of course, you can get a little more dramatic with the socks, or you may even ditch them! Be sure that your entire look makes the risk worth it though.

Justin Lyons

5. Shoes

While there are several dress shoes for men, loafers, and brogues being part of them, Oxfords remain the most suitable option. Ditch the rubber soles for rubber if you want to be taken seriously.

And of course, your favourite and comfy sneakers should not be an option unless you are sure that everyone else at the office wears sneakers as well, or unless your interview is at the candy store down the street.

6. Jewelry

Less is more. Erring on the side of caution will never go out of fashion were dressing up for interviews is concerned. One ring on one or both fingers is alright. You are advised to do away with earrings, nose rings, and any other rings on your face.

A thin chain may be permissible in some casual settings, but there is no use for them if you will be formally dressed.

7. Haircut and facial hair

Be sure to get a haircut at least a day before your interview. Your safest bet is to maintain the look you are most familiar with and comfortable with so that you won’t have to feel self-conscious about your looks when you should be focused on acing the interview.

Facial hair should be taken care of before the interview as well. Treat any cuts you might have sustained while shaving and go easy on the aftershave on the D-day.

Justin Lyons

8. Briefcase

Here is one item that is often treated as an afterthought while preparing for the interview, which should not be the case. Your accessory for transporting your documents is just as important as your outfit, and it generally defines the kind of attention you will command.

Having to carry a backpack while wearing a suit, for instance, may make you come across as an uncoordinated person since your choice of a bag and your outfit are not the best match.

Besides, nothing says “professional” and “go-getter” more than a shiny black leather briefcase. Consider investing in a durable one.

While these suggestions may almost seem as though you are being required to stifle your personality and personal taste, remember that you run the risk of sticking out like a sore thumb before your interviewee.

More so, you will have to spend the entire interview session proving their first impression wrong rather than selling yourself. At the same time, we have established that depending on the office culture, a little (or a great deal of) flexibility may also be allowed.

Do your due diligence, and afterward, dress in a way that makes you fit in with the people you are going to meet. It is a sure way to communicate that you are in tune with the company and that you will fit in seamlessly should you be hired. And we hope you will.

Images by Michael Kai Young for MMSCENE

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