How to Dress for a Job Interview (Men’s Guide)
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How should you dress for an interview
How you should dress for an interview will depend on the type/level of job and the work environment where you are interviewing at. Simply put, you should dress 1 step above how employees there typically dress on a daily basis. For example, if you are interviewing at a job place where employees who typically wear business casual, then you should dress one step above this for the interview which would typically be a full suit.
Generally speaking, there are 4 types of dress codes associated with the level of the job as well as the work place;
Starter Jobs (retail, fast-food, customer service)
These are jobs like store associates, customer service representatives as well as entry level careers at a fast food chain. When interviewing for these types of jobs, you don’t need to wear a full suit or even business casual attire.
Instead, it’s best to stick with more casual items like a well-fitting polo shirt or button down collar shirt paired with chinos and dress shoes in brown or black. You also don’t want to dress too casual such as wearing a t-shirt or shorts since that comes across as being badly dressed.
Tech/Start Up/Creative jobs – (google, facebook etc)
These types of jobs value themselves not on how their employees dress but on a more relaxed and comfort orientated job environment. When interviewing for these types of jobs, you definitely should not wear a full suit (unless specifically asked to do so), since that will make you stand out in a bad way.
In fact, you probably shouldn’t even wear business casual attire and instead opt for smart casual. You might be wondering, what is smart casual? To summarize, smart casual is a way of dressing in which you wear slightly dressier casual clothes like polo shirts, button down collar shirts, crew neck and v-neck sweaters and dark wash jeans and chinos. But you can skip on more formal items like dress shirts/pants, ties and blazers. Finish the outfit with dress shoes or boots and you are good to go. Skip the sneakers, because they might be fine to wear when you finally get the job, but for the interview stick with dress shoes/boots.
This is your typical 9 to 5 business casual office job where you are expected to wear dress shirts and dress pants. Read our guide on business casual attire for men where we cover shirts, pants, shoes and even jackets and coats.
Read ‘Business Casual Shoes’
Business casual attire is essentially being well dressed without wearing a full suit.
If you have a suit, then wear it for the interview. If not, then you could also go for a blazer/sportcoat paired with dress pants/khakis. Put on a necktie since that enhances the formality of the outfit. Wearing dress shoes in a black or dark brown is also a good choice because makes your outfit more formal.
Professional jobs (finance, law, medicine)
These are jobs in conservative fields like banking, medicine and law. Since these professions require a professional dress code, your best bet is to stick with a 2 piece suit in a conservative color like dark gray (charcoal) and navy. If you want to stand out in a good way, then go for a medium gray suit since it offers the same formality and versatility as charcoal and navy, but helps you look unique. Finish the look with a pair of black or dark brown dress shoes/boots.
I hope you enjoyed and most importantly found helpful this article on how to dress for a job interview. To summarize, the type of job and work environment will dictate how you dress for the job interview and the most common scenario were discussed in this article.
How to dress for an online/virtual/zoom interview
This will depend on the job and the work environment, but you should wear the same clothes as you would wear if you were interviewing in-person.
How to dress for a casual interview
For a casual interview, ff it is an entry level job, then you can wear a polo shirt along with chinos. If it is a start-up or tech job, then stick with a button down collar shirt, paired with dress pants or chinos.
How to dress for a retail interview
For a retail interview, this will depend on whether you are interviewing for an entry level position like a store associate or a managerial position. If you are interviewing as a store associate, then wear a collared shirt with dress pants/chinos. However, if you are being interviewed for a managerial position, then wear a well-fitting suit in a dark color like navy, dark gray or medium gray.
How to dress for a fast food/restaurant interview
For a fast food position, you can wear casual clothes like a polo shirt and chinos. Avoid a t-shirt since it is just too casual. If the restaurant is more upscale then you might even have to wear a full suit because the whole aura of the restaurant is focused on displaying a sense of upper class.