What to Wear to an Interview: Interview Attire for Men

Most interviews are done in a formal setting. Interview attire for men might mean a shirt and tie, slack, suit jacket. It may also include wearing a sweater and button-down shirt instead of a shirt and tie. To help you succeed in your next job interview, you should make a good impression on the interviewer. You must appear clean, neat, and professional. Wearing the right attire for your interview is important because it demonstrates that you understand the corporate culture and are serious about the job position.  

What you wear can affect your confidence and how the interviewer perceives you. So if you come to the interview dressed in what groups you identify with (the employees in their company), you send a powerful signal that you belong with their group. This guide will show you some tips in choosing the proper interview attire for men that will help you make a positive impact on your potential employer.

What is the best interview attire for men?

There are few things you should consider to make sure that you pick the right interview outfit.

1. Research for the company’s dress code

Sometimes, the recruiter will provide the dress code on the interview invitation. But when this information has not been provided, what are you going to do? Find out the company’s dress code by going to their official website or social media pages. Look for photos or videos of what the employees are wearing to have an idea of their dress code. You will usually get a vibe of what their employees wear to the office.

What if you did not find photos or videos of their dress code? You can take note of the tips below on how to dress for different types of interviews.

Guide to the three common types of interview attire for men

You can choose different types of interview attire depending on the type of industry or job position. There are also different levels of interview attire from men that you should consider. Here are the three common types of interview attire to help you decide which is appropriate for your interview.

Interview attire for men: Business formal

Business formal dress code, also known as a business professional, is a standard dress code in business, mostly for industries with a strict office environment and a more formal setting. 

This attire is a full business, three-piece matching suit (consisting of a button-up collared shirt, matching pants or slacks, and jacket) with a tie. A rule of thumb is that you should match your slacks with your jacket, while the color tone of your tie should match your button-up collared shirt.  

Avoid wearing loud, bold, and bright colors or patterns in your attire. Choose safe colors like dark- or neutral-colored suits. This can be a plain suit or pinstripe suit.

You should also match the color of your leather shoes with your leather belt and avoid wearing brown leather shoes if you are wearing a black suit. Also, you should pair your leather shoes with plain dark-colored socks.  

Find out more samples of business formal dress codes in this article.

Interview attire for men: Business casual

This dress code often brings confusion as the word “casual” sounds like a breeze. A business casual dress code is a blend of formal business but with a more relaxed style yet still professional for an office environment. Therefore, dressing in shorts, jeans, and a t-shirt is too casual, while a three-piece matching suit is too formal.

You can wear a button-down shirt without a tie and jacket, a sweater, and slacks in business casual attire. This may also include a leather belt that matches your leather shoes and a pair of dark socks. Even though polo shirts and jeans are acceptable, refrain from wearing this for your interview.

Here is a link to the business casual style guide for men.

Interview attire for men: Smart casual

A smart casual dress code is slightly less formal than a business casual and business professional. This attire varies by climate, occasion, and culture. Individuals can freely express themselves but still retain a clean and semi-professional veneer appearance, like wearing put-together clothing but not over the top.  

Find out more detailed information about the smart casual dress code in this article: Smart Casual for Men: Dress Code Guide & Outfit Inspiration.

Wear a dress code according to the job position and company industry

When deciding what to wear for your job interview, you should consider choosing clothes that are appropriate to the company industry and job position. 

For example, whenever you are interviewing for an executive-level or manager position, you are expected to be in a business formal attire. This type of dress code makes the strongest impression against the business casual and smart casual. Wearing business formal attire demonstrates your leadership and management mindset.  

Choose classic and simple clothes

Refrain from wearing clothes that will make you appear too flashy. You want the interviewer to focus on your skills and accomplishments—not on your clothes. 

Interview attire for men is pretty straightforward. So you don’t need to spend a lot on fashion pieces. You can still look stylish and professional by putting together a few basic clothing pieces. 

To start, the basic colored shirts you can wear under your suit jacket are white, beige, and light blue. These are subtle colors and are not too distracting in an interview setting. You can also opt for a khaki suit jacket and coordinating slacks because this color is less harsh than grey and black suits. Navy blue matching suit is also a great alternative for a black matching suit. It has a touch of class and a timeless feel. But if you do not have a khaki or navy blue suit in your wardrobe, you can still always go back to the basic grey or black matching suit.

Don’t forget proper grooming and hygiene

Complete your professional look with proper grooming and hygiene. Below is a list of guidelines to help you present yourself professionally and appropriately during an interview.

  • Make sure your clothes are clean, pressed, and crisp.
  • Inspect your clothes for stains, holes, loose threads, etc.
  • Shoes should be polished and neat-looking.
  • For facial hair, make sure that your facial hair is well-groomed or freshly shaven if you want a clean look.
  • Your nails should be clean and trimmed.
  • Do not use strong perfumes or do not wear perfume at all. The interviewer might be allergic to it.
  • Remove pieces of jewelry from visible piercing and cover tattoos.

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